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Showing posts from April, 2011

Patterns, Pain and Perfect Weather

These days are a painful pattern of interventions and redirects, none of which seem to carry any success.Bethany’s abusive and self-injurious behavior seems to be growing in intensity, her sleep – less predictable.We don’t even bother hoping for a good day – we just wake up and wonder when it’ll all start falling apart.And if you think it’s falling apart for her, imagine what it’s doing with us.
Between mom’s Alzheimer’s and 14 years of magnified complexity with Bethany – lets just say we’re tired.It’s not uncommon for us to give up hope at least 3 times a day.
Today I thought the emotional storms had passed so I took her for a late afternoon drive in the ’78 MGB.Top down, breeze flailing all that black hair, nice music, and all the sunshine you could imagine thoroughly washing away all the worries and frustration. It was a great ride right up until she decided to start head-butting the passenger-side window.I was angrier with her for screwing up a nice ride than I was worried about eit…

The View from Under the Bra Rack

Our life is determined by the mood of a 14-year-old Special Needs girl.I’ve been watching our life morph into a slurry of mediated and moderated events that all have one common theme: accommodation of Bethany’s unpredictability.
Imagine living with the man in the Bible story of “The Man of the Toombs” (Mark 5).The author describes a “demon-possessed” individual that no one could constrain, understand, and worse - no one cared to.At times, Bethany fits this description figuratively and literally and how we deal with those episodes are heart wrenching, beautiful, and humorous at the same time.Sometimes, we can “head off” an episode by creative accommodation and in doing so you find yourself in a position that can only be described as insane.
Heading to watch Jon’s baseball game, Bethany decides that she’d rather lay in the road and throw a fit, hitting herself in the face, ripping her clothes and so on.For the sake of safety I dragged her to the curb and began the process of haggling with…

Why Spandex Biking Shorts?

I noticed on my bikeride home last night how ugly west Michigan has become.  We seem to have sacrificed beauty for convenience, traded richness for ease; wood was traded for plastic and vinyl, and relationship traded for a bigger house.  The sum result seems to be a society that neither cares for nor finds value in small things that hold such great promise.  Old houses with rich character are covered in mute vinyl, large utility poles line the road with heavier cables intent on bringing more power to supply more appliances to further disconnect us with life on the outside.
As a pedestrian, riding 20 miles to and from work this lack of concern quickly regresses into an all-out contempt for human life.  The cars passing me on a long uphill are angry with me for what amounts to a 4 second slow-down in their rush to get to the next thing.  I know its 4 seconds because I usually count the time from the drop in engine rpm to the point where, just ahead of my handlebars, they slam the pedal d…

It Wasn't Always Like This...

I was driving in my old truck yesterday, intent on towing my once-again disabled 1978 MGB from the spot where she finally came to rest after having a mild stroke.  It happens like that with old cars, a small blood vessel pops somewhere under the hood and suddenly the whole thing becomes paralyzed by the side of the road.
I was happy that my son could come and help me drag it home and I was delighted by the skill that he showed – carefully folding his 6’6” frame into that little two seat, English buggar.
He did so well maintaining dignity there in the chase car – his passenger, a 14 year old special-needs sister having refused to vacate the disabled vehicle, rode along screaming in delight with every jerk and bump of the tow chain.
I was proud of the lot of us, Jon, sitting a full head higher than the windscreen, Bethany with her jet-black hair floating up as if electrified, the old rusty truck towing the lot of it all.  I was proud even after the fabled “right hand turn” when I felt a je…