Why I left Subway in Tears

Today while I was waiting in line at Subway I realized the guy in front of me was the same Target employee who had irritated me 20 minutes ago. I had walked by him looking for something with a clear ” I can’t find what I am looking for” face and all he did was look away and moved to the side so I could pass. I thought “thanks for the help” and went about my business. Little did I know that in twenty minutes I would walk out of Subway with eyes full of tears because of this man. Not because he hurt me but because after he paid he walked way from the register without his food. I asked the cashier if he forgot it to which she kindly said ” no, he has a routine he does.” It hit me fast and hard, he was Autistic . As I handed him his food I felt the tears welling up. This is one of the hardest parts of having a child with Autism is that you never know when an ordinary, everyday event is going to rock your world.

The first reason I was crying was because we don’t know many people with autism (children or adults) so we really have no idea what Blaze will be like in the future and that is scary. More scary than I could ever explain. So when I see an Autistic person that is older than Blaze it is emotionally overwhelming because it conjures up fears and realities that we have not yet had to realize. My head is not in the sand about what his future may hold but it is definitely easier to just take it day by day. It is the only way it is manageable.

The second reason I was crying was because of what I had thought about this man only 20 minutes before. I just assumed he was rude. I am embarrassed and ashamed that I misjudged him so badly. This is exactly what I fear other people will do to my baby. I never want the world to be cruel to Blaze and I hope and pray everyday that he is accepted and loved. So it really bothers me when I am the one who is casting judgement in the wrong direction. I guess God and I still have some work to do on me.

I am sharing this story as a reminder to all of us (including myself)not to be quick to judge and to be kind to people…even those that seem strange. You never know why they are acting the way they are and in a world where 1 in 68 children is being diagnosed with Autism you are bound to see people with odd behaviors.

Be kind, don’t judge.

6 thoughts on “Why I left Subway in Tears

  1. Crm

    Soo true.. We must be understanding. It reminds me so much of an experience my family and I had while living in Midland when we were traveling to Dallas. We stopped in a Subway in a small town and were starving. There was only one person at the counter and there was a line.. People were waiting and some were becoming anxious with this individual because although he had all in order and everything was ready for service, he was adament about following his routine and could not serve until a certain time while looking patiently at the clock.. many left in dismay and upset, but my husband and I tried to see beyond that and how although he may have had a strict regimine in following orders, he was very precise making our sandwiches perfectly.. our children help us see the beauty held within others and what may seem as annoyance and inattentiveness in reality may be their definition of perfectly imperfect.

    • Laura

      C-
      You are a wise woman. Hugs to you and your family!

  2. Michelle J

    This is my favorite post on your blog!!! It seriously has me choked up. It may not have been your intention, but your story makes me feel so proud of the man. He is working and contributing. He may be doing it a bit differently than most, but that’s ok. The best part is that HE MADE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE. We don’t all have the opportunity to do that for others. Blaze makes a positive difference in people’s lives too; he will continue to.

  3. I found your article on Ellen Stumbo’s blog. Ellen kindly interviewed me on her blog as well. You remind me of myself many years ago struggling to care for my son who had cerebral palsy. The disabilities may be different but the frustrations are the same.

    You may find it helpful to read my book I wrote about the years I spent caring for my son. I was very open with my feeling in the book and carefully e pressed all my frustrayptions, guilt, love, devotion and how I learned to advocate for my son’s needs.

    I wrote the book to help young mothers like you who are struggling with many emotions. I feel there is a strong need to hear from a mother who has advocated for 28 years.
    Our Special Child: Jason’s Story available on my website http://www.scrapperjudedesigns.com

    • Laura

      Thank you so much Judith! You are a brave momma! God bless!

  4. This is such a great reminder. There are so many times when I get irritated and cast judgement too quickly. Sometimes we lose sight of the big picture. Everyone exists in the way they do for a reason and if we look past the surface we realize there’s more to the story than what’s in front of us.

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