Saturday, January 12, 2008

Katie McCarron...

For 2 weeks, in July of 2006, I picked flowers every day for a little girl I never met, who at 3, died far too young, simply because she was autistic. It was the 2 weeks of Alex's "Autistic Celebration Run" and every day, as I accompanied Alex across Prince Edward Island on my bike, I picked flowers along the way for Katie and put them in a loop in my detachable handlebar bag.

Again these days my thoughts are with Katie. They are with her father and
grandparents who so adored her, with her sister....

Katie's mother, Karen McCarron, is currently on trial for Katie's murder.

Karen McCarron is charged with 4 counts, two of which are 1st degree murder.
She is also charged with obstructing justice, and concealing a homicide.

"I hated the autism so, so much," McCarron said.
... I just wanted autism out of my life."

Back in June 2006, Katie's grandfather, Mike McCarron, offered us the following insight into Katie's short life on Autism Vox's blog :
"I would like to say something about Katie. Some newspapers have reported that this was done to end Katie’s pain; let me assure you that “Katie was not in pain”. She was a beautiful, precious and happy little girl. Each day she was showered with love and returned that love with hugs, kisses and laughter. Katie loved music; she would fill in some of the words in children’s songs as my wife would sing along with the CD that would be playing, their own version of “karaoke” . She liked to dance, she loved to do the “hooky poky”. She loved being in among flowers and tall grass. She would say “I like grass”. She enjoyed the zoo and because of all of the drills and flashcards she could identify the animals. Which I thought was pretty amazing for such a young child. She was also the only little child in her non-autistic play group that could identify an octagon. My wife and son had a party for her the day they heard that from the teacher.

She enjoyed having her grandmother dress her in new little outfits and dresses, and I think this is important. We have four grand-daughters, my wife loves to buy them frilly little dresses. When my wife went into a store she would never ask for three normal dresses and one autistic dress. I think we need to be very sensitive to the special needs of these children but at the same time not be oblivious to the numerous typical traits that are also developing. Katie was first and foremost a little girl, she enjoyed people making a big fuss over how pretty she looked. My wife would take her to the beauty shop to have her hair trimmed. Katie enjoyed going to the mall and looking in all of the stores and windows. These are female things.

She went to special schools everyday, the staff at those schools cherished her. I can not say enough for the staff at Mariposa. They were so very much more than professional therapists, they adopted her and loved her deeply. Katie was so lucky to be with them everyday.

There is also another young lady in North Carolina who worked with Katie during non-school hours. The bond that she had with Katie was unbelievably deep. I am amazed that a single Mom working to raise a son by herself could find so much extra love. Maybe love is one of those special resources, the more you give the more is given back.

Katie loved the park, the swings, the slides and being outside. She played with her dolls and toys; she loved “teletubbies” and brought joy to all of those that had actual contact with her. Yes, she was autistic. Developmentally she was behind other children. But her small victories would create unbelievable joy for those who loved her. I can not describe the ecstasy of having her little arms around my neck or of watching her and my son roll around on the floor playing in shear happiness.

Each day I ask the Lord if I could take her place, and perhaps He could return Katie to the loving arms of my son and my wife. So far that prayer has not been granted. But in the meantime I can assure you that no one will describe her murder as “understandable” or devalue her in anyway without my personal challenge to them and the organizations they represent.

I must apologize for the length of this post, please know that I keep each of you in my prayers."

Katie's Memorial Grove

Trees For Life, Restoring the Caledonian Forest


Marla said...

Very beautiful post. What sweet pictures. I am so sad when I read her tragic story. I can not even imagine. How wonderful that you were able to give flowers.

Neurodivergent K said...

Beautifully written. Such a senseless loss...such a beautiful child who deserved to be cherished.

The 2nd link is now rather than .com.

Casdok said...

Wonderful post.

Unknown said...

My grandparents loved me as you loved Katie. They and my father always saw the child in me, despite the chronic health issues of immune deficiency, tics, mood disorder, OCD, meaning deafness, meaning blindness, disconnection to my body, self injury, extreme hyperactivity and packaged into the Exposure Anxiety which was the stuff of my autism.

I owe the fact I'm alive to these people because they struggled not so much against my autism as against the one who could most often only see me as possessed, psychotic, disturbed, damaged, broken, embarrassing, an imposition on the family.

I strive to remember myself through the eyes of those who saw me as a human and live up to that. And I strive to forgive a personality to phobic of developmental disorder that I paid the price for the fifteen years I lived with that person. I strive to remember the handful of moments where that person showed signs they were tempted to see me as human and equal, in order to remember them as more than a monster.

And when I read of lives like Katies, and the desires of a killer to distort the realities of her humanness for the purpose of her own self image. Her killer seeks justification for the unjustifiable. A parent who can presume the strength to kill, has the strength regardless of rage, fixation, guilt, fear of judgement, 'love', committment to other children, isolation etc... to walk away, run away, FOREVER.

One may know of a an infancy being locked in, tied up, drugged or emerging into a house abandoned. But however many times one has been harmed and at great risk of death, one knows that one's would be killer went and instead got drunk or drove away from the house. I could see this as negligence and harm, but however one has come close to death, if one is still standing, then one knows, one's monster had the guts to remove themselves and let one live.

I know that I live each day an example of the lives these murdered children might have had if killers have the guts to pull back those hands from one's throat, remove that pillow over one's face, drop that plank of wood, throw away that flying belt buckle, and, yes, run away for that hour, that 5 hours, that day, that week, leave that child on whichever doorstep will save its life that week, that month.

It is a simple fact that not all parents are emotionally, morally or in the personality department, equipped for loving all types of children. We shouldn't expect them to or demonise them if they truly can't - that's THEIR disability - and society hating them won't help. But if they so fear the eyes and mouths of the world that they'd rather kill than run to save someone, let us make it easier for them to run.

Katie will shine on in the lives of those who survived and those who remember her as the little girl she was beyond her label, have no doubt.

Donna Williams *)

ps: sorry for such a long posting.

Anonymous said...

this is for donna williams just above:

What you wrote was just the right length, and overall superb. As was expressed on another blog, I wish you "a long life time of the little ordinaries" as a thank you for your eloquence about your own story and Katie's.