The staff at our son’s new group home are encouraging us to have him there full time instead of just weekends. People with autism benefit from (heck, generally insist upon) predictable order, and Joey needs greater regularity in the new place.
But for our part, Melissa (mom) had a good insight for keeping him close at this time of the year. Joey loves Christmas, and to let him spend time in familiar company, decor and activities showed him “that things he loves are not going away.”
He’s having a very merry Christmas. I can’t remember one more smiley and less moody. Last night his brother and sister-in-law took him to dinner, and this picture reveals how much that meant to him. He’s not one to smile for the camera, after all…
Later they went out to visit some old friends and he was not happy to see them go. He opened the drapes and watched them get into the car and even verbalized feelings about wanting them to come back in.
We get it, this inevitability of change. But it is going to be some hard going in our hearts in the short term.
Accenting the emotions is an Arctic cold front sitting on us for the time being. At first it was just our usual hard winter cold with blue skies and bright sun, but yesterday it went to bleak gray along with… with… well, I’ll let my Chevy do the talking. I could start a post with “It was a dark and stormy night” and be only a tad melodramatic.
Work is kicking my butt. We set a sales record in my little department but my body is not what it was and the aches and pains never seem to go away. I’m not sleeping well stewing about Joey and work and bills and and and and.
But that’s another point in favor of making Joey’s transition happen. Melissa and I are not getting younger and our skill set and energy for care giving are not going to improve.
The church family from our last place in California is suffering through several members’ deaths in recent months. These were folks around our age and younger, and two were without warning. So that’s more pull on our hearts and our minds are grappling with this life’s impermanence and fragility (yes, yes, another point in favor of getting on with Joey’s transition).
Then there’s the coming transition in our marriage. Don’t even have my heart and head fully wrapped around what empty nest will be like. How will we be when all the decorations come down and Joey is moved out and the flurry of holiday happenings is over and we’re sitting here staring at each other across years of deferred relationship?
Might as well end this with that question mark, since there are so many things in process, unfinished and unknown swirling through our lives right now.