Monday, January 4, 2010

Getting back to normal?

What a beautiful family! Oh, to have hair like this mom...if "the higher the hair, the closer to God" is true, she's tickling his beard! I don't know where I got this photo...and no, I don't know these people, but aren't they just the happiest looking family you've ever seen???

Aaaaagggghhhh! One thing I promise I will never do is sugar-coat our life. That means that along with Nicole's miraculous recovery, the hard work and amazing progress, there are bumps in the road that no amount of SAM-e could ever take care of.

How many of you have "boomerang kids" at home? You know...they left the nest then ended right back in it. Most do so on their own, knowing they have a safe, welcoming place to come home to. Others have no choice. Finances, or issues that they can't handle on their own drive them back home. But that's not the case with Nicole.

She's lived in France, traveled around Europe, been on several "solo" trips to Venezuela...she spent a summer in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, a year living in downtown Louisville, KY, all before moving to New York. She's as independent a person as I've ever met, and always ready to spread her wings and fly to the next big adventure.

So her accident brought her home not by choice, but by shear necessity. She'll turn 27 next month, and she is living in the room she grew up in. To say that part of her life is making her crazy is a major understatement. And while I am GRATEFUL beyond all belief that she is alive and well and home with us where I can protect her and know she's safe, I'm also going NUTS having her here! I guess we're pretty much back to normal, huh?

Except that Nicole wants to live on her own now. And she's not ready, physically to do that. There is still so much she cannot do on her own, mostly having to do with her limited hand function. That part just really sucks for her and for us. And financially, there's NO WAY she can live on her own. She gets a modest "stipend" of disability money each month--barely enough to cover her lunches out (she has to eat lunch out, because she's out all day, going to therapy, working out, etc.). We may have to start sending pb&j sammiches with her. And thanks to the Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce, which started a medical fund account for Nicole at Trustmark, we've been able to pay off alot of medical bills. I kept some money in the account to cover prescriptions, supplies, gas money for her personal care assistant and to pay for her trainer. But, that money has dwindled down to under $300. So, paying rent, utilitities, etc. isn't an option for Nicole right now, as she simply doesn't have the money to do it. Details, details... (By the way, the account is still open at Trustmark: it's the Nicole Marquez Medical Fund.)

There is a light at the end of the tunnel...Nicole is working on developing a motiviational speaking career, but that will take time. She's joined the National Speaker's Association and she's been making speeches at area schools, churches, chambers, civic clubs, companies, etc. She made a commitment to not charge for her services for speeches she makes in the tri-county area for the first year. It's her way of giving back to the community that has done so much for her.

So, we've got to find our rhythm we are going to get along while moving ahead? There's alot of "I can do it myself" but that lasts until "I need some help." I have to learn to let go, but still be in the wings, ready to jump in and assist when needed...mothering without smothering. And Nicole needs to learn to accept help when offered...she doesn't have to do it all alone.

And then there's Joe...who had his wisdom teeth out today and the only thing he needed me for was to pay the $1060 to the oral surgeon with a credit card--by phone. His sweet girlfriend Emily took him this morning, stayed with him, went to get his prescriptions, took him to her house and she dealt with the moaning and groaning all day. It was a sweet deal for me, I guess, although I really did long to wrap my arms around him while he was in such a vunerable state and rub his head, telling him it will all be OK. Instead, I talked to his woozy self on the phone.

He's fine. Nicole is fine. So I guess Larry and I will be fine too. Might as well....we're all getting back to normal.

Blessings to all who read this!

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