The trees are turning and the leaves are beginning to fall. My street is full of a unique blend of green grass, mixed with golden yellow and burnt orange sprinkles of leaves. This time of year makes me reflect. It also makes me feel like life is in fast-forward.
We live across the street from a CBR, which stands for Community Based Residential Facility. You can read about them here. It was Halloween last year when I noticed something particular. While handing out candy to the adorable little kiddos, I noticed a Christmas tree in the front window of this house. Fully lit, with those big beautiful colored glass bulbs that you can't find anymore. If you do find them, the colors just aren't the same as the old ones. Jeremy was familiar with CBRs, but I was not.
This bothered me for weeks. Ok, let's be honest-months. Do you remember this post? I had same pent up feelings as when I was in that store. I didn't want to look at the house, nor did I want to pay attention to the coming and goings of the people that live there.
Shut it out. Tune it out. Make it disappear.
Thinking about your special needs child's future is a Catch 22. You have a hard time living in the moment because you know all of the things your child needs to do/accomplish/learn in his life. In the same breath, you don't want to think about the future because it is painful. Extremely painful.
I didn't want to think about my son being in a CBR. I didn't want him to be different.
Yesterday, my friend from the CBR did his daily morning walk and greeted AJ and I as we made our way to the car. I was sad when they took the Christmas tree down...even though it was well beyond the holiday season. I started to yearn for AJ to have the opportunity to live within the community...semi-independently. If you are thinking it is too early to be thinking about this-trust me-it is NOT.
My thoughts have changed and my heart has healed a little bit more. At this point, AJ would not be able to live in a CBR. I won't go into the reasonings, but coming to that conclusion was painful. But once it was made, a little more healing took place.
I must admit that I am struggling with juggling finishing my BA with all of AJ's needs, as well as just running the show around here. I finished my last class with a full night of tears and feeling completely overwhelmed and exhausted. I was bound to hit a wall sooner or later, right?
Yesterday morning I looked out the window and saw the leaves falling and the breeze blowing the beautiful maple tree that stands in the CBR's front yard. The presence of the CBR is my constant encouragement. While AJ is my first encouragement, the house is my second. I am not only finishing my degree for myself, but also to provide for our son. Jeremy is going for his NP to provide for us as a family and for AJ. We are planning our retirement with AJ.
So, I'm beginning this new class with my spirits lifted a bit higher, and my constant encouragement across the street. I'm doing my best to remember that this is only a season. And if life keeps flying by as fast as I feel it is, it will go faster than I think it will.