I don’t know if it’s the right thing. I don’t know that I will ever know.
But then again, I have never claimed to know what was right, and what was wrong when it comes to these kids. I have tried, desperately, to give them everything I could with hopes that someday it would be enough. That maybe by them having each other – they would somehow be able to overcome the odds that were thrown at them, and by some miracle – they would come out the other side, mostly unscathed.
As people dance around singing songs, tossing tinsel in the air, and decorating trees, I cling the hope that shrinks almost daily – that this is the right thing.
This weekend, I attempted, in vain, to go all out holiday with Josh. We hung lights, burned cookies, and attempted other assorted holiday traditions. To no avail. After a midnight fight, I put him to bed – pulled the covers over my own head and wished it all away. No matter how hard I try, it seems there is always something out there that is just that much stronger waiting to take me down.
I try to pick myself up with thoughts such as “Things could be worse” or “Things HAVE been worse.” But those thoughts are always argued with “Things WILL get worse” and instead of picking myself up, I only manage to de-motivate myself from even trying – because really, why bother? With an attitude like that, I won’t get far, and can’t expect anyone else to get far either. And so as the day breaks, I pull the covers off my head and face yet another day.
A month and ½ ago, it was a very possible option that I could have been planning yet another funeral. A thought I refused to let enter my mind at the time because I couldn’t let go of that tiny sliver of hope. A month and ½ later and I never did have to plan that funeral. I never did have to say good-bye, but because of that – I have to say good-bye in a different sense. I have to go against everything that FEELS right, and SEEMS good and go with that gut instinct that this HAS to be right.
Sending a child away in the middle of the holiday season just seems to scream all kinds of wrong. Sending him to a place that I have never seen, to deal with things that I can’t even image, and come out on the other side -is something I can only cringe about. No, its not easy. Its not a holiday away. Its not a happy trip, or something I would have ever hoped for him to be doing. But it’s the only option that seems to have a positive outcome.
If not this, then what?
My mind wants to play the “What if” and “When” and “How” games. It wants to tackle the issues of when he comes home, and how will he adjust, and what if it doesn’t work. It wants solid answers, 100% guarantees, and maybe a warranty that if this doesn’t work – something else will. But I can’t offer the guarantee to myself, because there is none. There is a very good possibility this won’t work. There is a very good chance that it wont help. There is a good chance that when he comes back – we will be right back where we started.
But there is also the chance that it does work. That it does help. That the tiny sliver of hope that was alive a month and ½ ago, will be there waiting to get another workout. And that by some miracle – this will be the answer.
While I want nothing more than to bring him home, tell him that everything will be ok – and go about celebrating the holidays WITH him, I can’t. I can’t give him the false hope that things will be ok. I can’t go about pretending that things are ok, and turning a blind eye to problems because I don’t like talking about them. I can no longer go about pretending that life is easy, and everyone is happy…
Because the blunt honest truth that no one likes to hear? The part about 15 year olds trying to end their own lives? They don’t make very good holiday stories. They don’t make the movie channel, and bring out the warm fuzzy feelings. But they are life. And life sucks sometimes. But there isn’t any other option – then to keep on mucking along. If for nothing else, to show those you love who are struggling, and hurting, and barely hanging on – that you are there waiting. Right beside them. And will be there until they are ready to move on.
I just hope its enough.