by Terry and Barbara Burlingame
Our 42-year-old son, Jonathan, is severely impaired with autism.
He does not use language and needs constant supervision and help with many everyday skills. Though Barbara wrote this poem when Jon was a child, it still echoes the cry of our hearts.
Our hope is in the Lord, knowing that even though we do not know or understand the reasons “why,” we know our Lord does, that He loves Jon and will use him for His glory.
To Jon – from Mom
A million tears I’ve cried for you
(or were those tears for me?)
Tho’ most I’ve kept inside…
what good for you to see?
Seems best this way
so most the time
they stay a part of me.
Perhaps that way… I’m like you –
Some things one has to hide.
Do you choose, do you refuse
to be or not to be?
Why do you seem to have to hide?
Why do you hide from me?
About the world you live in…
is it at all like mine?
is your world a prison?
or do you live sublime?
Why do I grieve not knowing?
Are the tears I cry for you?
Or are the tears for me?
This grief I have – grows inside…
it seems as tho’ you’ve never lived
but neither have you died.
For you to break through and BE
What’s this need I have in me?
Is It ‘cause I’ve seen you coming…
at least, I think I have and do.
Sometimes I’m sure you’re closer…
Then it seems you’re off and running
and more than the full distance remains.
If somehow I could understand
the difference in your brain,
be assured you’re ok
and get rid of this lonesome pain.
The glimpses you give
sometimes nurture the hope that lives
and oh we cheer you on!
I see you come?
Off you run in some new direction –
then hope is “put on hold.”
It looks all wrong.
Why do I cry?
Why do I keep calling?
Flesh of my flesh… bone of my bone…
you are not left alone…
no matter it seems so. (Is it I who am alone?
because I feel and can say so?
Who is more alone? how do you feel?)
I cannot stop – as long as you ARE…
I do care and love you with prayer.
Is that the key? In time we’ll see.
No matter about the tears I cry
Be they for you or me.
Jon has lived at David’s House for the last seven years. We’re grateful knowing the staff also loves and cares for Jon, prays for him and wants what is best for him. As Jon continues through this life, we trust our gracious Lord to work in and through him—as well as David’s House—in unique ways for the benefit of others and for God’s glory.