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Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Handful of Hope

Chicken Soup for the Soul continues its exclusive showcase for SheKnows with book excerpts from their latest and greatest in the iconic book series. SheKnows presents: A Handful of Hope from the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Mothers.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devolutional Stories for Mothers

Pam Mytroen is the latest to have an inspirational tale published as her A Handful of Hope is our newest exclusive from the new Chicken Soup book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Mothers.

Enjoy our latest dose of encouragement from the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series, a story that for many will hit close to home.

A Handful of Hope

[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Corinthians 13:7

“Goodbye, Trevor,” I said to my nine-year-old son as he trudged through the snowy yard on his way to school. But, as usual, he didn’t turn around or acknowledge my words. He had just been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), which explained his lack of expression and communication. But it left us with more questions, more pain, and more worry for the future. Since the age of three, he had almost completely stopped talking. He wouldn’t even look at me and smile.

Everything had to be the same every day, including his black mittens. No other pair would do. But this morning I couldn’t find his black mittens, so he had to wear a spare pair. He had become angry with me and slammed the door.

I watched his little blond head bob up and down behind the fence as he continued walking to school, gesturing with his hands. He talks to himself all the time. If only he would share a story or two with me, I thought, as I left the window and returned to finish the breakfast dishes.

Tears dropped onto the table as I wiped the spot where Trevor sat each morning for breakfast. He routinely blurted out inappropriate messages to his cereal, but I was merely the invisible robot that served him.

“Goodnight, I love you,” was only a rote saying that he recited each night at bedtime after he brushed his teeth and put on his pajamas.

A knock at the door interrupted my sullen thoughts. I wiped the tears from my face and wondered who could be here so early.

When I opened the door, Trevor stood trembling on the doorstep.

“Trevor! What’s wrong? Did you forget your books?”

He didn’t answer. He stepped in and looked up at me. His cheeks were a rosy pink from the cool February day.

“Mommy,” he began.

I held my breath. For several years, he hadn’t looked me straight in the eye or called me by name.

“Yes?” I whispered. I slowly lowered to my knees to be at his eye level. If I moved too quickly, I would shatter this fragile moment.

His bright blue eyes grew shiny, and a tear slipped down his round cheeks.

“Mommy, I’m sorry,” he said.

He only spoke three simple words, but his soul had opened. He had talked to me from his heart. He showed emotion.

Then his face hardened, and he turned and ran. The moment was over. Iron bars separated my heart and his once again.

I stayed in that spot on the floor and pressed a handful of hope to my heart. It was like a door had opened for the first time, and he had pulled me through it into his world.

It didn’t happen again for a long time, but I always knew it would. I knew that Trevor was in there. I knew he would come out again. That moment sustained me for years.

Sometimes, he smiles so brightly that the chains of autism rattle their retreat for a few moments, and we connect.

All it took was three words, a tear, and his round blue eyes looking into mine. And I will always be grateful to God for giving me this little spark of hope.

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