When I started blogging several years ago, it seemed that I could write something new every day. Now I seem to go weeks, if not more, between posts. It's not that there's nothing to write. It's that I don't have the time to write it all down. I also starting posting more and more on Facebook. That gave me the satisfaction of writing short blurbs about what was going on without spending a lot of time writing every detail of what was happening here at Casa Marineau.
Somehow I think I'm destined to write a book. Not just because of all the things that have happened in my life. Or that I have some great story to tell. But because I can't stop writing it all down. I have this problem that when I write emails to people, I go on and on explaining things. I used to write letters a lot when I was younger. Hand. Written. Letters. Do people still do that sort of thing? I still love writing on paper. I love feeling the words come off of a good pen or a sharpened pencil. But typing is just faster. More precise. Easier to change a thought or correct a mistake. My thoughts come out of my head so fast, that my hand could never keep up with that momentum. Here's a dumb little confession. When I was learning how to type in high school, I would type what I was saying in my head. I could type pretty fast, too (both in the real world and in my brain!) Then, when I was learning sign language, I used to fingerspell everything. I still do that. When my kids ask me how to spell something, I have to spell it with letters on my hand. Maybe that's why I'm such a good speller - or why I can't stand it when people have spelling errors. Grammar Nazi. That's me. (I bet right now, you've gone back to see if I've misspelled anything!)
So with all this talk about writing, it seems I'm going to announce I'm writing some sort of how-to book. How to be a good mother. How to parent a special-needs child. How to cope with a spouse being out of work. How to not be depressed when it looks like everything around you is going down hill and everyone else's life looks like a joyous coaster ride. How to deal with the school system that will not listen to you and place your child/test your child where you believe to be the most appropriate school setting. How to argue with insurance companies about getting the best coverage for your child that needs to be removed from the home so he doesn't do more physical harm to family members. How to homeschool your children in the midst of all the chaos of residential treatment for a sibling. This list has been going on for some time. I haven't really figured out what my job is at this point. Does that sound crazy? I don't even know what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm not writing a book. Not now, anyway.
All along the way, God has provided for us. There is not a doubt in my mind about that. It does not erase the fact that this has been the most difficult, the most stressful and most depressive time in my life. I see things happen that are very good. And at the same time, wonder why other things can't be worked out in a similar way. Super-Hero lost his job in the middle of Holland's residential treatment stay. We were dumbfounded, thinking, why would He open the door and allow Holland's placement there and then have Super-Hero be laid off? Then, after I applied for OHP, we found out that for some unknown, unexplained reason, OHP was making the coverage retroactive. It would mean double coverage for all of Holland's treatment at the facility. We went from thinking we had thousands of dollars in bills, to probably owing nothing. Then there's the food boxes from local churches. Not only did they provide canned food and fresh food, we also received an organic turkey one week, and lots of bakery goodies that the kids love. And a week before Christmas I got a card in the mail from one of the churches with $40 in cash and a $50 gift card to Fred Meyer. I was blown away. With some other money I had, I was able to buy a Wii console for the kids. Ours has been broken for about two years and they had just been watching Netflix on it.
I have nothing insightful to say. Nothing very profound or earth-shattering. Just a lot of confusion as to why this is all happening. I look at Holland and just love him so much. And hate that he has turned out this way. It just kills me that I can't have a normal conversation with him. Laugh with him about something without fear of him getting angry or misunderstanding me. He has a good heart. I've seen it many times. Genuine concern for other people. Remorse when he's done something wrong. I don't understand why he does so well in residential and then comes home and everything implodes.
My mom and I drove down on Thursday and took Romania and Egypt with us to visit Holland. It was the first time since Christmas we had seen him. We took some games down and some fun snacks - Monster Cookies. Gluten free cookies with peanut butter, brown sugar, oatmeal, chocolate chips and m&m's. They are a big hit with all three kids. We ate those while playing Scattergories and had a great time. Holland usually doesn't like playing board games, so I was surprised when he went along with this plan. The kids came up with some great (and sometimes very insightful answers!) One time when the letter was L and the clue was "something you keep hidden", Holland answered 'lame underwear' and Romania said, 'love'. The kids did fairly well for being in a small room most of the afternoon. I took a short rest since it's a two hour drive there and back. They watched a movie and Holland read a new book he got for Christmas during most of the movie. Before we left, they all got to play outside in the covered play area. It was good to see them all together having fun. Just as it should be.
Today Holland had another special visit. My cousin lives down in Eugene, about 20 minutes from where Hollands is living. My cousin had Facebooked me and asked if it was okay to visit him. He took his son over to visit and they stayed 2 1/2 hours, playing on the computer, playing UNO and watching a movie. Holland was already planning their next visit. We spoke on the phone tonight and usually the first thing he asks is for me to read to him. Every night I read him a couple chapters from a "Ranger's Apprentice" book we're reading together. (Sometimes he calls me twice a day if he's bored). Today, he didn't even mention the book. He went right in to describing the visit, playing Roblox on the computer and how my cousin brought Life Savers and how they ate "almost the whole bag". He even set up another visit in the next two weeks, wanting to take Holland to Red Robin. I'm blessed with family.