Friday, April 03, 2015

What Happens To Thomas If I Die??

On my mind lately has been the thought,

"What if I die? What happens to Thomas then?"

Part of this stems from my upcoming trip to the conference. I am not a happy flyer. I hate planes and I'll be trapped in one for 6 hours 2 directions over the entire United States and I am not happy about this. The other part stems from family talk about wills lately and taking care of loved ones after someone dies. For starters, I don't have a will. Yet. I plan on getting one in the next couple of months but that doesn't help me if I die on my trip. I know I need to look at the positive side of things but this trip, while it should be completely exciting, is really stressing me out between Thomas no longer being stable and then all of this "will talk". Making matters worse is the fact that Thomas is only receiving $311 payments from Social Security disability and if I'm gone, how would he survive?
Yesterday my mom and I talked about this stuff and she told me that when I do get a will that I need to get it written up so that she is Thomas's guardian and that she oversees his financial life and care. If I were to die before she does, I feel like this is the perfect option. She has been a wonderful grandma to him and has his best interests at heart. If I were gone, Thomas would have a home with her and she could help him in a lot of ways that no one else in my life could. In that respect, my going to the conference isn't so worrisome because for as long as my mom is alive, Thomas will be loved and taken care of.

You might ask, how does Dan figure in to all of this? Sadly, I can't see him helping Thomas for the rest of his life. Dan loves Thomas and definitely has his good moments with him but expecting him to take on Thomas's care and need for love and attention is too much to ask of a man who is already tested daily and doesn't always pass that test. I love that man but where Thomas's care is concerned, sadly I don't trust him enough to give him complete control over what Thomas needs.

Then there is my sister. My sister is this amazing person who has raised some equally ill kids, one of her daughters has bipolar I and is a full time job in and of herself. Not only that but my sister has 7 other kids and a chaotic life. While he would be loved by my sister, he would have to be uprooted from this small town where all of his doctors and friends and his job are and move across the United States to a very busy, chaotic area of the country, a fate I just can't put on him. The way he is now, he would never survive.

I also have a few good friends that might want to take him in but most aren't in this area and again, I can't imagine handing them my unstable, schizophrenic son. I think that would be too much to ask of a friendship.

So, then what? Where do I turn? Well, I suppose I turn to God and pray that he keeps me safe on my trip and elsewhere in my life and that I live a long life where I can be there for Thomas no matter what. This, however, is of little comfort to me right now because my fears far outweigh my faith.
I know that I'm probably being irrational about the whole flying on a plane thing and I know my chances are greater of dying driving somewhere then from flying somewhere but all around me are things reminding me that planes aren't always dependable. There's been the crash in the Alps where the pilot deliberately crashed the plane with over 100 people on board killing them all and around here there have been a couple of close calls, one happening in Canada I think.

I really just don't know what to do or think. Right now I am depending on my mom to be there for Thomas if I die and that gives me some comfort but then I think about the grief I felt over the loss of my dad and I know that Thomas would be unable to handle losing me. Can you imagine? Practically his whole life revolves around me but without me, he is completely adrift.

I know, I know, this is a completely self-indulgent post because I can't see past my anxiety and fear but to be fair, with everything that's been happening with Thomas lately, I think it's reasonable to worry about these things. I can't , however, control my fate when it comes to whether or not my plane will make it to and from New Jersey and as such, the thoughts that I'm having seem warranted. They are also a call to action. I don't know where to start besides getting a will drawn up naming my mom and maybe others as guardians of Thomas. How do you plan for a life for your schizophrenic child when there are so few resources and people to take over?

I don't know but I had to put into words my fears both about my upcoming flight and about dying at some point. I actually thought to myself last night that I need to write a letter to Thomas before I leave on my trip telling him how much I love him and that I'll watch over him from heaven and give him instructions for life. I'm probably going a little crazy here but with my fears and anxieties at the wheel, I feel the need right now to protect Thomas in any way I can figure out how to.

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