I seem to remember feeling OK (emotionally speaking) on the plane ride and even the ride to our house – at least most of the way. But as we drove into Kinnelon and got closer to our street, there were big, green bows tied to poles, signs and mailboxes welcoming us home. As with many of these topics I’ve written about, this one is emotional, too, even though it’s been 7 ½ years it happened. I am crying as I recall “coming home.”
All the preparation hadn’t helped as I broke into tears with the relief of being home again. Friends and family were there to welcome us, although they were very sensitive to the fact that this could be quite overwhelming to us. A wonderful dinner prepared by our friends was waiting for us, and there was so much to talk about, to see and to do.
My dear friend, Carol, had been sending my e-mails around to a growing list of people who wanted to be kept up to date on Darren. The list got so big and the job so demanding that another dear friend, Medora, stepped in to take over. But now Carol coordinated a “dinner plan” so that Monday – Thursday, a dinner for 4 was delivered to our door sometime in the afternoon. What a relief it was not to have to shop and cook all those nights! We enjoyed some delicious dinners, thanks to friends and strangers alike who just wanted to help.
Even with the educational training in classes while Darren was an in-patient and the Day Program transition, it was still scary to be on our own. Darren was going to sleep in our bed downstairs because the elevator wasn’t complete yet, and since our bathroom and shower were not accessible, it meant bed baths and no showers. I don’t even remember how we accomplished the bowel program, maybe in bed? The mind has a strange way of blocking out some memories (or is it just my bad memory?).