Monday, May 18, 2020

COVID-19 and Tyler

The first and most important thing to point out is that Tyler, his staff, and his housemate are all safe and sound from the virus so far.  His agency has done an amazing job, and the staff are HEROES without question for the safety and love they are currently providing.  We are blessed beyond measure that so far the family has remained healthy.  My most sincere thanks go to those people on the front lines trying to keep us all safe, fed, and entertained during such a difficult time period.  Bless all of you.

It has been about 3 months since we have seen Tyler.  The number one concern right now is to protect those that need extra protection.  Tyler cannot protect himself from the virus, so we must step up and do the right things for him.  He understands that his routine has been shot, and people around him are wearing masks, but he doesn't understand why.  Fortunately time is a concept he doesn't fully grasp, so he may not realize just how long all this has been going on.

But we do.  We miss him every day.  We want him to know that we are still here for him and that we still love him as much as ever.  

For me, this brings into play a truth that I will probably never be able to live with....I can't fully protect him.  No matter how diligent we all are, no matter how great our staff is, and no matter how much we plan for every scenario, we can only do so much.  I'd like to be able to say that doing the best we can is enough to be able to sleep soundly at night, but it isn't.  The cold hard fact that this virus has shown us is that when a person is truly vulnerable there are things in the world that can get to them no matter what.  

For years, even before Tyler left home, I've suffered from recurring nightmares about him.  The settings change but the theme remains the same, something is happening to him and I cannot save him.  Sometimes we are in a body of water and he is sinking and the realization that I can't keep him and I afloat at the same time.  Sometimes we are crossing a road and for some reason I can't get him out of the middle of the road.  I don't think the dreams play out completely, they just center on my fear of being helpless to protect him.  The virus feels like this scenario playing out in real life.  Its invisible, and in some cases unstoppable.  For people with special needs and their staff, there is no way to completely isolate themselves.  The care of their individuals have to come first, even if it makes them more susceptible to getting sick.  Its a no-win situation.

For the time being, we can only pray for everyone's safety and make the best choices we know how to make.  We have to thank all of those people that are enduring additional hazards in order to protect our loved ones.  And we have to hope that our worst nightmare confines itself to our sleep.

Be well and God bless.    Tom