I’m composing this post as I always do...with “Document 1” opened in Word…and I’m guesstimating how long it’s been since I’ve posted at Inside…Out. I’m resisting the urge to glance over my shoulder at the wall calendar and I fully realize that the rational way to check would be to log in and simply look. But where's the challenge in that?? Instead, I’m recalling the events that took place when I logged in here the night after I’d shared our recent struggles dealing with my son’s autism:
(At this point, the screen gets all blurry, so that everyone knows we’re going into a classic Lifetime Movie flashback, complete with sappy intro music and with the predictable “Several Weeks Ago?” printed across the bottom of the screen for those who haven’t figured out that this is a sappy Lifetime flashback)
Kathryn sits with her hand poised over her mouse, ready to view the responses received from her gut-wrenching tell-all post. We can see her internal struggle as she wonders whether she’s about to read a bunch of well-meaning but awkward, obviously uncomfortable responses with things like, “Um. Well. Gosh. Huh…gee. Good luck with that.”
She opens the comments section as the music swells to an overwhelming crescendo…so loud she has to plug her ears with her fingers as she begins to read the heartfelt, moving responses. The tears soon flow unchecked down her cheeks and the camera zooms in to follow a single tear as it falls…and gently lands...in-between the “V” and the “B” on the laptop’s keyboard.
That’s when you hear Kathryn’s emotionally-charged voice mutter, “CRAP. NO-NO-NO-NO…” as she grabs for a tissue and begins to gently dab the keyboard, which ultimately does nothing to prevent her screen from blinking, flashing and eventually turning a frightening shade of blue:
Okay, so maybe it didn’t happen exactly that way. But I did cry…and it did feel like one of those Lifetime Movies when the lady thinks that no-one’ll show up at her party and she’s just about to leave and then the doors open and everyone she knows and loves comes walking in…smiling and looking amazingly supportive. Then the camera pans out and you see that there are thousands of people outside the building waiting (in an orderly fashion) to get inside and then the music swells again.
Regardless, that’s pretty much how I felt. Your comments reminded me that even if I can’t see you, you’re still here with me. And I know you mean that in the most non-creepy of ways…
And although (thank God) my son hasn’t had yet another repeat trip to the ER (knock on wood, throw salt over shoulder) the challenges have continued unabated. The latest was an interesting series of events that took place on Thursday of last week. I’ll give you a snapshot:
When checking my home phone messages, I discovered one from 2pm (automated) which stated that I was to have a phone interview with the Social Security office on Friday at 1:30pm to discuss benefits for my son…and that I must cancel within 24 hours if I would be unavailable. Not only would I be unavailable (I’d be at work) but I knew nothing about this. An urgent email first thing Friday morning from me to the people at my son’s facility was followed by a response assuring me that their office was handling this call and that I had no worries.
Even with this assurance, I decided to remotely activate the call-forwarding feature on my home phone (where I wasn’t) to my cell phone at work (where I was). I’m guessing you know what happened at 1:30. When the guy from SSI called and informed me that A) I did not have the option of rescheduling and B) He’d be needing quite a bit of information; including dates, addresses and telephone numbers, I hurriedly bolted from work and headed for home, all the while telling SSI guy that I’d be home momentarily and within arm’s reach of all the detailed info he’d requested.
Fifteen minutes into my drive though, the guy put me on hold and returned to say that the people at my son’s agency were on the other line and were looking to complete the interview themselves. He thanked me for my time and the line went dead.
At this point, I did what any loving mother would do: I called home to ask Taylor (19) and Connor (14) if they’d eaten lunch yet. They had not and enthusiastically suggested I stop at the diner and pick up two deluxe barbeque bacon cheeseburgers, STAT.
But here’s where it gets…interesting. As I walked out of the diner with my bag ‘o burgers, I walk past one of those newspaper vending machines and the headline causes my heart to skip a beat:
See the headline on the left? Here’s the photo below it:
This happens to be where my son presently resides. The irony is that this paper was dated July 11…a full four days prior to my seeing it. But the machine was broken...and in lieu of fixing it, they’d opted to place the recent papers on top of the machine, free of charge. But, I wanted THAT paper. I emptied eight quarters into that machine…the equivalent to two papers...all to no avail. No matter how hard I pulled, banged and rattled, I could not get that door to open. In the end, I raced home and found the article online.
God bless the World Wide Web.
I know to take any investigative exposé with a grain of salt…but still. Now in addition to following up on that abrupt end to that SSI call, I need to research and discover exactly who, or what is the watchdog for this agency caring for my son.
I’ve always maintained that the responsibility for someone with special needs can be a full-time job. When you’re attempting to dedicate 11 hours of your day to an actual full-time job, the stakes are only higher. It’s my child…he doesn’t understand why any of this is happening…and he doesn’t understand why he just can’t come home.
And so, this is the latest. The next two weeks contain another two doctor’s appointments, which I’m hoping will translate to some much-needed stability for all of us.
I hope you know how much your thoughtful comments have meant to me. It’s a reminder that no matter how isolated I may feel, I’m never truly alone with support from you.
And that, my friends…means absolutely everything.