A Fairytale Ending: Christ and Aspergers!

marlonandme

I am overwhelmed, overjoyed, touched and blessed to have so many messages in my inbox sharing your own personal stories. Some of you have shared your loss as well- some to Cancer, some to accidents, some to addiction, others to infidelity, and some women remain married, but feel abandoned. The common thread in all of our stories is that we have lost our significant other.

If I am going to honestly share finding inner-peace, I have to be completely transparent, so I am going to get out of my comfort zone right about now.

I can’t remember the first time I met John-Marlon – let’s just say I kind of knew him forever, but we never said more than a casual hello. The first time we officially spoke, I offered him a drink at a bar because I always witnessed him buying everyone else drinks- I thought he deserved someone to do the same for him. He was alarmed that I bought him a drink, but he was even more shocked to know that I didn’t drink alcohol.

Within a few weeks we were dating, and within the first 6 months I was showered with amazing gifts, a jet-ski, several vacations, a car, and even my credit cards were paid off. Oh yeah, and since he had a furniture store he delivered new mattresses to everyone in my house. I had a well paying job and was quite independent, but any typical 22 year old would be flattered to be pampered this way.

John-Marlon’s passion was not specific to me- his passion oozed out of his pores – he loved to please people in general; everyone and anyone that knew him would be bitten by the FUN bug. John-Marlon loved for others to share in his zest for life, and at the beginning of our relationship that was all good- but not nearly as much fun after we had our first born, Marken. Marken had developmental disabilities and eventually was diagnosed with Autism. After many years of intervention – and continued support, Marken has developed beautifully and today he is like any other typical 12 year old…except smarter:)

As we had our second and third child, I became more and more focused on structure and finances, and John-Marlon’s obsessions, interests and toys grew bigger and bigger by the year. When things spiraled so much
out of control, I demanded he see a neuro-psychologist because I needed my suspicion confirmed. After six hours of being evaluated, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s just like our son. Yep, my suspicions were spot on. I’ll discuss adult Asperger’s more on a future blog.

Once he knew he had Asperger’s, our marriage began to crumble super-fast because he now felt that he had a free pass to give into his obsessions and impulses whenever and wherever. At this point in our marriage I think he went to the gym 6x a week, played basketball 3x a week, did every extreme sport imaginable, and even did some golfing and fishing. He hung out with everyone and anyone that would call him. As if friends and random people calling him to hang out were not enough entertainment, John-Marlon would later confess that on nights he didn’t have plans, he would literally grab his phone and scroll down his contact list and text and call people one by one and find someone that was willing and open to join him on any given adventure. It makes no sense…I know; unless you understand the very complex world of living with someone with Aspergers.

These were the most awful years of our marriage (post diagnosis), but I drove him to get the diagnosis, and then did not provide him with the tools to manage, understand and overcome. He was devastated and lost. I was not a pillar of support post diagnosis. I had more of an “I told you so” attitude. It was mean and unacceptable.

After a few months of this madness, I fell into a terrible depression, demanded a divorce and we managed not to speak for most of 2011; for 4 months he completely shut down – it was almost as if I was non-existent in his life. I also started packing on those dreaded miserable wife pounds. I am a hot blooded Latina, and when I expressed that I wanted a divorce, I didn’t just say it and yell it, I gestured it and said things are that probably illegal in 40 states. I was a woman scorned and enraged and my tongue was venomous and lethal. Eventually those very luscious lips that he desired, were the very cause for him to completely shut me out of his life and reject altogether.

Through this period we still managed to co-parent successfully. John-Marlon was an amazing father; I don’t think there is one thing he did not do with his children. He was even Mr. Mom for many months when I worked a crazy shift. We were so good at pretending to be a couple that we even faked our happiness at a few events we attended; I recall one event in particular where I was the key-note speaker at a fundraiser (see picture); this fundraiser managed to raise over $500k that night – so we had to do a lot smiling and posing that evening. We faked it till we made it. It was clear that we had to part ways, but he refused to leave our family..even though I kicked him out at least a dozen times. He preferred to live as roommates then to walk away from his children.

Eventually we had a God intervention that came in the form of good friends. We were blessed to reconcile thanks to his childhood friend and a mutual male friend who stepped in and made our potential break up their business. Both of those good men spoke at my husband’s memorial/celebration. They were true friends to the very end of his life.

As we slowly began to open our hearts to one another, we were struck with the biggest tragedy of our lives – Cancer made it’s grand entrance – it transformed us forever.

When John-Marlon was first diagnosed with Cancer there was bitterness, anger, confusion on his part; and on my part I was arrogant and confident that he would beat it. In my head I assumed he would beat it because…hello – we were in love again! Would God take away my husband now after all that we have been through?

