You can listen to this Fall Out Boy song, "Alone Together". "We can stay young forever/we'll stay young young young...." the lyrics read.
The problem is, none of us can stay young forever.
One day, the ultimate loneliness will come, especially if a family comes apart.
For my mother in law, it may be today, when she finds out that her autistic son is being offered an apartment. After years of waiting, "Bil"'s name has reached the top of the waiting list. They have never lived apart. My mother in law has made it clear, she doesn't want him to leave.
She never made any arrangements for Bil's future. She never once sat down with us to share what she hoped we would do for Bil. I admit to having a lot of anger about that, and anger that her inactions have led to this moment.
If Bil doesn't take the apartment, his housing future is uncertain. None of us can guarantee what will happen the day his mother can no longer take care of him.
My husband and his younger brother are both older than "Bil". He needs care for the day we are gone. Chances are, he will outlive all of us. In fact, he is in better health than any of his older siblings.
We want very much for Bil to seize this opportunity for independence. At the age of nearly 60, Bil can start to truly grow up and take on adult responsibilities he has slowly been training for through his day programs. Everyone feels he has a potential for achieving a lot. He has been through a lot these last two years since moving up to be closer to us. So have we.
So, although we are one family, we are split apart. Mother in law on one side, the two brothers on the other side.
Bil in the middle.
What future will Bil choose?
We will know after today.
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