Sunday, September 6, 2015

Time Passages

I suppose I could have just as easily titled this post "Transitions", but "Time Passages" sounds a little bit fancier, don't you think?

Whatever, I like it. And whether you call it time passages or transitions, there does seem to be a bit of that going on around here as of late. When I think back to this time last year, I couldn`t begin to picture where we are are today.

Last August, we (myself and two other families) had just started negotiations with the Department of Community Service for the Blue Jay and two of her friends (young men she has grown up with and who are in Special Olympics with her) to live in their own home, with the support they would need to be successful as part of a government pilot project.

Those negotiations were long and painful - nine months long, in fact, and nearly as painful as giving birth to a baby. But by the end of December, we had a lovely house rented and the three young adults were able to live there on weekends; unfortunately, only weekends at that point because we didn`t yet have the government funding to do any more than that.

But then, as of June 1st, the Blue Jay and her friends have been living in their own home full-time five days a week; unfortunately, we never did manage to get enough funding for them to live in their own home full-time. The other two days per week, the young adults return to their family homes.

For the past two months, there have definitely been a few huge bumps along the way - it`s definitely a process and we`re learning as we go (both the young adults and the parents). The beauty of this, though, is that it is neither a group home nor a small options home - in both those situations, you are placed in the home with other adults, often strangers. Instead, the Blue Jay has been able to choose her own roommates.

Another major difference from the old way of doing things is that we don`t have staff; instead, the Blue Jay and her friends are supported by ``house buddies``, who, for the most part, are pretty much peers (chronologically) - thank goodness for our local university and its SMILE program, which pairs up interested students one-on-one with children and youth with special needs. The Blue Jay has been in the SMILE program since she was 3 or 4 years old - in fact, that is where she learned how to swim (and she`s quite a good Special Olympics swimmer) without any formal lessons.

Last but not least, the house is not being run by either the government or a private agency - we, the parents, are the home`s administrators. Trust me, that can be both good and bad, depending on the day. It`s a lot of work for us, but an ideal situation for the young adults. Or, at least, hopefully it will be once we finally get all the bugs worked out.

Life has not always been easy for the Blue Jay or for us, her family. It`s been a long, often hard road at times, but she is finally getting some of that independence she so desperately wants and needs.

By the way, did I ever mention that she is also working part-time (two days a week) at a local Tim Hortons, something she has wanted to do since was a little kid? She also does some volunteer work and in one of those places, she gets to run a cash register in a small second-hand clothing store - something else she has wanted to do since she was little (run a cash register, that is).

So there`s that.

And then last, but very far from least, is the fact that we moved my youngest daughter, Kit Kat, to Halifax and into the dorm at her university of choice.

It's so hard to believe that my baby is starting university. Definitely mixed emotions there - proud, nostalgic, a little worried and a little sad; not much different than those faced by any parent who sends one of their children off to university for the first time, I suppose.

I am very, very proud of my two girls. They both continue to face challenges, but they have grown into amazing young adults and, in many ways, those challenges have helped shape who they are today. I guess we all must have done something right.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Election Season

Election season. I can just feel it coming.

The most wonderful time of the year. 

"Since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word."~ Charles de Gaulle

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

Spring has sprung ... a bit later than usual perhaps (admittedly both outside my window and on this blog).

It's a good thing the seasons change, I suppose, else you might never see me around these here parts. Hey, what can I say? Sometimes the truth really does hurt.

Okay, I need something witty now for the ending.

Anybody? Any ideas?

Anything at all?


Damm, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. It is, after all, that time of year.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Three Weeks Years On

It's hard to believe that it's been three years since I've heard Lex's voice. Actually, in some ways, it feel like much longer.

March 6th was the appropriate date - the anniversary of that sad event. I should have written then, I suppose.

But you see, March 6th is also my youngest daughter's birthday. And, interesting story there - on the first anniversary of Lex's death, I was painfully aware of these two polar opposite events occuring on the same day. On the second anniversary, the fact that March 6th was both the Kit Kat's birthday and the day Lex died was most definitely on my mind from the moment I opened FaceBook. But this year was different.

My baby turned 19, you see (and, by the by, what the hell is up with that?!) and, I am sad to say, the fact that it was also an anniversary of another, much sadder sort slipped my mind. Slipped my mind until I read a Face Book post written by a good friend who, appropriately, I never would have met but for Lex. And then, once again, I experienced that jarring sensation when that juxtaposition caught me unaware and struck me hard - the date my baby was born was also the date that Lex died.

