My conversation with Pattie has carried me through the last few days. It makes all the difference to me to hear from the people who are with Jack. They are doing a good job of taking care of him. They are doing a better job of it than I did, because there are more of them, and Jack is their complete focus. Because they aren’t with Jack 24/7, they come to work without the baggage of weariness a parent like me carries. When their shifts end, they leave any cares or stress of the job behind. They are neutral (loving, helpful) third parties and they are what has saved us and what is giving Jack a sustainable future.
Contrarians might assert at this point (though nobody asked their opinion anyway) that Jack isn’t with his natural family, his parents who love him best. How can that be better?
I would tell the contrarians that I don’t know why this is the path we had to pursue with Jack, but it is, and God made it pretty clear. We did raise him up and love him in our home for thirteen years—a feat! But arguing with reality is futile, which in our case is this: God made Jack just the way he is, and then told us to pursue residential care for him. I guess if anybody wants to argue about Jack’s path going forward, they can take it up with God. I do what He says. I just work here.
Not that I’m getting any push back from random people. I have felt support from near and far. There are a few who have insinuated that this was maybe a long overdue decision, but that claim also means nothing to me because those who suggest it weren’t living in my house or assuming the caregiver role for Jack plus three other boys (2 with autism) for more than a dozen years. When you don’t know much about a situation, you can judge it poorly from the outside. Or you can assume people are doing their level best, which leads to compassion.
I’m not sure what my purpose is in explaining myself to vague internet readership. But there it is.
I’m feeling happy because I talked to Pattie and heard about Jack’s new life and the people who are making it happen. This makes me grateful.
All of the things I’ve seen through this process have shown me that God loves Jack.