On Friday, December 22nd, my husband (79) made the 4 hour drive down to Conway, AR to pick our son, Ben (55), up for Christmas, and they drove the 4 hours back in a hard rain…but got to Tulsa safely!
On Saturday, Ben helped me make brownies, chili, and home-made potato soup for Christmas Day…when our daughter and two granddaughters and our younger son would be here to celebrate… not only Christmas, but our up-coming 60th Anniversary (January 18th). On Sunday morning, we attended our Church’s service (which was wonderful & unique), and then rested up that afternoon for the arrival of our family. They got here about 3:00 pm, and that evening, we went to a nice restaurant, and they treated us to a lovely dinner. Ben was truly a perfect gentleman both places. At the restaurant, he unrolled his silverware, and put the cloth napkin in his lap. How did he know to do that? They don’t really eat that “fancy” where he lives (although they do wonderfully well). He wiped his face with the napkin when needed (of his own accord), and one could not have told that he had any autistic problems at all from his behavior or demeanor. WHAT A BLESSING! It hasn’t always been that way. He was calm and peaceful, and has been every day since.
We have been shopping at the Mall, have eaten at the “food court” (where there were hundreds of other people eating and milling around), have walked all over the mall, looked in stores, and carried packages. He says “nary a word,” but follows close behind me, as he has no idea where he’s (or I’m) going next. I tell him, “You’re the best shopper in the”…and he finishes the sentence saying what’s he’s heard me say, “whole world!”
In the afternoons, he takes a 2-hour nap (because the meds for seizures make him sleepy)…so I can rest then too. He loves to eat, and will eat most anything. At the restaurant, he even ate the broccoli in his steamed vegetables (a first)! He loves to work puzzles and just finished this 200 piece “Santa” one he got for Christmas.
That helps to keep him occupied and happy too! I can’t even express what a joy it is that he can still come home for visits and be a part of our family. He loves coming, and I find that I feel “complete” when he’s here. We deal with the separation because we have to…but deep inside there is a longing that is fulfilled in all of us with each visit. Praise God for His Blessings!