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Been Awhile

Thank you to the few of you that have asked where I’ve been.  You may regret that. I’m back.

The main reason I have been MIA is that my computer crashed.  Thank goodness for my great friend, Carissa, I’m back in business.  Once again, you  may regret it but I’m so relieved to be here, not just for the cathartic benefits I receive but because so many of you want to know updates on the boy and the girl and this is the quickest way to let the most people know.

There is no new news on the boy and I am not anticipating any as I have bowed out.  I mentioned before I disappeared that I am not going to battle anyone anymore and I am sticking to it.

I’ve been having trouble working.  A snow day impacted one day but the others have me running from appointment to appointment on behalf of the girl.  She is now the proud (and very happy) owner of her very own burgundy (eek) compression socks.  Surprising to me, she got them on all by herself this morning.  They have to be washed and line dried every night (ugh) so she had her first lesson in that this evening.

April 27th is coming fast.  Too fast.  I continue to be happy and optimistic to the girl about the move and she remains excited to get moved!  However, it all hit me last night and in the still of the night, the tears ran down my cheeks as I fell asleep.  I just can’t imagine being here without her every morning and every night.  As with most women, I have had someone to take care of for the last 39 years.  Last August, I took a giant leap of faith and ventured out into the dating world.  That’s the only real thing I’ve done for me in as many years.  It was really hard to do.  Now, I’m trying to figure our what I will do in the quiet hours of the evenings before bed.  A walk is all I can come up with so far.

Anyway, most of her room is packed (and boy do my neck and back know it) with the boxes in the garage waiting to be loaded up.  I’ve hired a couple of boys from school to do the heavy lifting.  Bless their hearts! That is a huge relief for me.  I plan on moving most, if not all, of the rest myself during the day.  I hope to have her room in a comfortable fashion, thanks to a dear friend that will be working on her new room as I haul boxes, so that my girl can get the best sleep possible that first night. Just typing that makes my head go dizzy and my stomach go flip flop.  I guess the good news/bad news is that I get to keep the cat as now she can’t take her with her.  I feel really badly for the girl.  She and this cat are joined at the hip.  I hope the cat can survive with just me.

Needless to say, we are both going through a lot of emotions.  I want to make these precious last few days special but am struggling not to be crabby.  I keep getting emails or notices that I need to attend meetings or make appointments for the girl.  My patience is wearing thin.  My employer has been understanding and wonderful but it’s breaking me down. I’m trying to find a summer job and that’s even getting messed up as her meetings take priority so I have to cancel scheduled interviews.

I’ve never been a quitter.  I don’t want to start now.  But I am coming forward and putting out there.  I am tired.  Very, very tired.  Both physically and emotionally.  The last time I recall being this tired was when I moved in to my town home, almost 4 years ago.  The only difference is that was all a physical tired.  There are moments during my work day I swear I won’t be able to keep my eyes open and dream of getting home and flopping on my bed.  Then someone “needs” me at work, which I am grateful for, or I get home and have to answer emails and/or phone calls.

I didn’t realize how miserably I was handling this until the last two days.  One of my sweet students was trying to tell me what he was having for dinner last night.  I repeatedly heard him say “octopus.”  I couldn’t cover my shock at envisioning his family eating octopus!  He sweetly, keep saying no!  After no less than 10 attempts, I got it.  He was having leftovers for supper!  Boy, was my face red!  Then today, he was trying to tell me something else and I kept saying card tricks?  He kept saying no, no, no!  All the while he had a smile on his face until I finally got it.  He was saying, oh my gosh!  Now I can’t even remember what he was saying or what we were talking about!  I’m a lot worse off than I thought.

I think I’ll head to bed now.  The world will be a lot safer if I’m sleeping.

Shine On!

Jill

Observations on Life

The world is spinning.  Sometimes, out of control.  I’ve had so  many people tell me lately that it’s dark.  A dark place.  A dark time.  I won’t contest their view point.  I’d just like to offer mine.

It’s a given.  I have problems.  You have problems. Everyone has problems.  If we’re alive, problems are going to happen.  We can’t control the world or anyone else but ourselves.  What we can control is our attitude.

