Christmas with Ben–2012
Posted on January 18, 2013 by autism45
Ben was home for Christmas for nine days and did GREAT! He is such a fine fellow at age 50 , fits into our routine, and goes everywhere with us. I think of the days gone by when he was small, and marvel that he is able to go to church with us and greet the people with a smile on his face now. He actually looks eager to see them and to be in that sacred place. I think of my dad, who was friendly and outgoing, and ponder that if Ben could carry on a conversation, I believe he would be like his Grandpa Fred! I sat beside him on the divan and we looked at the photo album of pictures taken when he was small. He loved that! He remembers relatives and people he hasn’t seen for 20 years or more (and they look a LOT different now). I asked him if he remembered when I used to chase him on a summer’s evening around the big circle our neighborhood was built on (he loved being chased). I would run after him saying, “I’m going to step on your shadow!” He would then laugh uncontrollably, and run faster to keep me from being able to do just that. When I talked about it, he cocked his head and smiled great big…as if reliving the event. I also noticed that he stopped working his puzzle when some beautiful Christmas music was playing that he had never heard before…as if entering that new tune into the computer in his head for future reference.
He also loves to help. He helped me by opening the cans while fixing the Christmas dinner, and poured the ingredients into the pans or bowls…then stirred them for me…all the time looking eager and interested. He helped me grind the cranberries for the salad, and added the cool whip, celery, nuts and marshmallows with gusto. He helped me make the brownies too. He also helped my husband carry the big, heavy 24 inch wooden leaf to the dining room table in from the bedroom and insert it to make the table bigger….all the time being VERY careful not to bump into anything with it. After our Christmas celebration, and everyone else had gone, he watched football and basketball with my husband. When it was closer to New Year’s, and we took down the Christmas decorations, he helped me carry the boxes and put them up on the high closet shelves. He gets such a look of pride when helping, and I’m sure it makes him feel useful. He didn’t seem sad about going back to his living unit which is four hours from Tulsa. I always fix him and my husband a sack lunch and Ben portions it out at the appropriate time, and loves being “in charge” of the eats! But, we heard that after he got back that night, he was quite upset and had to be given some ativan to calm him. It’s SO hard to know what to do. He enjoys his home visits so much and we so enjoy having him…but is it too much of a “culture shock” for him when has has to go back? It was still the holidays, and 30 men were without their usual routines, or classes. It can get a little chaotic from time to time, and it is so peaceful at home. We just have to believe that he has the best of both worlds. ..a place to live where he has a job and a routine to follow, and is still able to come home and be a part of his family. Thank God for such a blessed time with Ben!