Ground Hog’s Day. The More things Change, the More they Stay the Same?


The More things Change, the More they Stay the Same?

The daily adventures of being a “special needs” mother often feels like the movie, Ground Hog’s Day. You wake up and find certain rituals and routines follow you through decades and no matter how hard you try to change it up, they repeat.

In my last post, I wandered the page describing the importance of taking a break as I had just returned from Cartagena, Columbia. The time away gave me need perspective as attempted to catch the brilliant glimmer which balances on the rock hard realities of living someone who has a disability and the warmth of a very “special” kind of love.

As I departed on my trip South, I promised myself to enjoy this precious jewel of time and relish its rich green color, like the local emeralds unearthed from rugged mountains.  Emeralds, the color of spring, the heart of renewal, the color of my eyes and are my birthday stone. A silver ring, with three emeralds set in a line to remind me of past, present, and future managed to come home with me. Perhaps, I bought it to remind me of the enduring power of nature and gather its restorative energy.

I needed this reminder. Despite my settling in for a few days of freedom, I struggled to shake off the feeling something was up. Doubt burrowed into my mind. My gut told me things would be different when I returned. But, what?

The stage had been set for my departure. Everyone playing their support role well as the settled assistig Mikelle in living her life in my absence. We had a full cast. Taylor wasn’t going anywhere, Ashley was here until the end of May and Desi, well, was always rock steady.

“Don’t worry, Mama.” I whispered out loud to myself, but the doubt persisted, digging in deeper like a nagging headache or dull pain after a stubbed toe.

“Relax.” I told myself.

Coming home, like getting away is peppered with a mix of reluctant eagerness. As a mom and caregiver, I know my return home will greet me with a mound of to-do’s stacked high and piled deep.

The trip home is effortless. The next day after my arrival, my suitcase still laying open on the bedroom floor, I greet Mikelle and her team at the breakfast table. The fragrance of  Colombian coffee floats in the air, but that isn’t the only thing hanging in the air.  Reluctance? Perhaps, a secret.

But, I have been here before and in seconds I recognize the routine. Ground Hog Day, all over again.

Ashley needs to leave for home to care for her mother and gives us two months’ notice. Taylor, has decided on a new career direction. Fabulous. She starts school the same time Ashley leaves staying part-time for another two months as she becomes a certified nursing assistant. I try to be supportive, calculating the number of women who have passed through our lives since Mikelle moved out on her “own”.

I list everyone by name: Wellanie, Freddy, Kari, Jamie, Lauren, Bentley, Adriana, Susie, Naty, Kathryn, Sarah and the list goes on.

I ask myself, “Is this how it is always going to be?”

I grieve the change, then realize many of these women are the emeralds in our lives; deep, brilliant and reminiscent of the essential growth we all must experience.

When I think about it, it isn’t the past just repeating itself. It is the opportunity to celebrate the rituals of unearthing new jewels.

Craigslist…here we come.