Take the issues with my son, for example.  I’m now back to being done.  I’m throwing in the towel.  I’ve spoken to him twice and that is a positive thing and I will continue to do so.  I love the guy.  He’s my son.  What I won’t do it bend, bow or beg the county or anyone else to do anything anymore.  I’m not going to worry day and night anymore.  I’m going to do my thing and let all of the entities do their thing.  There will be home visits, plans put into place and meetings conducted.  I won’t be a part of them.  The final straw came last week.  When the county and another lady were here the previous week, they scared me.  I mean, really scared me. Not just about the welfare of my son but about my own safety.  They assured me they’d make a surprise visit to the home and that people were investigating the home.  I waited for an update from the visit.  I waited a day.  Then I waited 3 days.  I wrote and asked for even a tidbit of what they learned.  I waited a week.  I finally got an email with an update.  It didn’t even sound like the same people.  It didn’t even sound like my son’s case.  They asked me to correct mistakes the home made.  I flatly refused.  I’m not cleaning up anyone’s else’s messes anymore.  Period.

I know I sound nasty.  I sound defeated.  I am.  To a degree.  But through this dark and challenging time, I can see some light.  I refuse to go inside myself and to stay there. It’s my choice.  I’m not going down with the ship. I know some things.  While it’s not to my standards, the boy will be checked on.  Everyone is on notice now.  The boy seems happy when I call him. I’m not going to lie awake at night anymore.  I’m letting go.  This time, I’m not turning back.

I mentioned some of the good above but there’s more.  The boy is growing.  I am hoping in a good way.  The sun still shines.  The stars still shine and the moon glows at night.  Walking still does me good.  I did three miles yesterday.  I smelled the chilly spring air, watched two snow geese fly over head, sidestepped the melting snow and cleared my head. I gave thanks for all the good in  my life and there is plenty to be thankful for. There always is.  We just have to look for it.

I’m going to use my energy for good.  I have a friend that needs a little boost.  I bought a bunch of cards to send them.  I made a donation to the food shelf (even when I’m broke, someone is worse off), I did a few random acts of kindness.  I can’t do a lot.  But I do what I can.  I won’t give up. I won’t be beaten down.

I hope you all find the joy in your life. It’s there.  Really.

Shine On!

Jill

 

A Little of This, A Lot of That

Thanks to my followers that have asked me where I have been, why I’ve not been writing.  I guess the best answer to that is I’ve been in my own head.  Hey.  It happens.  I told you I didn’t write about everything I think about!  Now that’s a scary thought, isn’t it?

I’ll address the most pressing questions first.  No new news on the boy or girl. *Sigh*  People often ask how I can be so patient.  The short answer?  I have NO other choice.  I’ve learned when to push and when I do, I push hard. I’m a get it done kind of girl.  Unfortunately, pushing doesn’t always work. I’ve learned when to back off and wait.

In the meantime, life keeps me busy.  I run the girl to her appointments 2 to 3 times a week while trying to hang onto my job.  I am still dealing with a mass amount of emails and phone calls.  Many days, I feel more like a personal assistant to my “kids” than I do a mom.  I know many of you share my sentiments.

I’m also hunting for a summer job.  It’s not a lot of fun at my age.  I have never stressed about job interviews.  I’ve been asked how I do that.  My tip?  Yes, they are interviewing me to see if they want me to work for them and while they do that, I am interviewing them to see if I’d want to work for them!  It really is true and when I remember that, I’m as cool as a cucumber.  The stress at this juncture in my life is what kind of work can I do.  I haven’t quite figured that out yet.  I imagine I’ll have to take whatever I can get.

Life has certainly been filled with a generous dose of lessons lately.  Several people I know have lost love ones.  Many of those have been the loss of parents.  Having lost both of mine, it always makes me pause as a heaviness envelopes my heart and soul.  Unless you’ve lost a parent(s), it’s hard to fully conceive the devastating loss.  Those losses never go away but if we are lucky, they dim enough for us to keep moving on.  I try to give  the people left behind an extra dose of love and kindness.

I’ve also learned not to discount our impact on others. I’ve had a few people I haven’t had contact with for  quite awhile reach out this week.  They were people I believed to be long out of my life.  It’s kind of nice knowing you are thought about.  ha!

In closing, the girl and I went to her first tele-psychiatry appointment yesterday.  What a hoot that was.  I feel like I’m now living in a world that was the topic of many futuristic movies that I watched growing up.  In other words, I’m feeling a tad old today!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone.  I wish you all a Blessed Easter!

Shine On!

Jill

Too Many Possibilities

Lame title isn’t it?  I couldn’t decide which one to go with.  Some potential titles were:

The Hurrier I Go, the Behinder I Get, or;

Confessions of a Frazzled Mother, or;

I’m an Idiot.  I think this last one is probably the best choice.

I’d like to think I’ve got “it” together.  I’ve complained enough (I’m sorry) about the email, phone calls, appointments and paperwork I have regarding my two special needs adults.  I always am so elated when I have a handle on all of it.  Actually makes me pat myself on the back once in awhile.

