Because of Ben’s behavior episode at Christmas, we’ve had six months of wondering how and when we would ever be able to see him again. SO, we made a change in our way of doing things, and went to his residential setting, and stayed in the Parent’s visitation apartments that the Parent’s Group built recently. That made it possible for him to visit with us there. It wasn’t like home, but it turned out VERY well–Praise the Lord!
The six months following Christmas had been such a sad time. My knee was injured during the incident, and did not seem to want to get well. The chance it might need surgery loomed over our heads for several months. It was drained twice and had one cortisone shot that did not heal it. I had to call Ben and tell him that I hurt my leg, and we could not travel at this time…so to be patient, and we would see him as soon as possible. I didn’t know how much about that he would understand. Finally, on June 28th, I was able to see the surgeon, and his opinion was that my knee DID still have fluid on it, but it appeared to have sealed itself off, and if it didn’t hurt…leave it “as is!” That was TRULY a burden lifted!
SO, on Monday, July 1st, my husband and I ventured down to Conway, AR to see Ben. He looked VERY happy to see us, and was his old, sweet self again (which helped with any fears we might have had). His birthday is the 4th of July, so we gave him his birthday puzzle, and he worked on it in the apartment with us…seeming very pleased with the arrangement. Then, we took him to Chili’s for his chicken fingers, mashed potatoes & gravy, and corn-on-the-cob dinner, and then to McDonald’s for a hot-fudge sundae with nuts on it (with which he was MOST pleased)! (We didn’t know if we’d be able to do those things with him ever again!)
Then, it was time to take him back to his residential unit overnight…but we picked him up the next morning at 7:30 am to take him to McDonald’s for pancakes, and then to a 9:05 am showing of the movie, “Toy Story 4!” He got popcorn there, and was in “hog heaven” (especially being in Arkansas–lol)! Then we took him back to his residence, said our good-byes, and left for home. I got several really good hugs from him (of his own accord). All in all, it was a very satisfying visit, and I think perhaps showed us FOR SURE that it was time for a change in the way we did things with Ben. My husband and I are both 81 years old now, and Ben is now 57. None of us have the energy we once did, and a shorter visit seemed to accomplish the same things that the longer one did. Ben probably doesn’t feel like being away from his routines for a week at a time any more than we would. God is SO good. HE made a way where there seemed to be no way, and we are TRULY thankful to HIM!