Have you ever had to do something for someone you loved that you never imagined? Going out of your way and exhausting every option, draining yourself physically and emotionally? Stopping only for a second at a time to think about your actions and if they will ever really make a difference? Doubting that what you’re doing is right? I had the honor of meeting a man who has: Rupert Isaacson, the UK-born, now Texas resident behind the upcoming PBS documentary The Horse Boy – A Memoir of Healing based on Isaacson’s book of the same title.
Isaacson’s story is intense. It gives outsiders an inside look on Isaacson and his wife’s struggle to cope with his son Rowan’s autism, and seeking treatment for it. When he sees his son connecting with a neighbor’s horse, it sparks an idea: “What if I take him to a place where horses and healing come together?”
In asking him some of the obvious questions like What did your wife say? How did Rowan feel? What did you expect? , we learned that the answer was also obvious yet universal: “It’s all about love, and you’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do.”
So this man, his wife and child traveled halfway around the world (to Mongolia) for some healing and did it with faith and love. During their travels, they experienced rough times, conquered long journeys and most importantly stuck together and made it through. They accomplished what they set out to do.
But I couldn’t help but wonder how others in MY community can seek this healing in faraway lands. In other words, we just can’t up and go. Lack of funds is the primary reason, but an important and real reason. So I asked him, “What about us? There are many young children here with autism and other disabilities that we just can’t treat. Nothing seems to work and parents and caregivers are running out of hope. What can we do?”
Without hesitation, Isaacson, 43, said: “There seems to be a medical and spiritual dilemma in these times. Everyone has their own relationship with who ever or whatever it is that they believe in, and I believe that God takes care of God’s self, so one has immediate access to Him at all times.” After all, he implied, we are reflections of Him.”
So, are you saying they should seek God? ” I asked.”
Well, if God is who they believe in, they should. But what I’m saying is you don’t have to travel physically to go on a journey.”
Pointing to our many brownstones surrounding Von King Park Cultural Arts Center where the screening and Q&A took place, earlier this week he said: ” You don’t have to travel across the world, you can do it in your living room, your own space, and STILL make a difference.” Tammy McKnight, Deputy Manager of Von King Park and one of the event coordinators agreed, revealing to us that there are special needs people who work at the park, and feel at home there because they feel they are part of the family, and have something to give. I learned that Rupert, a serious tree hugger who walked down Throop Avenue to pass the time between screening sessions, and identified every plant he passed, spent a lot of his youth on Navajo Reservations. He loves nature and eco-tone subtropical environments. As an example of how we can start the process of healing where we are, he indicated that the park’s grass and trees where the interview took place, offered a perfect natural setting. The book is out in stores now and the film will be airing sometime in May 2010 on PBS. Remember, it’s all about love! (Jessica Medina, also known as Lyric Marie, is a junior reporter/writer and editorial assistant for Our Time Press. She comes to us from the Vannguard Young Adult Internship Program.) By Jessica Medina (Lyric Marie)