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“What Will Happen to my Son When I’m Gone,” part 2 by Sherri R. Tucker

Sherri Tucker

Sherri R. Tucker

President and Cofounder of the Lee’s Summit Autism Support Group

Cofounder of Missouri Advocates for Families Affected By Autism (MOAFAA)
I recently wrote an article about what will happen to my son after I am gone. I would like to
follow up that article.

I need to start by telling you that I have three amazing children. I have identical twin daughters
that came into my life through adoption. I have a son that I gave birth to. They are all my
children. They just came into my life in different ways.
I have spent many years advocating for my son and for other families that face the same
dilemmas that my family faces. It has taken a good deal of my time and sometimes my family
had to pay for the price for my advocacy. In any household that can cause issues. In mine, it
caused some pain for my daughters.
 
You see, they were too young to understand why I needed to fight so much. What their young
hearts felt was that my son was more important because he was my biological child. It has taken
many years to heal that wound and for them to understand that it was not about love or biology.
One of my daughters was married on July 4, 2015. She finally found her prince. He is an
amazing man. He not only loves my daughter, but he loves her five year old daughter, too. He
also loves my son. He takes him to movies, he talks with him when he comes to visit, and he
treats him like he is his own brother.
 
For so many years I have worried about what will happen to my son when I am gone. So many
times my son has told me when I die he will find a way to end his life, too. He has never wanted
to live without his mom. That is not something a mom ever wants to hear. The reality is that he
should outlive me and I don’t want him to think that he can’t.
One day my son-in-law came over to the house and we were talking. He told me that when I die
he and my daughter were going to take my son in. I was shocked. My son-in-law went on to say
that he doesn’t care if Jake has SSI or a way to contribute to the household. He just wants to
make sure that Jake is taken care of and happy.
A burden was lifted from my shoulders that day. I could finally go to bed at night and know that
when I am gone that my son will be ok. I told my son and I saw a heavy weight lifted off of his
shoulders as well. He loves his brother-in-law and he finally knew that he would be ok after I
am gone.
There are still so many families out there that won’t have this option. Not every son-in-law or
daughter-in-law will be willing to take in their spouse’s autistic sibling. My story will have a
happy ending, but I still hurt for the families that don’t have a solution for their own familie

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