VIII. Beach and Boat

Today is Wednesday. Tomorrow we meet with the residential care coordinator for Jack’s group home. He could be placed as early as this weekend.

It’s all moving so quickly and yet, I’m struggling through each day. Jack is still waking up at five AM. He is still a full-time job (for two people) during all the hours that he isn’t at school. He still is breaking and shredding and bashing his head on car windows. He is still uber grumpy by seven PM. He is still practically impossible for Jeff and me to regulate regarding food/meds/activities.

I took Henry to his basketball game last night, while Jeff, who is sick and miserable, stayed with Jack and the little boys. We were gone two and a half hours, and it was too much. Jack shredded the house. Jeff, with two other kids to watch plus two neighbor kids, struggled to keep a lid on things. I know how it goes, because the night before last, I was alone with everyone for several hours. I couldn’t stop the destruction. I couldn’t manage Jack’s anger.

Every time I think that maybe we don’t need the group home, that maybe we can just keep going and keep trying, the reality of our life shows me that we can’t keep going as things are. We cannot do it. We have given it every effort for thirteen years. We’ve given more than we have in us, because God has given us strength we didn’t have. I can see this.

Whenever I question if we are doing the right thing, if this is really necessary, I have this image in my mind of all the events and near-disasters and actual disasters and injuries and violence over the last several years, and I hear the Spirit telling me that God is connecting the dots for me. My questioning is unnecessary because He has already shown me it is right.

I dreamed last night I was on vacation with my boys near a beach. I spent the entire dream trying to get from our beach house to the beach, but I was met at every turn with some sort of obstacle. I kept looking at the clear, cool water and the other families playing on the beach, and I had that old recurring thought that somehow, the easiness of the way was available to them, but not to me.

I woke up, feeling that I was close—so close, but not yet there.

We are on the brink of a big change. I am trying to have faith that it is the right change for Jack and for the rest of my family. I do believe that things will improve for all of us. I also hold no delusions that everything will be seamless. Transition and adjustment will be something difficult, but the beach from this morning’s dream, and the gorgeous sailboat of my previous dream are so close. If I lay one dream atop the other, like layered overhead transparencies, together they reveal the ongoing thorny walk and the nearness of both the beach (my inner hope for a measure of tranquility) and the sailboat on the sea (a symbol of Jack’s potential and future).

These dreams have been a gift, showing me that God is with us and knows just exactly how unexpected and difficult this thing is.

He speaks to me symbolically, which I love so much.

The boat is moored, the water beckons. It’s so close I can smell it.


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