My theme throughout the Blogging from A to Z Challenge has been Journeying Through the Unknown, a twist on the title of my blog.
In this blog, as my readers know, I blog about my relationship with my autistic brother in law and some thing I've learned along this journey. But I haven't blogged yet about how we met.
When I first met Bil, I was 18 and a freshman in college. I had met my future husband in one of my first semester college classes. After dating him for several months, I was invited to his house for Sunday dinner. I was a girl from New York City. He lived in a suburb that was still somewhat countrified, complete with a nearby dirt road.
City girl. Country boy.
To say I was nervous was an understatement. We were of different ethnic backgrounds and different religions. In the early 70's, that mattered. A lot.
Believe it or not, knowing I was going to a Sunday dinner in an Italian household, I was scared that I would be served spaghetti and that I wouldn't be able to gracefully wind it around my fork. I was terrified that I would plop the whole dish in my lap.
I was so scared, I literally made myself sick with a stomach ache. And that's all I remember about that day. I don't remember anything about meeting Bil. And, with my future in laws dead set against our relationship, I didn't have many invites to their house. In fact, at one point, I was told I might be welcome there "twice a week".
How ironic the way life has turned out. We married as soon as we graduated college (and, in fact, we moved far away as soon as our finals were over; we never went to our graduations. We just wanted to get out of what had become a toxic situation for my husband.) We didn't move back for twelve years.
For so long, we were told don't worry about Bil; we have his future all covered.
That was not the truth, not even close.
The unknown of autism, the unknown of my
brother in law Bil's future, the unknown of the risks we (I at my husband's side) will need to take
and the unknown sacrifices we will need to make in the years ahead,
especially once my elderly mother in law, who has been caring for him
all his life, can no longer do so, are all part of the journey for me.
But my brother in law, "Bil", has his own journey to take, with us, or without us.