And then, there are days like today.  A humbling day.  I’d even dare say, an embarrassing day.  I received a few voice mails today that immediately informed me that I’m not “all that.”

I have to submit some paperwork twice a month.  It requires me to complete it, scan it and then email it.  Sounds pretty easy, right?  For many years, it has been.  But in the last two months, I have submitted these papers with the wrong dates!  Seriously, I know it’s March but I keep writing February!  This causes me to pull out the white out, fix it, re-scan it and re-email it.  On top of that, I completely forgot to submit the paperwork the last time!  The one thing I don’t need is MORE paperwork and I keep having to double my efforts due to my own stupidity!

The other call was to inform me I haven’t submitted paperwork for an upcoming appointment for the girl.  I was sure I just had to take it with me.  But then I realized it’s the 20 page packet I mention before and of course, they need it ahead of time!

Over the weekend, I was visited by a friend.  Unfortunately, by the middle of the weekend, I was being referred to as “My little disaster.”  Why?  I kept spilling things and dropping things.  I was a mess.  Literally, I spilled things on my clothes and the floor.  I exhaust myself.  This kind of stuff always happens when I’m around another friend.  They rattle me for some unknown reason but there was no excuse for it this weekend.

As bad as things are, I reminded myself of the two days last year that I took bags of dirty cat litter with me to work.  Well, I didn’t take them into work but when I got to work, I realized I had them in the car.    I amaze myself. And not in a good way.

It seems to run in my family.  My sister made a confession to me the other day.  Her husband was unloading groceries for her and he held up some turkey drumsticks and said “I don’t think these are what you meant to get at the store.”  Her intention was to get ham hocks.  She gave me a good laugh and made me feel a lot better about myself.  Misery loves company, you know.

Please tell me you do these things sometimes too.  I promise I won’t include them in my blog.  Well, I’ll do my best not too.  I can be forgetful sometimes…

Shine On!

Jill

On My Soap Box

This isn’t a very nice post for a Sunday but I have a few things to get off my chest.

First off, this week holds the promise of some things happening regarding the boy.  I’m not holding my breath but it helps to know “things are being done.”

Next, we should get the “official” word on whether or not the girl has placement in the group home we looked at last week.  She is mostly excited but a few tears creep out now and again.  It seems bedtime is a concern of hers too.  Yet, she’s excitedly planning out her new room, when and how we’ll move, who might or might not help us move her, etc.  While all moms go through their “children” leaving home, it is a bit different for me and others like me. Most parents are sending their adult children off.  Mine may be an adult on paper but in reality, she is more a child.

Placing a child into a group home is the biggest leap of faith I know I have ever encountered, and I’ve had a lot.  I am entrusting my most precious commodity to someone else.  I am, by far, a parent riddled with mistakes but I have a pure heart. A heart that knows no bounds when it comes to my children. I might add, that passion spills over onto all children and adults with special needs.

This all leads me to some recent observations, both from strangers and people I love.  Living with, raising and working with special needs people, I’ve learned a lot.  I try to share my knowledge and passion with others.  I try to teach in an indirect manner.  I try to lead by example.  I have been told so many times over the years by so many people that I have the patience of a saint.  It’s not true.  No one sees me at home when “I lose it.” It isn’t pretty and I’m always ashamed of myself afterwards.  I remind myself that I am human too and then I make a sincere apology for my behavior.

Today, I’d like to teach (egotistical, of me but I have been doing this for 30 years) you about things from their perspective. These people hurt just like you or I hurt.  They can have great anxiety over things that to you and I are routine, mundane things.  Big changes may come with unwanted behaviors, such as tantrums, whining, crying or rudeness.  They don’t always (rarely for most) understand sarcasm.  They probably do not have the expressive skills to explain to you how they are feeling. Don’t treat them like little kids but don’t expect them to understand or express things the way you and I do.  Give them the respect that they deserve.  Give them the patience they deserve.  Give them love.  Help them understand life in their terms, don’t expect them to adapt to you.  Please, adapt to them.

I promise if you do these things, they will forever love you.  It’s a love like no other.

Shine On!

Jill

N’oubliez Jamais

Translation: Never forgot.  It’s a song by Joe Cocker that’s been filling my heart and soul this week.  It speaks to generations, the old longing for youth and youth wasted on the young.

“N’oubliez jamais
I heard my father say
Every generation ha its way
A need to disobey
N’oubliez jamais
It’s in your destiny
A need to disagree
When rules get in the way
N’oubliez jamais”

I see it time and time again.  I hear it from my friends, over and over.  We worry about our children.  Their decisions and choices.  We wonder when the time is right to let them fly, or…fail.  We spend years preparing them for the future but we all have to let them go.  It’s not easy.  But we do it.  Because we love them.  For so long, they are confident they know better than we do.  If we’re lucky, the day comes when they realize we did everything we did for them out of love.

