Life can be heartbreaking at times.

Last week my daughter graduated from high school. As she crossed the stage, she left behind the first stage of her life. Now, she has the world before her. Many other parents probably feel the same way, as they see the child they raised about to leave their nest head out to new ventures. But in my case, and my daughter010_arizona_sunset_072204_11‘s, there were a few curves.

Perhaps one of the most heartbreaking things about this whole graduation thing, is how my daughter carries herself. You see, my daughter has Asperger’s, which is on the high end of the Autism spectrum. My daughter has shown me that she is stronger than I could have ever hoped for. She is courageous, , strong, and has the most beautiful smile.

I seem to have a knack for drawing the wrong type of men. First, my daughter’s dad. While he never raised his fist to me, I still have the emotional scars from the words he would scream at me. Shortly after husband #1 came husband #2, who was the complete opposite. Husband #2 was one of those who wanted someone to take care of him and his daughter, not so much a wife as a mother probably. That one left it’s own scars. When I left him, we were youth leaders at our church. By that time my daughter had established roots and had friends – that is, until I left him. Why did I leave you ask? He refused to work. I have several autoimmune diseases, some serious. For three years he was “out of work48211_4286725100577_565308732_o” and couldn’t “get” a job. He was offered many jobs, but none of them were “right.” Many paid very good money, offered insurance – still, he refused. When I told him he needed to find full time work with insurance, he laughed, and said that would never happen. Near my death bed, working 60+ hours a week, I made a tough decision…I left my husband.

Which brings me to present day. When I left, I not only left him, but all of my so-called friends turned on me as well. People from my old church no longer speak with me. My daughter’s friends quit inviting her to things, she was no longer invited to youth group events – we were outcast. And through it all, she persevered. She held her head high and made it through. Though she didn’t understand it, though she didn’t like it – she is now a stronger person because of it.

I cringe, and am ashamed, that I even put her in this position. The friends she lost – were they really friends? Would real friends abandon a friend in a time of need?

My daughter’s graduation party is fast approaching. High School has been tough for her. She has Asperger’s, so social situations are a stretch. But she never quits trying, she puts herself outside of her comfort zone, she puts herself in activities, and she just never quits trying.

I hope and pray, that she is not disappointed with her graduation party. I know she invited all of her old “friends.” I know most of them will not show up. As for school people, she is also excited that she invited many of them – I hope and pray that some will show up and be kind. My daughter is so big hearted, so generous, and so courageous. Whatever others see when they see her, God knows her heart. God knows her struggles, her accomplishments, her future.


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