Today I laughed.

My son was spinning circles in the living room with his Lego spaceship and my daughter was playing a video game on my phone and suddenly burst out singing Old McDonald at the top of her lungs.

OLD MCDONALD HAD A FARM, E-I-E-I-O. Painfully loud. Yelling more than singing.

And I laughed. Gasping for breath. The more I laughed the louder she sung, and she was laughing too.


And he was spinning and she was oinking.

And I was laughing.

I don’t know when I last did.

I thought of you. I was thinking about you. And I thought of me. And I thought of how not one of us has a brain that functions anywhere close to normal. I looked at the manifestations of my sensory seeking children, and my own gifted, too-intense, hyperfocusing, depressed self, and you and all the struggles you had, and must have had. How I wish we’d all been more open. How I wish I’d been less frustrated, how I wish you had felt less pressure to be more “normal” and less concern about what everyone else thought.

I wish you had felt free to spin in circles in the middle of the room (though it gets annoying and triggers my own sensory overload, that’s on me), and to scream Old McDonald at the top of your lung when the silence was too loud.

That is what I would want you to know. That is what I want them to know. It’s the same. I want them to know they are loved, completely, as they are, with no pressure to conform to anything. I want them to feel safe. I want them to feel free.

I want to give to them, in some way, what you gave to me.

So much love. So much love.

So I laughed. And couldn’t stop. And then I was crying, and my son was asking, “Mama, are you happy or are you sad?” I said I didn’t know. I said maybe both.

So, so happy to have known and loved you. So sad and so heartbroken to say goodbye.

I love you so much. I love you forever.

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