Sunday, September 13, 2020

Family Update

 The clock just seems to roll one day into the next.  The calendar clicks away the days, nearly empty of appointments, gatherings, or adventures.  Every day feels like groundhog day, just without the groundhog.

Tyler is doing "ok".  Because he is unable to wear a mask, he has not been able to return to his day program or go out into public.  It has become a challenge to keep him exercised and stimulated, but the house is doing their very best.  Even the church hasn't responded to my e-mail about how to bring Tyler back safely.  Its hard for everyone to know the right answers and get things right at thee moment, but I would expect that Tyler would be an important enough member of the congregation to warrant discussion on how to safely keep him actively attending.  On the health front, Tyler is also just "ok".  As he is often subject to, his stomach has slowed down and caused him some temporary bloating and discomfort.  Its the kind of thing that a young man with so many challenges shouldn't have piled on top of him.  It just isn't fair.  It adds to the helplessness of not being able to see him and comfort him.  Its been 7 months since we have seen Tyler, hugged him, laughed with him, or told him face-to-face how much we love him.  He doesn't understand the circumstances so he is simply in a seemingly endless void.  Somewhere in his mind I hope he knows that our love is always with him even when we can't be.

Samantha is doing "ok" as well.  We decided that she would remain at home for now and attend cyber school.  It felt like the safe play considering it is too hard to predict how returning to school will effect the spread of the virus.  We have already gotten calls warning us that staff have tested positive in our district.  There are also other local districts temporarily shutting down due to positive cases or suspected positive cases.  I'm hoping that my predictions have been wrong, and the schools will remain healthy and open.  Meanwhile, Samantha is actually enjoying cyber school.  She likes the shorter overall day, not getting on the bus, and not having some of the social pressures that come at this age.  She lights up when she talks about her teacher...saying she is funny, sweet, and "best of all she is a good person".  I figure that is about as good as it gets.  She does miss her friends and socializing of course, but we try to make sure she has other means to fill those needs.

My wife is very steady through almost everything, so its hard to gauge exactly how much she has been effected.  I know she misses Tyler desperately.  But I think as long as we are all healthy and keeping the roof over our heads, she is "ok".

I consider my own self to be a mixed bag.  On one hand I'm enjoying the family time.  We've also used the time to work on home projects.  Unfortunately there is a downside too.  Parts of my anxiety seemed to have spiked.  Its difficult to explain, but certain conditions and sounds have the tendency to take me back to highly anxious times and events.  Sometimes it takes a lot to throw me back there, sometimes it takes very subtle things.  I think by not seeing him and having that first hand connection it is harder for me to feel reassured.  

We send our thoughts to everyone who is struggling right now.  So many people are hurting because of COVID-19, social injustice, and the divisive climate.  Our family wishes a successful end to the pandemic, equality and love for all humans, and peace and cooperation to return to our nation.  We are common in our struggles, yet choosing to be divided in our fight.  We cannot conquer these issues without unity.

Be well and God bless.    Tom