Sunday, June 30, 2013


We are no longer in the doldrums around here. Not at all.

(I know, Readers. You weren't born yesterday. You've been through this before. Tomorrow I might cry on your collective shoulders, right?)

Anyway, tonight we are happy. First piece of good news? Benjy is starting his residential school next week. Yes!! It worked out. So many people spent so much time striving to make this happen. Not just Lars and me. A whole team of folks who want Benjy to succeed. Who will do whatever it takes to keep him learning and active and give him the community he has never, ever had. Man, I LOVE those people.

It's like my boy has ten parents, all of whom are determined to make his life better. How lucky is that?

Let me tell you, we take NOTHING for granted.

So next week there will be kids in his life (I am afraid to say "friends" in case I jinx it). And horses. Sheep. Chickens. Cats. A couple of 3-D printers and other tech stuff I don't understand. A swimming pool. Ropes course. Did I say cats? I see that I did, but cats deserve a second mention. There is going to be school as well, but what can you do? Oh, and three favorite sports: archery, tennis, and ULTIMATE FRISBEE.

So there you have it.

I wonder if I will be lonely without him. I assume I will be. But then again, so much will open up for us. For me, especially. My life has been on hold for so many years now. Not on hold, exactly, but it's been a life of triaging crises and driving to hospitals. Dispensing medications. Holding my boy and trying not to weep with him. Weeping with him anyway.

It's been a life of writing whenever possible. In waiting rooms and emergency rooms and latelatelate at night while my whole house slumbered, even the dog. A life of not reading. (What a loss. There was a time when reading was all I did. I miss it.) Of trying to remember I had another child. (I hope she will forgive my relative neglect. Maybe she'll write a memoir about my crappy parenting when she grows up.)

Now I can begin to think about me. How I'll fill my time without Ben to fill it for me. I'm not going back to academia. I'm thinking things through, though. You'll be the first to know when I figure it out.

In the meantime I have a piece coming out in a couple of weeks in a wonderful online journal, Literary Mama. This essay marked the moment I switched from writing fiction to writing creative non-fiction -- my very first attempt at writing about our lives, Benjy's and mine. It's completely out of date at this point. I think I started it shortly after that first time he begged me to help him end his life (2009??). His first hospitalization came after that, and so did this essay about the mental illness in our lives. I will link to it when it goes live on the site.

I found out the essay I sold to O, the Oprah Magazine will come out in October. That has been a loooong wait! Just did a big revision on that one, and sent the photo editor some pics, so it's really happening. For a while I thought they might kill it.

There are a couple of other publications in the works, as usual. And there is a fluffy hound with his paw on my knee. And there are no more hermit crabs in this house anymore, which makes me both glad and sad. (A story for another day.)

And now I am finished with non-sequiturs and going to bed.

Good night, friends!


  1. That is such great news for Benjy! And I can't wait to read your magazine articles!

    1. Thank you so much, Anne! I am hoping soon we can get together, now that I havee more time. I literally CANNOT WAIT to meet your beautiful girl. And maybe your mom would like to join us...this time or another. Hugs, Deb

  2. I have so many questions! How old is your son? Where do you live? How is it going? Is this a possible permanent stay or a treatment facility and he comes home eventually? I'm curious because Im fighting for my son to be in a residential facility. Thanks! You wrote a comment on one of my blogs...Im so glad you did! Thanks!

    1. Lisa! I am so sorry it's taken me so long to respond to you. It's been a hard slog, as I think you know. Benjy is just a month older than your son, I believe. And we live in Massachusetts, for which I give thanks every day. ;)Would you email me at the address on the sidebar (if you haven't already -- I haven't checked recently) so we can have a fuller conversation? I do have some thoughts about your situation, for what they're worth. hang in there!! I'll check my email in a sec to see if you've already written. Hugs, Deb

  3. Oh wow, oh yay! Oh WOW. So glad this is happening after all. I've been thinking of you all, and wondering how things have been going. Hope you all settle in well to this new type of life.

    1. Thank you, dear Megan. We are hanging in there. (Just wrote about it as I am sure you'll see.)

      How's the new kitchen?? And the kids and the sweet, returned kitty?? And most of all, HOW ARE YOU?? Someday soon I want to hear more about the novel you're working on. Hugs, Deb