I am "lucky", I supppose, (if that be the right word) ... yes, I *still* miss Lex; but, perhaps not to the depth, to the degree some do. I refer not, of course, to to his "real world" family and friends (no contest there, I am sure), but rather to the more faithful (for lack of a better word) Lexicans, as witnessed on the Neptunus Lex Super Secret FaceBook page.

I still read semi-regularly over there (if reading the first four or five posts at the top of the page a few times a week counts as semi-regularly) and pop up with a comment or post occasionally (okay, very, very occasionally), but ... actually I kind of wonder how people (not just my NepLex friends but all my FB friends) manage to find the time to spend as much time as they seem to on social networks while still meeting the other obligations and needs (including their own) that our reality entails. But that be another story for another day ...

At any rate, I just popped in here to say .. what?

Hmmm, strangely I don't really know. Perhaps just to state that not just as is so evident on the Nep Lex page and elsewhere on the interwebs, Lex is still missed by many significantly quieter voices in the blogsphere (including those who can really can only be counted as semi-irregular regular bloggers, at best).

Fair winds and following seas, Sir ...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Never Forgotten

A FaceBook post by a friend really struck home tonight. She was reposting one of Jann Arden's posts that started like this
I had a break through of sorts a few days ago, right after I had a mini 'breakdown'.... I asked my mom if she thought she would ever forget me and she said, "Well, my brain might, but my heart won't". Those eight words took my breath away. 
"Well, my brain might, but my heart won't " ... those words really struck home for me.

When my Mom was so sick and struggling with dementia, I was very lucky in that there was only one occasion when she didn't know who she was when I came to visit in the hospital.

I bustled around the room, doing my thing and yakking away and suddenly realized something was off. So I sat down on the side of the bed and asked if she knew who I was. "Of course I do" she replied. "No you don't". "Yes, I do". "Okay then, who am I?". The moment of truth ... she looked at me with such peace and warmth in her eyes and simply said "someone who loves me very much". I still tear up just to write of it.

A few months later, after popping up to the hospital for a quick unexpected visit one evening, I told her that I had to leave to pick up my youngest daughter (insert name). It had been a particularly bad day for Mom (they had moved her to another room and her mind had just totally shut down) so when something didn't seem right, I asked "You remember Kit Kat, right?" "No, I don't think I do... ".

I took my daughter's framed school picture out of the closet where they had put it after the move and placed it in her hands. "Now you remember Kit Kat, right?". "No, I'm not sure". I left her with the picture, dropped the subject and started talking about something else. When I turned around and looked at her, she was repeatedly softly stroking my daughter's face on the photograph and once again she had the most peaceful look about her.

When I left that evening, she told me that she had been so afraid that I wouldn't find her because they moved her to another room. I replied, much like you would to soothe a child's fears, that no matter where they moved her, I would always find her. She stopped, seemed to consider that for a moment and then responded, "Yes, yes, I believe you will". Her face visibly relaxed when she said it.

I still miss my Mom desperately even though it's been over six years since that horrible day. But remembering (and writing about) moments such as these, while they pull my heart strings and bring tears to my eyes also bring a smile to my face (albeit a sad one) and a feeling of warmth.

On that note, I came across this poem shortly after Mom died. It, too, spoke to me, which was surprising because I am really not a poetry person.

Which, yeah, I believe I shared that with you before. But maybe I'm wrong, maybe, just maybe when it comes to times of loss, I am. At any rate, I will bid you a fond adieu and leave you with this poem.

And the sentiment that, no matter what, I am so glad that I have this blog that has captured, in perpetuity, such important moments in my life. Because even in reliving rereading such terrible moments of pain and hurt and loss, I can still find love, warmth, (occasionally humour) and a sense of connectedness.

Death is nothing at all, 
I have only slipped away into the next room. 
I am I, and you are you. 
Whatever we were to each other, we still are. 

Speak to me in the easy way you always used. 
Put not difference in your tone, 
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. 

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. 
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. 
Let it be spoken without effort, 
Without the trace of a shadow on it. 

Life means all that it ever meant. 
It is the same as it ever was, 
There is unbroken continuity. 
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? 

I am waiting for you, for an interval, 
Somewhere very near, 
Just round the corner. 
All is well.

Nothing is past.
Nothing is lost. 
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!"