Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dreams For The Future

Yesterday my mom and I spent the day together. We talked about all that my dad went through before he died and we talked about what we went through together as mother and daughter as he declined. As it always does the conversation went to Thomas next and how he is doing. My greatest tragedies have been the loss of my dad and the loss of my son. The kind of losses are different, of course, but they are both painful just the same.

We talked about all of the losses Thomas has incurred. One of the ones that most breaks my heart is that he has this girlfriend that lives across the U.S. from us and the two of them only text. They never actually speak on the phone nor do they send pictures to each other. Dr. K. sometimes tosses out that Thomas ought to just jump on a plane and go see her and even though Thomas could afford to do it, he doesn't and I don't think he ever will.

The thing about that relationship is, it is all "fantasy" based. Not in the lurid way, it's just that they can only TALK (text) about holding hands or holding each other. My mom expressed how she felt Thomas would never marry or have kids even though he says that is something he wants for his future. The said thing is, this is one of those realities about Thomas that I try to never think about because it breaks my heart but the truth of the matter is, I think the same way as my mom. How could he have anything more than just exactly what he has now if he can't even exchange a picture with his girlfriend?

In that conversation it occurred to me too that the only human physical contact Thomas gets is from me (on a regular basis) and my mom when she comes by every now and then. It's heartbreaking to think about that. How can a person live with so little physical outpouring of love? I sit with him and watch a movie where two young people his age find each other and fall in love and they have a normal relationship with all of its benefits that are a part of having a human relationship where two people are in each other's physical presence. I wonder, does he watch that and yearn for those same things? Does he miss them? Does he even want them? To tell you the truth, I am actually terrified to ask him, afraid of the answer, because I couldn't face that he wants something he can't have. This is one thing I cannot provide for him and it is one of my greatest heartaches where he is concerned.

Then my mom asked me, what do I see for his future? What do I want for him? Again this is something I don't even truly want to face or discuss because the truth of the matter is, down deep in my heart, I don't see a normal life for Thomas. I told her, though, that the best I can hope for, what I want most, is for him to be as healthy as is possible for him. Even in his best times, he is still isolated, anxious, and lives in a narrow world. When I think about his future I think to myself, this is it, these moments where he is his best, this is what I want for him even though it's not a life that he deserves. If he can be happy, if he can not be sedated, if he can still get out and go places with me, if he can still build the models he loves to build or draw or play the computer games he spends most of his life with, then all of that is better than his worst moments stuck behind the locked doors of an institution, sedated, angry, hallucinating, and scared.

So, there it is in black and white. The truth of it all is that I want for him his very best days that I have seen him have since he's been sick and I want those things not because I don't wish for him to have more but I want them because I know down deep inside that that is what he will get thanks to this illness. Dreams are a funny thing. Especially dreams that we hold for our loved ones. The fact is, our own dreams for ourselves rarely come true and our dreams for our loved ones are not ours to decide or control. We can want them to have the world but if their world is their bedroom, or an assisted living home, or a hospital or prison, that is their reality and their life to live. We can wish for more with all of our might but in the end, we can't make other's dreams come true because manifesting our own dreams takes perseverance and faith and a lot of hard work and even then, most times in the end, we don't get what we want.

So...what do I see for Thomas's future? Well, I've said it here and it sickens me. My pessimism sickens me but however much I fight off the nausea, what I can't fight off is the truth. I will never stop wanting more for Thomas. Why would I have it any other way? But when pressed for the truth of what I see for his future, based on what I have seen so far, I see far less than my dreams can reach FOR him. All I want, all I pray for, all I plead for in his hardest times, is that this illness doesn't take him away from me any more than it already has. I will always provide the world to him in what ever way I can but if he doesn't reach out and grab that brass ring, in the end, it is his choice where his life goes and having offered the world a thousand times in a thousand ways so far in his life, and having seen what he can take and what he is unable to, what I want for him most is his safety, his health, and whatever happiness he can grab ahold of.

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