John-Marlon fought Cancer for a little over 18 months. It was a rollercoaster ride to say the least, but I will spare those details for a future blog. I would like to focus on the last 3 months of his life which represent the greatest gift of clarity that God could have provided for the two of us.

During this period John-Marlon and I both gave our hearts to Jesus Christ. What the heck does that mean? I know, I know. A year ago, I would of perceived someone that said this to be a crazy Jesus lover who was full of tremendous guilt. How blind, how innocent, how sad of me. I was an empty shell living in negativity; I wanted change but didn’t know how to get out – I was trapped. My life was in such complete chaos and turmoil – that I had no choice but to surrender. It was a gift that I learned then and continue to apply to my life now.

Giving our hearts to Jesus Christ meant surrendering and putting our faith first regardless of our circumstance. The closer John-Marlon and I grew closer to Jesus and our faith, the closer we grew to each other. In the last 3 months of John-Marlon’s life, he emerged as my soul-mate, and I was his. We were best friends. He told me his inner most darkest secrets, he shared the good, the bad, the ugly and the uglier. One night in particular, we spoke for 8 hours straight; we were interrupted by the alarm set for my 6am wake-up. He ended the conversation that morning by sharing that he wouldn’t change his journey, as this journey led him to find himself. “I love who I am, and I know who I am” he said as his lips quivered with joy and his eyes sparkled as they filled with tears. I knew exactly what he meant – as I too had changed – and I also loved the new and improved me. We both had peace beyond understanding.

The days prior to his passing, he assured me, the Pastor and his dear friends that he was ready to be with Jesus. He smiled the biggest smile whenever he mentioned his upcoming visit to Heaven. As I held his hand, John-Marlon took his last breath on May 7th. On that day, I lost two people that were dear to me. I lost the guy that swept me off my feet with adventures, love, affection, and passion – he was the guy who that taught me how to live in the moment and live with purpose. On that very day, I also lost my soul-mate, the man I fell madly in love with on a spiritual level that I had met just 3 months prior. He was honest, humble, emotionally connected and present!

There were many nights in April that we cried together..and we both hoped for more time and we prayed for God to provide us with his cure and healing, but we were at peace with whatever God’s decision was. We knew that what we had obtained…not even the happiest of couples could experience the love and the miracle that had happened between us. Marlon took many moments to share and apologize for not being the husband I deserved for many years of our marriage. He was enlightened enough to understand that his disability prohibited him from communicating effectively in our marriage, and he clearly saw that his obsessions and his impulsive tendencies were quite extreme. Aspergers definitely played the starring role in our marriage during the rocky years.

I too could have been a better wife for many of those years, but nevertheless there are no regrets. I am the woman I am today because of my experiences. I am honored and blessed that God chose to me to travel this road with him. God strategically placed us together so that we could live our most fulfilled life through lessons that will transcend far beyond the two of us – and be shared, just as I am doing now.

John-Marlon was so selfless and beautiful – he reminded me that I must move on and continue my life. He said he wanted me to remarry and be treated in the most exceptional way. Tears streamed down his face when he shared how he expected a man to treat our children in the future. He cried and simultaneously smiled when he thought of all the time we lost as we allowed the chaos and noise of the world around us to interrupt the bonding that could have been. Yes, we had tons of fun and yes we were madly in love with each other for our 15 years together, but pride and the absence of Christ in our hearts made many of those years unnecessarily painful.

In the end, John-Marlon and I agreed that this is the way our story was meant to end. We had a fairytale ending as far as I’m concerned…I fell in love twice with the man I married. I have no doubt we shall meet
again and continue right where we left off.

I wouldn’t change my journey for the world.

I am who I am because of it! Every single little bit of it!

33 Responses to “A Fairytale Ending: Christ and Aspergers!

  • In tears boobie. In love w ith the reality, the love story of you and Marlon. God bless your unity.

  • just beautiful!! xoxo

  • Wow…. this is so beautiful… I am humbled just by knowing I was able to help keep your love strong for each other. Thanks for sharing Kenia. 😉

  • Your authentic giving and graceful strength is both inspiring and inspired.
    God Bless you and your family.

  • Amazing insight to your life. Tears in my eyes. I love reading your story. I feel like I learn a life lesson every time I read your post.

  • Our experiences guide us but our decisions make us who we are. And clearly you have chosen to be a strong powerful woman for yourself and those around you. As so much courage to share your story with everyone. Much love and support Kenia!

  • Love you…

  • You are an amazing woman!

  • Hello Kenia, I’m a Newton Highschool graduate who recalls seeing you. Through Kathy Corona I’ve benen following your loss, passion of life but mostly your inner beauty. May God Bless you and your children. Through your loss your followers (including me) are gaining the strength, faith and understanding of God’s individual journey for his children. I look forward to reading your post. Thank you for being an angel on earth.

  • You never cease to surprise me. What a beautiful love story, passionate, heart wrenching, and most of all real. Thank you for sharing all that is you. I will not get tired of saying how honored I am to have you in my life. Love you.

  • Wow I literally open FB straight top your words of wisdom. I am in tears all the time joyful and sad ones. Kenia you are truly an inspiration. I have been with my partner for 21 years (not married) and have been through ALOT. Sometimes I feel like giving up but YOU and YOUR beautiful life story has made me fall in love all over again and know that not everthing is perfect, but to love and appreciate what I have for it might be gone in a snap. THANK YOU!!!!

  • Beautiful …… Speechless ….your amazing great woman wife and mother god bless you

  • I love how you write. It’s from the heart and your journey touches our hearts. We all have a story, a struggle, a journey. It’s nice to know that we all share a bond. We all share the journey of discovering ourselves and those who we love dear. How beautiful to find peace at the end. God bless you.

  • With tears in my eyes, I’m loving this. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

  • Dearest kenia…from the beginnin, the first time i read one of your post, I felt you. I know the pain you are going thru cuz i live it everyday, everyday, its been so long almost 19 year since i lost my son MarcAnthony to sids! And there are times still that i can’t fuction…it knocks me down and beats me…and all i do is cried, it isn’t often, cuz i too pray, i too accepted GOD in my heart, and he helps me. After his death i was so afraid to get pregnant again but six years later, i did i was blessed with twins, a boy and a girl and now i have two more, they are my happines, my light, my everything. My marriage wasn’t strong enough to survive his death, we lasted 14yrs and then we got divorced. It isn’t a regret but i wish i had not giving up, i wish we could of fought harder….we had so much anger,hurt,resentment….we been divorced for 4 yrs and my last pride and joy its with my new relationship….my life isn’t easy, but i thank my LORD everyday, cuz good or bad, i grow, it makes me stronger and it teaches me to be and do better….thankz for sharing ur beautiful story and i now share a lil bit with you.

  • God bless you prima! Thank you for being you–an amazing courageous, unstoppable, and humble woman. Love you!

  • Beautiful it’s people like you that keep people like me going in struggles to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel you just need to keep moving forward towards it 🙂 Love ya.

  • You are amazing!!!! thank you for sharing your story<3 xoxo

  • Kenia, I don’t know you or your children but I know this… we go to the same church where the love of God just come pouring out. I am a dear friend of Josephine Bogensberger. You may know me by sight. I am the Chinese woman with CP. I am happy you (and your children) are where you’re supposed to be… with one another in fellowship through our love of God. God bless!

  • Wow!!!! What a powerful story Kenia. I’m speechless. Thank you for sharing your life story with us.

  • Amazing story and I love your story.

  • Thank you Kenia for sharing your love story.

  • The blessing we receive when we open our hearts to our Savior Jesus are amazing. I am so happy that you and Marlon were able to rekindle the love that you had in your hearts! Fairy tales do come true!! Xoxox

  • You are an amazing woman…Thank you for sharing. Love you!

  • you remind me that in life, we are meant to endure amazing and unexplainable things… but it is how we get through them that counts. Your soulmate is super proud I am sure!

  • You are so brave to share such private moments. I am happy you and Marlon rediscovered your love so you both can be at peace.

  • Kenia…. Thank you for sharing your story! You have an amazing gift of writing. I could say so much more but just know that your story touched my life as I’m sure it has touched others. God Bless You Kenia

  • This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  • Kenia, I remember you from Newtown, but we were never friends. I have been looking at your post through mutual friends and I must say you are truly an inspiration. I am in tears reading your words and hope one day I could just a little bit of the love you shared with your husband. I look forward to all your post. They truly help me see life in a new light.

  • Beautiful love story. Thank you for sharing. Xo

  • Kenia, I’ve benen following your loss, passion for life and admire your strength and enthusiasm. God Bless you and your family. It is not the first time I tell you that you are a true inspiration for many people (me included) I am glad we met and I look forward to reading your post. Sometimes I feel I hold sooo much that just by reading your post you gave me some type of freedom. God bless you amiga!

  • Im in tears! Amazing Story. Thanks for Sharing. I can relate with you on many many things you have been thru.

  • Your story is so inspiring, may God bless you and your children. You will be fine because your husband will always be at your side he is your gurdian angel. and like you said, this is the way it was ment to be. I wish you the best , your courage and strength is “SIMPLEMENTE ADMIRABLE”.

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