Allowing Nate to move to a residential facility wasn’t easy. We had spent 21 years together, however 17 of those years were mainly, Nate and me…….together.
The day after I drove him to the apartment, I awoke with a numb feeling over my body. It was as if something was missing from me. It was my son. The familiar sound of his voice in the morning, tossing and turning in his bed, just waking up was no longer there.
I got out of my bed and walked into his bedroom, looking at his empty room. I stood thinking about our morning ritual. It would have began with me walking over to him, where I would have placed a kiss on his forehead. This would make Nate take his blanket and cover his head, as a sign that he wanted me to leave him alone. I would walk away, agreeing to give him a few more minutes of rest. After about 10 minutes or so, I would then walk back into his room, to remove the blankets, to wake him up to start his day.
After Nate was dressed, he would immediately rush down the stairs for breakfast. There he would sit at his seat at the table to devour the food that I prepared for him. Whether it was a bowl of hot oatmeal or grits, Cherrios, or sausage and eggs, Nate smiled, in pure delight. After I cleaned up, we would put on our coats to we make our way to the end of the street, to await the arrival of his school bus. Once the bus arrived, I would buckle him in, and then watched them drive away.
Yet, now that routine was…no more.
As I thought about our life, sadness came over me. So, I immediately dressed, getting in my car to drive to the apartment. As I entered the door, I walked quickly to Nate who was just waking up. I helped with his dressing and then I sat with him and watched as he ate his breakfast. After he was done, I assisted him with putting on his coat, then I walked with him to his class on the campus.
Once there, I knew I couldn’t stay. So, I kissed his forehead as he nudged me away. I then walked out the building and to my car. Once inside, I drove through the campus gates, as tears ran down my face.
I missed my son.