Sunday, March 21, 2010

A pretty huge realization

Lately my husband and I have been focussing on making our house and yard as accessible as possible for Ben. We plan to put a ramp to the side door so that Ben can go in and out independently with his walker. We are going to redo our deck (which right now has a step up in the middle of it) so it too is accessible to Ben. We plan to get rid of the step (or add a small ramp) as well as add a ramp off of the deck to the backyard. We also need to do some work on our backyard so it doesn't slope so much. My vision is that Ben will be completely independent to go in and out as well as play outside on his own.

So needless to say, we've been having alot of discussions about Ben, his abilities, and how to help Ben be as independent as he can be. It's rather all-consuming.

And then the other night when we were out for dinner on our own, we started talking about retirement. When we think that might be and what we might do once my husband no longer has to work for a living. The first thing we knew for sure is that we will not be staying in Canada for the winters. We'll probably buy a place in California or some other warm place and winter there. And we'll likely sell our house that we live in now and build a smaller place on the ocean (just 15 minutes away) for summers.

So as we were having this conversation about the future, it dawned on me.

Ben will not live with us forever and his disability will not affect our everyday lives forever. His disability will affect HIM for the rest of HIS life, but it will not affect us on a daily-basis like it does now.

WOW.

It was a pretty huge thought. That kinda threw me for a loop.

And don't take me wrong. This doesn't make me happy. No. How could it? It was just something that I hadn't thought of before.

Ben's abilities are such that there is no reason why he won't be able to live independently. Ben will pretty much be able to do whatever he wants (well, except play in the NBA). So no, he won't live with us forever. He'll likely go off to university, get an apartment, get a job and probably even marry and have children.

It's kind of changed the way I look at things. It's given me a bit of perspective. Like, this CP thing happened to BEN. And not so much to ME.

I'm not really sure what this all means...maybe it doesn't really mean anything. I guess that's why I'm blogging about it. But I'll let you know if I have any further insights.

6 comments:

  1. Charlie is more affected, and I wish I could be so certain about his future, but I have always reminded myself that this is his journey, not mine. How involved I choose to get is a decision that I make. I think this is a difficult idea for many parents to wrap their heads around.

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  2. That was a great post...*hugs*

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  3. CaryAnne, This is such a thoughtful post and deep, for sure. For Faith we don't know that independant living will ever be in her future. Really, it isn't something I put a lot of thought into. We just "assume" that she will be here with us. It may be shortsighted, I don't know. But at six, she still requires assistance for everything, even holding things. It speaks a lot of you that you know these things about Ben and look at them that way. GOOD MOMMA

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  4. Hey, that was indeed thought provoking. I've been realizing lately that I mostly think positively about Hannah's future, and plan for good outcomes, but I only let myself really look at today and this week, maybe this month because the long term seems so much bigger and scarier. Wow. Good post.

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  5. I really liked this post too. I think I've spent a lot of time focusing on how Alex's challenges affect me, but haven't thought in depth about how *he* will feel about them when he is older. That is definitely something I want to shape with a positive attitude.

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  6. Caryanne,

    I like to live by the rule of now, in the moment, although sometimes when I glimpse too far ahead...this major anxiety thing happens.
    It is hard to do sometimes.

    Are you sure you want to leave these beautiful Canadian winters(;

    Your boys are beautiful, happy and you Mommy are doing a wonderful job!

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