Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Battleships


(pics by Kristina on her phone)

On battleships. Ah, the storms you weather! Literally and figuratively. The hurricanes, Wilma, Katrina, Rita and her cronies, living without power, damage. The recession that kicked in in Florida about 4 years ago, the house sale for exactly half the original price. The 6 years of infertility and procedures, the abdominal surgery, the 7 intensive fertility treatments, the shocking life changing diagnosis of CHARGE, the harrowing months of intensive care, the pain you feel for your friends in similar circumstances, our boy's 10 surgeries, the miscarriage. The ongoing extraordinary daily challenges of teaching Reuben to eat with his mouth, breathe through his nose and mouth, walk, talk, sign against a quite crushing financial backdrop. You think you’ve weathered it all. There are of course some other of life’s greatest challenges that haven’t made it to our list. Yet.

And then, a huge explosion! You are blown entirely out of the water. 20 years. 20 years without so much as a handshake, never mind golden. Did that count for anything at all? The car, the phone, the computer. They go. There is no notice, you are just drowning in the awful surprise. And so you think, eh, where do we go from here? You're stuck in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean between the US and the UK and can only swim with what you can actually carry on your back, the rest you have to leave behind. Where exactly is home now? There are so many people who have offered true help and support in the past, so full of compassion and real help financially when things were very very bad. And then there are entities where there is zero compassion. So what now of the uncertain future? How ugly to do something without warning knowing the awful consequences it will have on a child who is learning one foreign language, ASL, but will likely be having to learn another in a few weeks. Hadn’t really seen the need to learn both side by side. Totally hung out high and dry.

Next week we leave for a vacation in the UK, our first holiday in a year. Jason has worked pretty much every public holiday in the last and has yet to take a vacation. There's an awful lot of accrued leave. For what. Perhaps we’ll be staying on there with the boys and the black suits will be coming back out from the back of the closet. Today I was videoing our boys at school at Circle Time, deliriously content, and I happened to look round to see Jason standing at the door. That’s unusual. Ah, he’s coming along to be in the video, how very sweet. He’s sitting down holding Reuben, not quite himself. That’s strange. Into the conference room. I have some news. Two options running through my head so I chose the least devastating of the two and I am right. I know. I feel a painful empathy for Jason, but he feels worn out, not upset.

After Circle Time with Jason gone, I sit on the grass with Callum and look around at the beautiful bougainvillea and breathe in the jasmine as if it were the last time, so bitterly poignant, like the last taste of summer, and then return to Reuben’s beloved school, that which has given him the most extraordinary leap forward with his socialisation skills, in whose environment he trusts. It feels now as if he is going to be betrayed. And then I step back inside and watch Reuben from the Observation Room, playing with the teacher, happy and loved. You can never plan for anything in the future, never keep a steady float without taking in huge gulps of putrid salty water when you just keep getting blown sky high by the bombing. Tears are welling up in the Observation Room because I suddenly feel, wow, will Monday be the last time he comes here? Oh my God!
Yet for now, I have to put all this beside me, get us all in the car, drive an hour across town to Children's, don a lead vest to protect me from exactly the radioactive material I then have to feed Reuben whilst watching a video of Reuben, a moving skeleton with glasses and with little black blobs of said radioactive material shooting down his esophagus, to make sure he's swallowing without aspiration. Which he does.

10 comments:

amy and mighty max said...

my heart is breaking with you right now catherine. what happened though...i can just tell you are overwhelmingly sad, frustrated and scared.

thinking of you...love, amy

ypersico said...

oh Catherine ~ so much uncertainty and upheaval ~ yet I know you will manage all things with grace, gratitude and love ~ and I feel strongly as this door closes a greater more wonderous door is already opening for you and your family ~ <3 <3 <3 love, ~y

ellen charge said...

will u all come bak

Kristi said...

Oh, Catherine...
I don't even know what to say... I read this at the listserve first and my head is spinning. I am so very sorry and am heartbroken for Jason and you. So very sorry.

I know they say when one door closes, another opens... but I can only imagine how hard it must be to see that right now when the door was, essentially, slammed.

Thinking of you, friends, wanting to reach out...
love,
Kristi

Sara said...

Oh Catherine
I'm so incedibly sorry to hear that - my heart goes out to you. I truly wish that there was something that I could do.
Hugest of hugs and love to you all.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for all your heartache in your life. Just know that he does have a plan ... one door closes another will open. Reuben will always flourish because he has the two of you loving him and guiding him. I wish you all the best of luck and know I'm thinking and praying for all of you. I'm so sorry again for the sadness ... Its good yoru going home to be with your family. Enjoy them, afterall love and family are so important.

Love, Tracy K

JENN said...

This is a very big of a change for you all four... With prayers for your kids and both Mum & Dad together with another obstacle in life...

Please take a step at a time as LOVE conquers it all....

Both you with REUBEN & CALLUM --- Believe and Stay in faith with your family's ongoing struggle...

Remember, someone high above knows truly what you both been through with your two SWEET ANGELS now...

STAY STRONG and remember the message in "THE FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND"....

Thoughts and prayers,

JGF

Polly said...

Catherine - and Jason,

I can't believe what I've just read. What a dreadful, dreadful shock for you both. After all those years and loyalty to one company. I thought Jason would be with them for ever! My heart goes out to you all. How can they do this to you? With no pay-out? And to take everything away straight away? That can't be allowed, surely? Presumably the company is in a dire situation? You must feel so betrayed and so angry. As others have said, you have both shown such strength through such hard times, that I'm sure you'll weather this storm... but you so don't deserve this. You are obviously going to face some major decisions on your trip back to the UK - good luck with that, my friends. Much love, Polly x

skeybunny said...

Catherine,

I'm sorry to read about what is happening. I don't have any idea what it feels like to be in your situation, but I am thinking of you. I may complain (sometimes a lot) about owning my own business, but at least I am in control of whatever happens. I'm guessing the most frustrating part is not having any control over the situation.

Sending lots of hugs,
Sarah, Jeremy, and Evan

Leigh Clark said...

ah mate, I'm so sorry. No words for you except sorry, sorry, sorry. Keeping my fingers crossed that something turns up.

Leigh
xx