An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

When the Government says, “No!”

Hidden post #1
Originally written: 9/28/2013

As I sit out here watching the sun rise as my son, David, dances around in pure uninhibited joy in a way only the truly young at heart can do, my heart is lightened for a moment.  A feeling much appreciated after carrying the burdens that have been heaped on so mercilessly over the past week and a half.

As some of you may have noticed, for the first time since I started this journey to get David a service dog and to help the Autism community as best as I could in the process, I have become suddenly silent on all the DogForDavid media outlets and activities.  To all my readers, followers, facebook fans, and others, I truly apologize for doing this without any explanation or warning.  I wasn’t given much of a choice.

I am choosing to speak up now in an attempt to shed some light.  At first, I thought I should go into all the details of the current battles I have found myself in just to keep our home and my right to have a public voice and a blog as well as my right to do what I can to help my son get the help he so desperately needs.  I have faced many challenges in my life, but never have I faced one with so much at stake.  Since coming out here with my son though, at his excited squeals of delight in seeing the sunrise, I have since changed my mind.

I am sitting here soaking in the site of his pure joy and innocence on display as he dances around, flaps his hands, runs on his tip toes, and tells the setting moon all about his adventures while getting distracted by the birds flying by or the new colors the rising sun shoots across the sky.  As I watch him, I am reminded of my purpose here and the message and voice I want to have and be known for.  Even though there are a lot of negative things that could fill a blog based on a life with Autism, I have always strived to be a glimmer of hope against it all.  While not shying away from the truth of the struggles, I have tried hard to shine as much light as I could on the silver linings and the small joys that can create a sparkle effect through out this life if given the chance to do so.  Do I really want to change all that with a post that focused on the exact opposite?  No matter how prevalent they may be, I never want this to be a place where the struggles and hardships have a bigger voice than the one that calls out for hope and reminds us all to hang on and keep looking for the positive no matter how hard it may be to find.

Today I write you all with a heavy heart while facing an uncertain future.  Local government authorities have taken action to try and shut DogForDavid, and all that we do here and stand for, down.  They have threatened me to stay silent on top of it all, which I heeded until I was informed they couldn’t legally follow through with their gag order threats until they officially serve me documents stating that I am under one which has yet to be done.  My family and I have been served an eviction notice though as well as orders to stop all fundraising and event activity with DogForDavid.  The accusations filed against me to allow them to do this, are false and based solely on misguided and unfounded assumptions.  All the same, the burden of proving my innocence has been placed on my shoulders and with a very short time frame that has almost run out.  I have done my best to seek professional help to fight this, and will continue to do so until this is either solved, or I no longer have the option to do so.

My family is facing losing everything here and being forced to move into our car and drive to a place none of us has ever been to, to try and start a new life if this battle we are facing can’t be solved quickly.  Thanks to the kindness of a friend and her family, we will have shelter waiting for us, but it will be a long drive to get there.  We will also have some help in navigating services and resources to get us back on our feet, but how long that will take, I don’t have an answer to.  For the sake of my friend and her family, and for that of my boys and I as well to be honest, I hope it doesn’t take long.  I have never been one that found it easy to need help and support at this level as I can’t help but think of the sacrifices being made to provide it.  As for my boys, this whole thing will be frightening to them at best… they don’t have the cognitive ability to even begin to understand what they are about to be facing and will need some form of stability placed back into their lives as soon as possible to help them overcome all the changes.

As for DogForDavid though, and our awareness projects, fundraisers, and even this blog… I don’t know what the future holds.  I may or may not be able to regain the freedom and rights to be here again and carry on.  I promise to do my best though.  In the meantime, I want to ask something of you all in case we don’t get to “see” each other again in the near future…

Be heard.  Stand up for what you believe in and for those you love and care about.  Be a light for those stuck in darkness.  Be a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.  Be a comfort for those who are struggling and need a friend.  Fight hatred and judgment with firm but compassionate hearts and a drive for more awareness and better understanding.  Don’t let the bullies win.  Don’t let the majority silence the minority.  Don’t hide your convictions, beliefs, morals, or feelings when society starts screaming they don’t want to hear them.  And please don’t be one that tries to silence others either.  We don’t have to all agree on everything in order to pursue a brighter future together.

Whatever your cause may be, whether it’s autism based or not, please speak up and stand strong, but also always remember to stay open enough to hear others out.  You never know when you may be presented with the chance to learn something new or see something in a different light. : )

And on that note, I bid you all goodbye.  Hopefully only a temporary one though.  Please know my heart will always be with you all and that I will always treasure the time and experiences I have been blessed to share both with you and along side you.  May God bless you and your families, and may you always be able to find the silver linings in life and reasons to keep smiling no matter how gray the skies may get overhead.

With a heavy but sincere heart,
Cindi Hartley
(DogForDavid writer and David’s mom)

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4 Comments

  1. Oh; I see now. I’m so sorry to hear this. We’ll keep it all in prayer.

  2. Cindi,

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Trust that God has a plan and lean into it. He will protect you and your family. That is my prayer.

    • thank-you so much. I both appreciate and needed this encouragement

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