Archive for August 4th, 2011

I am human,
keen with need.

From birth I discern an infant ability,
a higher order of helplessness:
my just-hatched hands redden & reach
for milk, warmth, a return to the womb

The open palm of desire,
it wants everything…

trucks & blocks, the training wheels gone;
park place, boardwalk – mine – with two hotels on each;
a year’s supply of bomb pops & bazooka joe.

wants everything

golden fairground frying dough, silver stapled stars,
the complete collected works of Everywriter;
watered gardens gifting greens, a son, albeit silent…

It wants soil soft as summer

a yielding bouquet, the feeling in my center
up against another
up against the wall
the kind of time that gets
so at the last I want
the strength to let you go
a month, a week, another day.

~ Italicized lines are lyrics from the song Further to Fly by Paul Simon

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In preparation for Jonah’s new chapter in life we are (hopefully successfully) going to give him a buzz cut tonight.  Sitter/cousin D is coming over to help Andy and me- and with the 3 of us we should be able to get ‘er done.  Then, if it clears up and is nice later, D and I will take him to friend H’s to swim. 

I am starting to think ahead, beyond the time when Jonah goes away.  Before this I was simply thinking of it as a doomsday clock – that everything would come to an end on August 16th – that there was no point in thinking beyond this day or its inevitable heartbreak (and relief?).

My fantastic therapist, Dr. Alex, mentioned that I maybe should make a (real or metaphorical) social story for ME.  I’ve made one for Jonah and something like one to send to his care workers, but one for ME might help me prepare emotionally – to help me not block out, ignore, or go numb about all of this, which are the defense mechanisms I have been using.

Jonah has been awful at school.  Where usually he would be at camp during summer school, this year he has been disallowed (and, unfortunately, rightfully so) because of his behaviors.  I’m so happy the Anderson School has such a big, nice pool so he can swim.  At Wildwood he has been what they euphemistically call “smearing” almost every day.  YUCK.  Then they have to shower him and clean all the shit off him, the walls, themselves – and probably endure scratches, bites, and kicks in the process.  The dedication of these direct-care workers amazes me. 

It would be one thing if they were making the money they deserve, but the money just isn’t there.  I wish they could have a capital campaign earmarked specifically to raise salaries of these incredible individuals.  I am so grateful for them I want to fall at their feet and sob out my thanks, in my usual over-the-top style.  Instead I will make them gift bags and pray they’ll know, somewhere in their hearts, how much they (and Wildwood) have meant to us and to all the children who need them.  What a wonderful school. 

Here’s Jonah learning emotions, a year or two ago, with his speech teacher, L.  In an earlier post I put up a picture of “excited face.”  Here is “mad face” :

If Anderson is anything like Wildwood I will be so relieved. 

I have received ever-increasing support from everywhere – people e-mailing me, leaving comments here – people who don’t even know me, or who knew me from my childhood.  People I’ve met both virtually and personally who’ve been through this or are going through it…we’re like Sgt. Jonah’s broken hopeful hearts club bandI am not alone.  I am not alone.  It is my mantra and I cling to it like a proverbial rope you climb to get up and back over the cliff.

I yearn for Gina, for she was my sister-in-spirit.  I yearn for siblings, for I have none.  But I don’t want to yearn.   I don’t want to worry.  When I don’t want to worry I think of this Bible verse:

“Look at the birds of the air; your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

Stay focused, Amy.  Have faith.  Stay busy, stay optimistic, stay positive. 

And don’t forget to breathe.  When I want to remember to breathe I think of HH the Dalai Lama:

Practice for the New Millennium by the Dalai Lama

1. Spend 5 minutes at the beginning of each day remembering we all want the same things (to be happy and be loved) and we are all connected to one another.

2. Spend 5 minutes breathing in, cherishing yourself; and, breathing out cherishing others. If you think about people you have difficulty cherishing, extend your cherishing to them anyway.

3. During the day, extend that attitude to everyone you meet. Practice cherishing the “simplest” person (clerks, attendants, etc) or people you dislike.

4. Continue this practice no matter what happens or what anyone does to you.

These thoughts are very simple, inspiring and helpful. The practice of cherishing can be taken very deeply if done wordlessly, allowing yourself to feel the love and appreciation that already exists in your heart.

I’m trying; I’m learning.  I’m grateful. 

I just hurt.

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