Recently I had the immense privilege and honor to listen to the beautiful and heartbreaking song written in memory of Avonte Oquendo, by his uncle, Rocopera. Even over the telephone, it was apparent that the love he has for this child is immeasurable. The pain of this loss will never be healed.
“This song comes from a broken heart”
His heart IS broken – all of our hearts are broken. What happened to this beautiful child should never have happened. What happened is every parents’ nightmare. Those of us that have children with special needs know this fear all too well. We know that simple things like just putting your child on a school bus and sending him off to school can be terrifying. They are not with us, we are not in control, we are not there to protect and take care of them. As the mother of an adult child with autism, I know this fear. I live this fear. – We all live this fear.
Avonte’s disappearance drove that fear home for all of us. Avonte’s story is not something that happened to one boy or one family in New York – it happened to all of us in the Autism Community. A tragedy like this can happen anywhere – and it does happen everywhere.
“Never Will Forget You – A Tribute to Avonte Oquendo” was written not only as a memorial to the nephew he loved so deeply, but as a vehicle to raise awareness about Autism in general. Rocopera has spent the better part of his adult life advocating for/with the Autism community. His own son is on the Autism Spectrum.
In an effort to work through his pain, Rocopera has been spending much of his time writing and producing “Never Forget You”. He is also tirelessly working on and producing a documentary chronicling the events of that horrific 3 1/2 months. A memorial at the site is in the planning stages, pending the approval of Mayor De Blasio. Rockopera needs to raise awareness, he needs to know that Avonte will never be forgotten.
In an earlier post, I wrote:
As it has been said, Avonte, brought an entire city together. His disappearance brought an often, very separated Autism community together. It cast a spotlight on the problem of wandering/elopement of Autistic children and adults. He has raised awareness to the issues that many families face in trying to keep their children safe. Our children should be safe, at all costs…………. Avonte should have been safe in school.
- Avonte Oquendo should be memorialized, in any and every way possible.
“Never Will Forget You – A Tribute to Avonte Oquendo” will be released on iTunes 5 days before the October 4th anniversary of his disappearance, with all of the proceeds to be donated to credible Autism charities.
We will be posting more information about all of these projects in the weeks to come, but in the meantime, please help us spread the word about the release of this beautifully written and performed, tribute to Avonte.
I promise you that once you hear “Never Will Forget You”, you will never forget this haunting and so very moving song……………
……………………..as we will never forget Avonte.
DC and I were driving to the store this past weekend. He had the Peter Pan CD that he had checked out of the library a few days earlier. Like many of the books he borrows each week, he already owns this CD, but still he must check it out from the library. The “library” CD’s are to be listened to in the car only – this is one of those “official DC rules” that he makes up in his head. I’m sure there are very good reasons for the rules he comes up with, but I really don’t know what these reasons are or where these rules come from, but he follows them to the letter – always.
DC has every version of Peter Pan imaginable. He has the old black and white Mary Martin version, the Cathy Rigby version, the Disney version, the non-animated version that came out a few years ago (maybe more – I have no sense of time anymore), Finding Neverland, the sequels to the Disney version and Hook. He has copies of the soundtracks to all of them as well. The only Peter Pan themed movie he would never watch was Hook. I do not know why but he refused to watch it. It happens to be my favorite version of Peter Pan so I really tried for years to get him to watch it. I’ve had watch Peter Pan for more than 20 years, and at times it would have been nice to watch the version I enjoy.
Obviously this was not one of “DC’s rules”.
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This Post from April: “Conversations” http://www.bloggymoms.com/profiles/blogs/conversations-from-the-archives-april-2014#.U_Dgnbd0wdU
was just featured on “The Occupy Consulting Daily”
“All children with Autism love stickers”
—- DC hates stickers! Hates them, but still people insist on giving him stickers, mailing him stickers and putting stickers on him! In the past, anytime we were at an event where a sticker was required, I always had to place it on the back of his shirt – he just could not stand it on the front (he wasn’t thrilled about having it on his back either, but he could tolerate it a little bit more there). Even now that he can tolerate a sticker on his shirt, I will hear about it the entire time it is there and he removes it the second we leave the event.
“All children with Autism love Legos”
—- DC hates Legos! Hates them, but still people insist on giving him Legos (not as much lately, but definitely when he was younger)
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