November 27, 2016

Reflecting on the emotions of yesterday’s departures.


It felt so normal to see him, so comfortable to be a three-person family again for a WHOLE EIGHT AND HALF DAYS. In so many ways, he was just exactly the same… still hit foam dice with spatulas around the kitchen, still destroyed small squares of styrofoam that served as tees for his practice swings on the back porch, still ran out at 10:30 at night hoping the driving range at Muni would be lighted…still raided the pantry of cookies and cereal… still resisted efforts to get him out of bed in a timely way. He was still sweet, still affectionate, still relentless with his explanations and musings about physics.

AND, he is different. A little bit more his own person. A little bit more stepping up. Maybe even a little bit more affectionate and doting.

Some small examples:

  • He’s got a private life and no need to share all the details. Things happen that we just don’t even know about. And he doesn’t seem to see a need to tell us. He seems utterly comfortable in his own skin, with his own choices, but not defiantly so.
  • He’s got Frank Sinatra on his iTunes and knows a lot of the words from some of his oldest (cheesiest?) standards.
  • He jumped up to clear tables and be helpful.. a tad more than usual (which was not that much before).
  • He asked about people and seemed to really care about the answers.
  • He’s trying more food and seems a lot more willing to be adult-y.
  • He’s got very strong opinions and can both back them up and back down if a better perspective is presented. None of this is new, but it looks even better on him now.
  • He just spent a full day and overnight with Uncles Matt and Michael, on their turf, on their clock. I think it went just fine. I know they went out to dinner and a movie (Allied) last night and that he enjoyed it .. but we’re still waiting for stories . For now, he’s got work to do now that he’s back in La Jolla and if he gets some time, will call us later and fill us in, you know, if he’s got time. First things first… studying! So there’s THAT.

I am touched and I am proud of him. He is evolving right before our eyes… like he’s always done, but this time, with the distance, the changes seem more notable. Nothing out of the ordinary, but gratifying nonetheless. Transitions and change are so dependable.

So, as he and Matt walked out of the parking garage and disappeared out of sight yesterday afternoon, and Jim and I prepared to take off for our long drive… it just felt emotional.  It’s okay to be leaving in different directions, easy especially, because I’m returning to pick him up in two weeks, but it’s just another small reminder that life is in a new phase, that Peter is a budding adult on his way to a life we’ve prepared him well to live. It’s good, but requires some deep breathing. Teeny tears are still welling up.



I hate to leave her. Anymore, time with her family is all she wants and yet that cannot happen all the time. She is lonely and frustrated and it shows up in the most uncomfortable ways. I wish she were happier and more content, but her frustrations seem to dominate her days.

She is so thankful when we are around.

It makes it hard to leave. She doesn’t make it hard to leave–she is always just thankful we were there–but it’s awful to walk down the walk and look back and see her there, unhappy to be left with the caregivers she just cannot tolerate.

I try not to look back; it just breaks my heart.


It’s hard not to juxtapose the two departures. It’s hard not to wonder what life will look like down the path, say 25 or 30 years from now when Peter’s coming back to see us.

That’s about all I can bear to write about that.


How ’bout some pics…

One from ten years ago.. not the best of P (age 8), but a great one of mom (age 77) in more robust, twinkly, glowing days..


I like this one.. just because it’s unposed and real-life. Mom loves her bedroom. Her bedroom is her beloved sanctuary, even though she spends very little time in it–she is not a hang-out-in-the-bedroom type. And she loves these yellow PJs. I think it’s a cute shot:

IMG_0491 2.jpg

Don’t mention you saw this photo, please. But I love it… our, leggy, 6′ man child…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: