Before It All Changed

When we are young and carefree, it’s hard to imagine how life can turn, change and suddenly be something unimaginable.  We all have ideas, or scenarios when we are young, how our life will play out. Those wild unimaginable scenarios don’t ever cross our mind.  I planned, when I was young, to grow up, get married have a family. I didn’t plan on a child with Autism.   I have a friend whose husband is a quadriplegic, due to an accident, and know that wasn’t anything they planned for.

Just recently my friend was sharing some old photos, many of her husband, and it struck me, that at the time of those photos, they were living life, young and carefree, before it all changed.  Right until the moment of his accident,  and maybe in those first moments after, I would bet, they never thought  their life would be anything other than what they planned.

Like a game of pool, you line up the shot, 8 ball corner pocket,  you set your sights, pull back the cue stick,  take your best shot.  Everything is perfect, until that  8 ball hits slightly to the left of the pocket, ricochet’s  off and lands somewhere you didn’t plan.  You know you are still in the game, but the game is different now.  How do you go from being a young couple with a son, with nothing but the typical life issues, to a young couple with a son and now quadriplegic?  Talk about a major life changing event!  Everything in your world changes from that moment.  Your life, the family’s life, your dreams and what used to be your normal.  All changed.

Now there is a new world to learn, one that has immense challenges.  The basic act of getting dressed, eating sleeping, bathing, all those things taken for granted just moments ago, before it all changed. It’s not fair, or easy or anything you would wish on anyone, but it is now your world.   So what do you do?  You do what needs to be done, you learn all about your new world and move on.

It takes great strength and commitment to face these challenges and not give up.  Not give up on yourself or the person now in a wheelchair.  To stand united in this new challenge and continue to be happy.   I see pictures of  my friend before it changed, the smiles the happy times, the love that is there. I see pictures now of my friend, and see that same smile and love that is still there.  I can guarantee it’s been a struggle for all of them, but it says a lot to me that they have faced this challenge and haven’t given up.

Life can be a challenge, and all the plans we make can change in an instant.  No one plans for a catastrophic life changing event, it is too unimaginable.  To do so, would make for a rather negative existence.  Like most people, we go along, making our plans thinking all will be fine.  For those that have had life challenges,  whether they be physical or not, it can be so easy to fall into “what could have been, or should have been ” before it all changed.  I admire your strength to move forward.

My Baseball Heart

Some background regarding my baseball heart, not that you asked, just thought I would share.

I grew up with 4 brothers and 4 sisters, I am the middle child. As kids, back in the day, we had no internet, limited t.v. options, so simple things, such as kick the can, tag and baseball were our fave activities. Summers, for us girls, were filled with softball games with dad as our coach. I can hear him still “just meet the ball no need to kill it.” His philosophy was base runners, the more the merrier.
Watching the games on TV back then was not the priority – at least to the grownups that had control of said watching.  As time went on baseball crept more into the TV lineup, though it was the Giants or the Padres that got the most attention. Mom, you see, is from San Diego and though she’s not a huge fan, her parents would watch and her sister is a HUGE Padres fan. I, on the other hand, favored the A’s. Dennis Eckersley is still my BF .
Enter Mark – my husband- into the picture. He grew up with Ernie Harwell on the transistor, and time spent at Michigan and Trumbull following his hometown team , the Tigers. When Mark moved to California he aligned with the A’s. Time now spent at the Coliseum is a shared activity, and for us spring training is like Christmas.
Speed to 1993 – baseball season ends, the winter appears bleak, then an announcement. Just as Mark thought he had nothing to look forward too, come spring he would have a new little Tiger to root with. Yep our first-born was on the way! 1994 saw baseball on strike and times were tough for a baseball fanatic. I think it went on strike so the birth  of our child would not be missed due to “2 outs in the bottom of the 9th- I’ll be right back I have to check the score”  With no baseball for distraction, our beautiful son got all the attention on the day of his birth.
Young new son was immediately indoctrinated to the life of a baseball fanatic. Dad proclaimed he wanted to take him to see the A’s play, their park is but an hour and a half away. I, on the other hand, insisted that the first ever game our son should see MUST be at Michigan and Trumbull. You see, I have been to a few ballparks in my time, but I have found that there is absolutely nothing like sitting in right field, just inside the foul pole, at Michigan and Trumbull, and see that field, hear those sounds, smell that smell and hear the sound of the ball as it hits the bat. Nowhere else was that sound so sweet.
Yes, the first game for both our sons was at Michigan and Trumbull.

With opening day being tomorrow, the sounds of baseball shall be a constant in our home once again.  Each day a new game, another statistic, a chance to follow our favorite players.  I may be from California and my local favorite team is the A’s, in my heart and soul I am a Tiger fan.  Not that you asked- but just thought I would share

Not Alone In My Head

I realize it might sound a bit loony to say that I am not alone in my head.  I suppose that may be correct, but I believe it to be true.  Seriously, with all the chatter in my head, it’s a wonder I get anything accomplished, or any sleep.  Perhaps I should explain, or at least clarify what I mean.

It’s quite simple really, and not all that “crazy”.   I know I didn’t have this issue when I was younger, and single.  Clearly this is a gift, perk, burden, or bonus, of being part of a couple or a parent.

Being single, I had only my self to answer to.  If I chose to go shopping after work, I didn’t  need to call and inform anyone I would be home later than the regular hour.  If I went to get my hair cut, and then decided to wander the mall,  no one was concerned where I was. Decide one day to take a drive to the big city- not a problem.  Just me, inside my head making choices, decisions.  Good or bad, they were all mine.

Being a couple was tough, at first, after being single for so long, to remember there might be another person that cared where I was.  I would remember to let him know I was heading to the library to return a book. To him, that meant I was driving to the library, returning the book and coming home. I had a tendency to return the book, remember I wanted to look for shoes or clothes, stop 3 times before I got home, and realize, as I pulled in the driveway, I had been gone for quite some time. Entering the house, he would have that worried, where have you been? look on his face.

Having kids added a new dimension to the mix.  All of a sudden I not only had my own thoughts, and those of my dear husband, but my children as well.  Going to the store wasn’t just a grab the purse jaunt. Now it was the purse, the diaper bag, the stroller, and the kids.  What an ordeal!  Not only was my mind trying to decipher my purchase, it was thinking about the wonderful child with me.  Is he hungry? Has he stealthily placed an item in the cart that will have to be purchased because he chewed on it? Have we been gone too long? Have we missed nap time?  My children have grown up, and shopping with them isn’t quite the big ordeal it once was.  With an Autistic son,however,  it is still challenging, and a story for another day.

The thing is, there isn’t much time that I don’t have everyone else’s thoughts in my head along with my own.  Quite tiring at times, and a bit distracting.  Even relaxing gets noisy in there.  Have I been gone too long? If I take a nap will I be late to pick them up?  Does the dog need to go out?  Did I remember the bank, the library, the store?  Are all the forms signed for son’s school?  On and on all those things in my head just jumbled up and bouncing around in there.

I think I shall put some headphones on, go for a walk, let the music drown out the other noise and figure the rest out later.