Feb 22 2013 in Caring for Spouses by Peggikaye
I sat in the Social Security Administration next to my 21-year-old son — it was crowded. The day after a holiday is probably not the day to take care of the business of every day stuff. The office was filled with new wives changing their names, newly disabled people whose faces showed the strain of filing for something they desperately needed and hated the idea of getting, people on the verge of retirement getting ready to change their lives forever. The faces told their stories — probably more than they wanted.
I was there to fix a snafu with my name. No big deal. A hassle but nothing else. (A big one, a funny one, but a hassle that had to be fixed before I could get a job after I graduate.) My son was with me to replace his SS card after his wallet was stolen.
We were stuck in a corner — the two of us jammed into a corner like a couple of sardines. There were about 25 more people than seats, so we counted ourselves lucky that our two-hour wait was seated. We talked and talked.
He’d had his heart-broken and, for the first hour, the talk was over the girl he’d brought home for Christmas. This was supposed to be his forever girl. She did not break up. He did. He took a stand for integrity and because he did not deserve to be lied to. That didn’t help to lessen the pain.
He got quiet for a few minutes and I thought he was thinking about her. And then he said,
“Mom, he’s not doing very well is he?” “Wat??” “Dad, Dad isn’t ok, is he? This is the time we talked about with Ryan (youth pastor from his teen years) so long ago. It’s really here now isn’t it?”
“Yeah, Benjamin, he’s not ok. But … we don’t know … it could be tomorrow, next month, next year or 10 years .. we just don’t know. There aren’t enough polio survivors for them to tell us — and there aren’t ANY scoliosis patients that are this bad for them to have any basis for prediction …the combination of the two? They have no prognosis.”
“Mom, he’s not ok.” The tears fell freely in front of all those people. My 21-year-old, 250-pound son, was crying and I couldn’t pick him up and hold him. This isn’t a skinned knee or neighborhood bully. This is a bully of the worst kind and we can’t fight back.
“No, son, he’s not ok”
“I hate that I wasted so much time fighting with him over music instead of getting to know him as him.”
He has three days a week that he’s not ever doing anything. He’s decided to come home for those three days every week. He wants to get to know his Dad, help his Dad…be with his Dad.