I don’t think I really questioned my parents too much.  I always loved them and wanted to please them.  I think it’s common among many of my generation.  We were taught to respect our parents.  It didn’t mean we didn’t challenge them but we respected them.

“Mama, why do you dance to the same old songs
Why do you sing only harmony
‘Cause down on the street something’s goin’ on
There’s a brand new beat and a brand new song
In my heart there’s a young girls passion
For a life long duet
Someday soon someone’s smile will haunt you
So sing your own song and never forget”
We grow older.  Hopefully, wiser.  But we never forget.  We never forget the music.  We never forget what makes out hearts soar. We keep dreaming.  The young version of us is still inside, screaming to be let out.  Wanting to love and be loved.  We sing our own songs, sometimes with others looking on, sometimes all alone in the dark.  But we sing.  We dance.  We dream.
We know that the youth will one day do the same.  And we hope they will N’oubliez Jamais.  Never forgot their favorite songs.  That they never forget to dance or dream.  We hope they never forget how much we loved them.  We hope they never forget we tried our best.
Let’s take today to remind those we love that we love them.  Let’s N’oubliez Jamais to dream and love.  Life it fleeting. Let’s make it matter.
In closing:  I have had a lot of updates on the boy.  I can’t share the details here.  It’s not good.  In fact, it’s out and out bad, a mother’s nightmare. Things are being done.  Unfortunately, they all take time.  I’m doing what I can.  The county is doing what they can.  I am confident it will all be worked out, in the end.  I have to believe it.  I want to believe it. I have to stay strong.  I am so grateful I have so many to help me carry this load.  I shudder to think where I would be if I had to do this alone.  I thank you all for your love and support.  N’oubliez Jamais, I love you all.
Shine On!
Jill

You Never Know

Yesterday was a beautiful day!  It was nearly 50 here.  What better thing to do than to get the car washed?  I also had the inside detailed and my oh my, it sure needed it!  I was a bit embarrassed to even have another inside of it but I  mustered up my courage and got it done!  The place I get my hair cut is very near by so I decided to get myself cleaned up a little bit too.  I have the best time visiting the girl(s) that do my hair.  The day was off to a good start.

Once I got home, I did some mundane household chores.  It felt a little like spring cleaning.  I knew once the girl arrived home, I’d need to focus on her. Last night was her dinner with the girls at her potential group home.  She was both excited and nervous, as was her mother.

We set off in plenty of time and arrived at the appointed time.  One of the residents answered the door and seem very excited my girl was there.  She repeatedly announced the girls arrival.  I’ll confess, it was more than a little strange leaving her there.  I took a deep breath and backed out of the driveway.

I decided to make good use of my time and ran a couple of errands before I returned home.  It was a lovely evening and I enjoyed getting “ahead” of the game.  Side note: I love my girl but anytime I can shop without her is a gift.  She is the ULTIMATE shopper!  I am more of get in, get what I need and get out kind of girl.

As I headed home, on a major highway, I heard a loud “thunk.”  I remember looking in the rear view mirror to see if there was anything I could see that I hit.  I couldn’t so I drove on, never giving it another thought until I went on my way back to pick up the girl. I didn’t get too far from home when I heard the worst noise coming from the back end of the car.  I knew at that moment, I had a flat tire.   I called a good friend to meet me at the car place and crept my way there.  It was after hours, so I left my keys and my friend and I forged ahead and we picked up the girl.

The staff at the home said it went really well and that they had a great time!  She prepared taco salads for the girls, they colored and the girl met the residing cat.  Speaking of cats, it’s an odd thing.  The girl has always had a cat sleep with her.  Until this one.  For  some reason, she doesn’t want this one in her room.  If she takes the cat with, which she is determined to do, the cat must sleep in her room with  the door shut at night.  We’ve practiced here the last two nights and it’s gone puuuurrrfectly  (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).  It’s been a lonely bed for me but I’m so happy it’s gone well, for both she and the cat.  The cat adores the girl!

Now, this morning, I am crossing my fingers they can get my tire changed right away. I have a 10:00 a.m. meeting here (regarding the boy) and the girl has a 12:00 p.m. therapy appointment.  Again, thanks to my good friend, I have a back up plan if it’s not. She offered to let me use her second car.  I am grateful!

Spring “break” is a myth.  I need to get back to work so I can have a break from my time off!

Shine On!

Jill