I WILL live to the age of 115.
Being 30 years older than my 17 year old daughter, who has a more complicated presentation of autism, has given the mindset that 115 is a reasonable number.
There is autism video presentation where one parent says something to the effect of "I have to live forever, I cannot die"; perhaps Autism Speaks material. The truth is, many caregivers of those within the autism spectrum feel this way.
Knowing that in this life immortality is not attainable, the longevity goal seems divine in scope; the often meditated package deal arrangement with God, reasonable. Please let me live as long as she is living...
Why all this talk of longevity?
The chapter in Clara Claiborne Park's life has come to a close at 86. The author of The Siege, painted the pages with her artful and heartfelt descriptions of living in her daughter's most compelling experiences with autism. The work was published in 1967, and became extremely important for both families and professionals.
From a NY Times article by Dennis Hevisi: The second edition of “The Siege” says, “I write now what 15 years past I would still not have thought possible to write: that if today I were given the choice to accept the experience, with everything that it entails, or to refuse the bitter largesse, I would have to stretch out my hands — because out of it has come, for all of us, an unimagined life.”
Longevity may not be mine for the taking. Perhaps my day at a time experience needs to be lived more on purpose. Clara Claiborne Park fit so much purpose into her day by day experiences, leaving many with so much to take from her extraordinary life...even if she didn't to live to be 115. My appreciation to her and her family, and farewell to one so remarkable.