Friday, September 13, 2013

Up from the ashes

Today we in the United States mourn the deaths of thousands of innocent people murdered at the hands of a small number of desperate terrorists on September 11, 2001.

I too lost someone that fateful morning, she died in the Pentagon.  She was my psychologist Dr. Norma Lang SteuerleWe had a regular weekly appointment for 8 years.  Dr. Steuerle was on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon; a little over a mile from where I live I heard the explosions. She was flying to Okinawa, Japan to visit her daughter Kristin a naval doctor who was stationed there. Since her death, I have connected with no other psychologist or psychiatrist as I did with her, as most Autistics are I too am not good with change.
For all of victims, of the September 11, 2001, both living and dead,
especially Dr. Steuerle and her family.
Instead of dwelling on her loss today I will instead celebrate her life through the life I have now.  I am a proud Autistic woman, even though she had not fully pieced it all together back then (was formally diagnosed on the Spectrum in March of 2009), she would be very proud of who I have become today.  She helped me to believe more in myself.  I now have a handful of friends.  Christmas-time, in fact the whole month of December, is still an exciting time for me, from the carols to the twinkling lights to warm cracking fires and so is the month of my birth.  As anyone who knows me, knows these two times of year are when I get the most excited out of all others.  Dr.  Steuerle knew this as well, so the week of my birthday each year we instead had our weekly appointment at McDonald’s, a celebratory lunch.  I may not work very often, but when I do it is purposeful and enjoyable, plus it is always nice to earn money.  I serve on two boards, one that is a general disability-related one and the other that is all about Autism and have been invited to join a national advisory committee for an Autism organization.  I organize a group for my fellow Autistic adults locally, etc.  I am generally a happy person with a smile naturally at home on my face.  My smile infects others, not my Autism (Autism as you know is not contagious!), and have seen its effects first-hand on the subway and walking down the streets near where I live.  One simple smile shared with a stranger can brighten their day as it has mine on many an occasion when I have received one. 

Published September 11, 2013 on Google+

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