My last blog was about the meltdown that Aaron and I both had last week. Wednesday evening was not a time that I want to re-live. I’m very thankful for the fact that Aaron and I have been able to move beyond it. I’m amazed at both his ability to act like nothing ever happened, and his inability to stop the impulsive behaviors that cause him so much anguish.
On Thursday, the day after all the mess, Aaron didn’t want to go to Paradigm. Whenever he has a significant incident, he doesn’t want to face the people or the place right away. I know this about Aaron so it didn’t surprise me at all that he didn’t want to go to his day group. I also know better than to try to force him to go. He calmed down on that morning when he realized that I wasn’t going to make him go, even as he promised that on Friday he would go to Paradigm. He and I went to our optometry clinic, where they tried to repair Aaron’s glasses but couldn’t. However, they were able to order new frames under warranty so there won’t be any charge. This was the beginning of a day of blessings.
Aaron was fairly somber that morning, so I took that opportunity to talk to him again about his actions that sometimes get him in trouble. As we began to talk, he asked, “What is my problem? What do I do?” He wanted to know what it is that he does that causes him such trouble with others at times. His honest question surprised me. I told him about the way that he likes to poke, pinch, and hit others. Aaron thinks that this is funny, but no one else likes it. Or they may tolerate it for awhile but then erupt in fury, such as happened the day before.
Aaron listened, and then told me that he had talked to Melinda, one of the staff, about how he likes to hit and poke people. He said, “I told Melinda that I think it’s fun. Tomorrow I’m going to tell her that it’s not fun to me.” There it was…………another glimpse into Aaron’s mind. He really wants to be able to make himself quit thinking that this behavior is fun. He rationalizes that if he tells Melinda it’s not fun, then maybe it really won’t be fun to him…….and maybe he can stop himself from this annoying behavior. This will be easier said than done for Aaron, I know, but for then I encouraged him to keep on thinking this way.
I had plans on that day to meet my good friend, Atha, for lunch. I can leave Aaron for a period of time and so I decided to go ahead with our lunch date. However, I still felt very tired from the bad time the night before. I knew that time with Atha would be good for me, though, and so I looked forward to lunch. I got a text from Atha that morning telling me that she had invited her friend, Joyce, to join us for lunch. I wasn’t sure I was up for that, but off I went to eat lunch with my friend and to try to summon the energy to meet someone new.
As we ate lunch and as I was getting acquainted with Joyce, I learned that she was widowed last year………but that God had brought a wonderful man into her life and she was going to marry him right after Christmas this year. The three of us women, of differing ages and situations, shared stories and laughter and yes, tears, as we ate our lunch. I was relaxing and I was thankful that I had come, and that I was getting to meet this sweet woman with a story of her own pain and joy. I sat there fully aware that somehow God had ordained this day. Another blessing was mine in that Applebee’s booth.
I heard my phone jingle, signaling me that I had a text. I looked quickly to see what it was, and saw that Barb from Paradigm had sent me a message. She told me that the staff had met, and that they had some plans concerning Aaron. A therapy dog had been approved, so they were going to start the process of finding a puppy for Aaron and the other clients to love and enjoy. They are going to set up a safe mulch area for Aaron so he can have some mulch time in which to calm himself. They plan to schedule staff for small outings that Aaron might enjoy more than some of the big outings………like taking him and Rosie for walks at the YMCA. She ended by saying, “We love him and we won’t give up on him!!” Tears slid down my cheeks as I read the message to Atha and Joyce. A third blessing!
As I was getting to know Joyce, I learned that she was an accomplished pianist and accompanist. I told her that I would love to hear her play someday. As our lunch ended, Joyce asked Atha and I if we would come to her house so that she could show us her newly painted peachy pink garage. I told Joyce that I would come if she would play her piano for me, which she happily agreed to do. But then Atha said that I must sing…..and I was not so sure. I haven’t sung in several years and though I wanted to sing that day, I wasn’t sure if I could or if I would just stand there and cry.
But there I stood by Joyce’s piano, after we had seen the peachy pink garage and been given a tour of her home……..and I held a hymnal and I sang parts of two hymns as Joyce so beautifully accompanied me. It was a personally significant moment for me on several levels. I didn’t cry, but I was deeply touched by God’s gift of this moment for me. He knew that I wasn’t sure I wanted to meet someone new on this day. He knew that I was tired and discouraged. But He orchestrated this day for me……and for Joyce…..and for Atha. It was no mistake that Joyce had called Atha that morning, lonely and wanting to see her. It was no mistake that Atha and I already had plans on this day after my meltdown with Aaron…….and that I was very tired and in need of encouragement. God prompted Atha to invite Joyce to lunch, and each of us was especially blessed because Atha obeyed. God brought smiles and joy and some healing to each of us on that day, in just the ways that we needed. A fourth beautiful blessing!
The last song I sang that afternoon was Day by Day. This song so well describes our day by day with Aaron.
Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best.
Lovingly, it’s part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me.
He whose name is Counselor and Power.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord.
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
Ere to take , as from a Father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.
The perfect words to end a perfect afternoon.