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Archive for February, 2020

it’s official

I’m officially Jonah’s guardian now, just in time for him to turn 18 on March 7th.  It was expensive, and stressful, and I’m glad it’s over.  Having guardianship of Jonah means I can make legal, financial, and health-related decisions for Jonah for the rest of his life.  Or mine –  though the Clozaril he’s on isn’t exactly a life-extender.

It was the lesser of two evils, the Clozaril.  Still an evil, though, in that it cost our boy some of his personality and vibrancy.  I don’t know how much, really.  Correlation does not necessarily imply causation, but when the aggressions disappeared, so did some of his abilities.  Some of his spark.  That same spark fueled a raging fire, and we had to put it out.

We rose from the ashes, Andy, and Jonah, and me.  Changed and bruised for sure, but all intact.

Jonah and Mr David 2020 Jan

That’s Jonah a few weeks ago with his teacher,  “Mr. David,” who makes Jonah look very small here, though he’s 5’9″ and still growing.  We love Mr. David and are thrilled Jonah’s in his classroom.

As always, on our Sunday visits Jonah wants a car ride, then to raid dad’s fridge while The Jungle Book plays on TV, and afterward take a nap with mama.

And the boobie? He asks, more of a statement, as he tries to stick a hand down my shirt.  No, I gently tell him, guiding his arm away.  Boobie’s closed.

I hesitate to share anecdotes like this but they are realities and so I risk the critics’ judgement: napping next to my teenage hormonal disabled son might seem icky or weird.

To me it isn’t weird at all.  It’s nearly all I’ve got of him.  Once I redirect him from the boobie, he curls into a loose fetal position, pillows piled over and under his head, content to rest.

This time is precious.  It belongs just to Jonah and me.  I can listen to him breathe,  I put my hand on his back, feel its gentle rise and fall…send love and happy energies to my sweet son, the almost-man and never-man and ever-child all in one.   He sleeps.  Sometimes I do too.  On the drive home I smile and feel grateful.

I am not over-religious but it has been 15 months since Jonah’s last real physical aggression and it’s as much a miracle as any.  Deliverance and grace.

Oh – and yeah, so my hair is gone.

In the fall my best friend Erin was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, so we cut  our hair off together and are fighting tag-team style.  I’ve shaved my head twice and am due for a 3rd time – we’re going to grow it back together, but she’s got 7 more weekly chemo sessions before that’s gonna happen.  Tomorrow I’ll meet her at the hospital with cupcakes and party hats, and we’ll sing happy birthday to Laura Ingalls Wilder while the poison that kills the cancer drips into her arm.

Our laughter is loud, our gallows humor inappropriate.  Two weeks ago we were shushed when Erin started Singing Martha Wainwright’s gem, You Bloody Motherfucking Asshole.  Guess who turned Erin on to that one?

It is a kickass song.  We sing it to the cancer, and to some other people who shall remain nameless.

Losing another best friend is not an option.  Not to make it about me, but sometimes I think I’m just as scared as she is.  I steel myself and go in laughing every Friday for her chemo – last week I spilled a full coffee all over the place; it splashed on her ass and she told every person we encountered for the rest of the day.  We banter and bitch and laugh and rage.  Often we say the same word at the same time…so precisely at the same time that it sounds like one voice, and any witnesses are a little taken aback.  It happens so much you’d think we were twins.

I love having a best friend.  That easy, unmistakable connection of kindred spirits is a rare find.  She is the one who researched for months until she discovered my bio family, when I had hit a dead end.  I have 4 sweet sisters and brothers because of her, and in March I’m flying to Phoenix to meet my bio dad and his wife for the first time.

Gifts from Erin, all of them.

So far, being 50 feels like freedom.  The pressure is off.  I finally left some consistently negative people and things behind.

Now I go where the love is, surround myself with friends and family who affirm and accentuate the positives.  It becomes a matter of survival, walking away from those who offer only criticism or cruelty.  My mental health teeters and wobbles.  Can’t afford to drift into old patterns.  Won’t give up, though.  Won’t fall down.

Groundhog says an early spring.  Bring it on.

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