2 years. Yes, it had been nearly 2 years since I set foot on the beautiful coastal lands of San Diego. My senses on high alert, in disbelief really, restored in me memories of another time, another place, another home.
The warmth of the sun’s rays unevenly warming my arms. The intense white light created by its rays as they tickled the crests of each wave on the bay. The smell of bourgainvillea’s caught on the breeze. Micah’s beloved agapanthus growing in clumps along the edges of nearly every flowerbed we passed. The birds of paradise in their curious regal splendor dotting the grounds of our hotel. Yes, this was home, and the flood of memories absorbed my mind, as my senses recalled to the forefront of my brain, what my emotions had long tucked away safely in files immediately sealed in an effort of survival.
It was beautiful. And wonderful. And sad.
Tears collected and tugged at the corners of my eyes. That familiar burning lump found its way to my throat. I would not cry. I would not mourn this place. I would not allow these memories to send me into regret over the tough but necessary decision to move back East.
Who’ll take care of him while we’re working? Who is as vested as we are? What’ll happen? We can’t do this in a vacuum. We need help. We can’t continue like this. It’ll swallow us all whole, the autism. And what about the behaviors? Our kids, how will this effect them? And what about Jonas? We only get one shot to do this right. It’s his future, his potential. The schools here, what about the schools? My career? My commitments? I can’t be both places. I can’t do both well. This back and forth is killing me. I simply cannot, will not continue to service other people’s children instead of my own. I cannot. IT’S NOT FAIR!! I can’t do this anymore. I can’t. And what of our lives? It’ll swallow us all whole, the autism. But East? It’s a chance. It’s hope. It’s support. It’s scary, and it’s hard, so hard. I know. But, we have to do something. We have to. What other choices do we have? Let’s do it then.
I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. I could not rue this decision. I would not cheapen our decision no matter how hard it was, no matter how hard it continues to be. I would not regret this place. So I swallowed deep the lump, the tears, the lament.
I would enjoy my days in this place that now felt worlds away from my day-to-day life, even as I strolled along her streets, taking in her wonders.
I would enjoy the time. Enjoy it, enjoy it, enjoy it, I told myself over and over again, because it won’t last forever.
TO BE CONTINUED…