psych ward

Move Along

I took my son to school for the last time this morning.  I won’t lie, I’m not doing well.  We’ll see if I can write a short post with tears streaming down my face.

There was a very dark period in our lives when Landon was around 8 years old.  He was in and out of the pediatric psych ward, for months.  He was not our child during those times, in that space he was in inside his own brain.  Turned out, it was his seizure meds and all the psychiatric drugs the Doctors put into him just made his madness worse.

Out of desperation, we told the Doctor one pivotal morning in a meeting that we wanted him taken off of everything.  Every single little pill they were making him take, we wanted them gone.  They warned us he would have grand mal seizures.  We said we didn’t care.  They had his syringes for that.  Something wasn’t right.  Our boy wasn’t there anymore and we wanted him back.

You may wonder why I’m spilling this dark stuff right now and I’ll get to that.

I told him right before we walked out the door this morning that this was the last time I’d ever take him to school.  He smiled.  I said, “How many times do you think I’ve taken you to school all these years?”  He laughed and said, “About a hundred billion.”

On the way to school, just a few minutes away, memories flooded back of all the people in our lives who have helped with Landon and still do, all the blessed souls who God himself put in our path all these years.

As much as this week is about Landon, it’s also about all those special people.  I could write about the ones who weren’t so special.  The ones who judged us, their kids who reflected their parents and who were the ugliest inside of all, who wouldn’t play with Landon and made fun of him because he was different.  Those people all happened to be in church with us, by the way.  Yeah, swallow that.  But I won’t dwell on that.  This is about the people who helped two stupid parents who were overwhelmed and tired and in mourning that their son wasn’t well and never really would be after he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

Thank you to my parents who were there from the beginning of his life and continue to be there now.  Countless nights they stayed with us in the hospital, states away from Texas, to be there for us and our son.  Many nights were spent in tears, not knowing what the next day would bring our way.  They kept Gracie for weeks on end during the “dark days” so we could concentrate on Landon and getting him better.  They have loved Landon like no one else could except for us.  My parents talk to him every day on the phone.  Dad has had a rough couple years but he still makes time to talk to Landon multiple times a day and answers super hero questions as best he can.  And there are a lot of super hero questions.  My Mom has made him countless blankets, the latest being a Harry Potter blanket this past Christmas.  She loves to laugh and tease with him and cook his favorite foods when we’re in Texas.  I love you, Mom and Dad.  Thank you for raising me to be the person I am, and for also loving my son, no matter what.

Thank you to my mother in law, who spends an hour on the phone with Landon each and every night.  He looks forward to those phone calls and teasing with her.  Her patience and love for our son and willingness to listen to him is a blessing I will never forget.

Thank you to the teachers, so many over the years.  You made a difference in his life in so many countless ways.  I can’t count how many teachers have sought me out over the years to tell me how bright Landon makes their days.  I wish I could express to you what a difference we have seen in Landon from being around such caring educators and administrative staff.  You are one of the reasons I’m completing my teaching degree.  I wouldn’t be writing this post without all that you have contributed to his life.

Thank you to our friends who brought meals to us so many times while we were in and out of the hospital.  Thank you for the care packages and the hospital visits, the phone calls, and notes of encouragement.  Thank you for keeping Gracie many times while I was dealing with Landon when E was out of town.  Thank you for coming to the psych hospital when I was admitting Landon by myself because E was out of town and on a plane trying to get back to Texas as fast as he could while I was falling apart right along with Landon.  You are loved and your love for us will never be forgotten.

Thank you to our friends who love him so much today.  Gary and Laurie, who welcomed him to their cabin any time on the cruise this past Spring Break.  I’ll never forget the laughter, hearing how he beat you at Uno.  He loved every minute with you.  Thank you to the Quinn family, who are driving in from Florida right this very minute to be at Landon’s graduation.  You are so very special to our family.  Thank you to Connie and Blake, who took E and I under their wing so many years ago when Blake hired E for his first job out of college.  You were and still are such an example to us.

Thank you to E.  Before we even conceived Landon, we decided that I would be a stay at home Mom.  I have been for the last 18 years.  It was our joint decision but you are the one who has worked all these years, supporting our family.  Yes, staying at home can be hard work all in itself, especially when the kids are smaller, but it’s a tough gig knowing you support three whole other lives and having that immense responsibility.  Thank you for the years you have given me to be with our children.  It has been a priceless, priceless gift and I consider it a privilege.

As my life is music and I have to put a song to everything, as I was driving home this morning from the school, I thought of songs that sum up our life so far with Landon.  The one that popped into my head was a song I listened to over and over during those dark psych ward days.  I listened to it like a mantra on days I was so depressed I could barely drive much less make myself get out of bed.  Thank you to all the people who have helped us move along all these years, to the people who continue to help us move along today.  You have not only made such a difference in Landon’s life, but in ours.

I love you all.

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