I have lost a child, but not in the way you might think. From the moment of her birth it seems that Emma was up against it. The month she came into this world, her dad left it. There would be no Daddy daughter dances, no one to call her Daddy’s little girl, and no strong arms to pick her up when she would fall. And so I cried.

It would become apparent in the coming years that I would lose her to a thing called Autism. Learning anything was difficult. Friends were non-existent. Simple things were herculean tasks.

As time went by, she would make slow but steady progress. I pushed, pulled, and dragged her into our world and out of hers. She would never be able to live on her own, never get married or have children but in her own way she was successful. So, for a while, I found her. She was no longer totally lost in her Autism.


Then on her 16th birthday I lost her again. At first I didn’t know where to look for her. She stood right in front of me and yet I could not see her, I could not reach her. She was lost to mental illness. I had no personal experience with mental illness so I did not recognize it when it came. I did not know the signs; she slipped away from me suddenly. Would I ever find her? I wasn’t sure. I search and searched, and finally, I did find her, but it took work. I had to be vigilant. I had to hold on tight and for a while, it seemed that we beat back the darkness. And all was good.

Several months ago it returned. This time so severe, so all encompassing it took my breath away. This time Emma is truly lost. Not just for hours or days or even weeks. It is months that this harbinger of evil has stayed. The sweet girl who loves music and running is someone I do not know. Someone I do not like. I can find nary a trace of my girl. I look for her everyday. I have spent countless hours looking, hoping, and praying to no avail. She is lost and this time I fear the worst that I will not find her. Ever.


It seems hopeless. Not only have I lost Emma but now, it seems, I too am lost. Perhaps, one day soon I will spy my girl on the distant horizon and shine a light so she can find her way home. Till then, each day I will search and call her name in the hope that she will find me.


17 thoughts on “Lost

  1. My heart breaks with your. While I can’t really know your pain, know I cry for the beautiful little girl I watched grow up and the mom who loves her with all she is. I believe in miracles and will continue to ask a loving God for one more for you and Emma, my friend.

  2. Cyndee, I love both of you and cried as I read this. You are the best mom Emma could ever hope for and i know how much she loves you. I pray that Emma comes back to you soon. Please let me know how she is doing and know that both of you are in my prayers!

  3. Tears and tears and more tears stream down my face as I read this. I think I know hurt and pain. But when I read this I realize how little I truly know it. As a mother this breaks my heart, as a friend it makes me angry for you but as a believer I am hopeful. I am hopeful she will have peace and you will to. I love you Cyndee. Always.

  4. Emma has always had a very special place in my heart! She had me wrapped around her sweet little finger when she walked into school that day. My heart is breaking for both of you because I know what a wonderful mother you are. I will be praying for you both!

  5. Cyndee,

    I am praying for you and Emma. I watched you go through some tough times and enjoy some some wonderful times. You are a great mother! Keep holding onto faith. God works in his own time.

  6. Dearest Cyndee, I have so many tears for you and beautiful Emma. I can not even find words to describe how I am feeling for you. I do know that you are the best Mother I have ever known. You are also a woman of tremendous faith and wisdom. I know it is your faith that has carried you this far with Emma. My love and prayers are with you.

  7. Cyndee, words cannot express how sorry I am for you and Emma. Please know that I will keep you both in my prayers. Doreen

  8. Dear Cyndee,
    I’ve known things have been bad for some time and while I can never truly understand the pain that you are going through I can continue to lift you and Emma up in prayer. I offer you my love and my support, my shoulder to cry on and my ears to listen to all the emotions you encounter on your journey with Emma. It took such courage to share those honest emotions in your post and I pray that you will allow your “village” of friends and family, as well as your faith, to help you through whatever lies ahead.

  9. Cindy, A compelling read and I’m sorry you are going through this. Would you mind if I forwarded this to some very close friends of mine that have an autistic son? Perhaps you can both benefit from getting to know them and the forming of this relationship. They have been very involved and instrumental in autism research and care. Warm regards, Michael

    Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2015 18:39:22 +0000 To: michaelmirabella@hotmail.com

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