Saturday, February 20, 2010

Peter Slammed-God Opened

I am thinking that during Peter's life he was into major door slamming while God was into major window opening. Remember that mantra of mine, "When God closes a door, he opens a window". When Peter was growing up, often I was asked the following questions, “What will I do in the future, What will you do when Peter is an adult?” One thing I never did was go beyond one day at time. The future was going to happen, no matter what, worrying and fretting over what might be was going to do me "no good". So, I lived, one day at a time, denial has always been my best friend, and any psychologist may say that is unhealthy, however, it worked for me,taking one day at time. The coolest part of not spending time worrying for me, as just when I was always, and really I mean always, on the verge of "oh, what is the next step, How will I handle this?"... a window opened up. Peter has had so many windows in his life, it is really incredible.
One of his earliest windows was our friend Jean, who was a pediatric ophthalmologist who guided us through those early months of blindness. And Jane, the nurse who appeared out of no where that gave me the direction to go the Waismann Center.
But, it was just not people who were was programs. When Peter was around 18 months, Kenosha began an early childhood program, at that very early age, Peter received help, and met the Kugler twin, Lauren and Leigh, or as Peter called them both LaurenandLeigh. You will hear more about them later. That program continued and Peter attended school at at very early age, three, when I literally had to lift him to the bus, because he was so small.
Inclusion, another window, was just beginning in the school district as Peter entered kindergarten and first grade. He was one of the first students included in the local grade school and what a wonderful experience that was!! Such great and well meaning staff at Southport school. That continued throughout his junior high school and senior high school years, where it ended at Indian Trails, a work to life transition program, complete with great teachers.
When Peter was a bit older, and I went back to work, and was truly at a loss as to how I was going to get him after work, there was no after school care at the junior high and senior levels. That year a wonderful program called TRACS opened up, where kids with Special Needs could attend an afterschool program where he could swim, play, and spend time with kids just like him. That was such an amazing gift, a window,a blessing and it came at the perfect time when I really needed help.
Another window, I also needed help in the morning, the really early morning, and through my hairdresser, I found Heather, who would wake up in the middle of the night and get to my house, so I could go to the hospital and Peter could go to school. Peter loved Heather and her chocolate chip pancakes...another window..a true gift!
And, than, as Peter was getting older and it was Peter and I, 24/7, I really did not know what to do. He would be out of school, I was working, where would he go. I began looking for help for the weekend, just a break for me and Pete. And that is when I found Peter's group home, a phenomenal place where he now lives with LaurenandLeigh, and three other buddies from his high school with an amazing staff. Just like a "frat house".
So you see, just when there was a need, there were windows. Just when I thought there was no hope, magically, there was a window.. a new program, a house, a person.
So as Peter kept slamming, God kept opening. And life fell into place.

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