This week’s Finish The Sentence Friday prompt is: “I’m really afraid that/of…”
If you have been around here for any length of time, you know all too well what my nightmares are made of.
Dying, of course. I am sure that most people could say that they are afraid of dying, but when you have a child with autism, fearing your own death takes a whole new turn.
When DC was young, my greatest fear, being a single mother (and before that, having a husband that worked nights) was something happening to me and worrying about just how long it would be before someone/anyone realized that DC was alone.
And then he grew up….
As I have written about this subject many times, I am just going to give you excerpts of some of the previous posts that were written about this subject.. He is 26 (almost 27) now.
DC is 24 years old. He is a happy guy. He has a good life. He is the joy of my life. But even with all that he has accomplished the bottom line is, he will never be able to live on his own without full support. He will never be able to take care of himself. He does not understand safety. He does not understand many many things. He has no siblings. Even though his father and I have taken steps to be sure he is provided for, and have designated guardians in the event that anything should happen to both of us, those people are all my age or close to it. He will long out live all of us and realistically I should be looking at people his age, but I really do not have any options in that age group – again, he doesn’t have brothers or sisters. He will probably have to live in some sort of group home type environment with strangers and no one to look out for him. Dependent on strangers. At the mercy of strangers. This is devastating to me. It is what keeps me awake at night. It breaks my heart already.
He deserves to live the rest his life just as happily as he lives now; and that is the one thing I cannot promise him.
When your child with Autism becomes an adult with Autism and your own mortality begins to slap you in the face, it becomes a whole different ball game.
Our “kids” are going to outlive us, people. Who’s going to take care of them? Will they be cared for in the same fashion that we have cared for them? How drastically will their life change then? Think about it.
If I haven’t said it a hundred times, then let this be the hundredth; if I were to live forever, I would not change a thing about my son. He’s happy almost all of the time. He loves his life. He is in his own little happy world, but he won’t always be able to live in his own world, he will someday have to live in the real world. Then what?
If this is not enough to worry about, there is the other issue of him really not understanding death:
On the way home from my mother’s house the night my step-father passed away, I mentioned to Doug that I still was not really sure that DC understands what death means and how much I really want him to understand it.
Doug asked me why it is so important to me that DC understands. Why couldn’t I just let him believe what he believes, the way he believes it and leave it at that?
I understand that thought process. I understand wanting to protect him from anything bad or sad, I do. So why is it so important to me that he does understand?
“Because one day I am going to die and I want him to understand that it is not something one wants to do. I never want him to think that it was my choice. I NEVER want him to think that I just left him.”
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday Post. This week’s prompt: “I’m really afraid that/of…”
Finish The Sentence Friday is a link-up where writers and bloggers come together to share their themselves with a particular prompt (different formats each week of the month). Please visit Kristi or Kenya to read more submissions on “I’m really afraid that/of…”