Niagara Gazette —
He smiled at me. I thought he understood. Then the train left without us.
Zachary’s wail drowned out the train whistle, his agony misunderstood by anyone but Joe and I. I resorted to sign language, because at this point I knew words meant nothing. I assured him the train would come back for him. I promised everything would be okay, knowing in his world nothing was okay. When Zachary threw himself to the asphalt, Joe cradled him in his arms, protecting him. Our little boy thrashed, scratched, and keened like a wounded animal, but nothing compared to the utter sadness in his eyes.
My heart skittered into helplessness.
“I can help!”
Was I hearing voices? A red-haired woman bounded through the sea of frowning faces. “My son is autistic too.” She thrust a laminated card in my hand. “Show him this.”
Stunned, I did as she said.
His screams stopped so quickly, the murmurs from the crowd stilled. A breeze blew wisps of hair into his eyes, but he remained fixated on the four black letters on the yellow card. WAIT. Next to it, a stick figure sat in a chair… waiting.
I looked for the woman’s wings.
I wanted to say, “You’re an angel.” I wanted to thank her for rescuing my son from his hell, yet I couldn’t compose a complete thought.
Her red curls bounced as she spoke. “They’re visual little guys, so this works great with our kids.” Angel Lisa touched my arm.
Our kids. My throat closed with emotion. Mere words couldn’t convey my gratitude and I felt adrift until I read the understanding in her eyes, bathing me in the light of hope.
All it took was an understanding angel to turn tragedy back into the adventure we sought for our son.