The Conversation I had to Have

I do want those that read my blog to know I will finish the blogs about the hospitalization.

I found myself having a conversation with our son with special needs and even as the conversation is happening I was thinking…is this happening, am I really having this conversation? Am I saying the right thing? I don’t know even now. I pray my way thru the road full of twists and turns that living with a stroke have put us on.

Our son who is special needs is very high functioning, so high that you can sometimes forget that lurking in that brain and emotion is someone much younger, and more tender than most 28 year olds.

We happened to be alone driving back from a Special Olympics meeting when he started talking about his Dad. Whom he calls his best friend. When our younger son moved out and my husband semi retired they were together always. They had their favorite haunts, pawn shops, gun shops, movies, and places they explored together. They laughed , argued, did house cleaning, worked in the yard and watched wrestling together.

That all changed the day of the stroke, now sometimes, our son is the caregiver, the one watching out and making sure his Dad doesn’t need anything. He is doing repairs , chores or learning them because his Dad cannot remember how to do so many every day things.

Worst of all his feelings get hurt, and hurt often. The stroke brain can be an emotional roller coaster. One simple thing and sometimes the reply is rude and mean, 20 seconds later the person with the stroke has no idea they said it. But to us they are our loved one and it hurts even as you are saying I understand I know you did not mean it. It still hurts and makes you long for the days before the stroke.

So during our conversation he was very sad and as he talked I realized he thought his Dad was mentally ill. He knows what mental illness is his biological father suffers from several. I am driving and shocked and then had to tell him just like his brain ( he was born with white lesions on his brain) his dad’s brain suffered damage when the stroke happened and his brain bled. Now he is looking at me not really understanding. I said his brain got broken and we are praying for it to be healed. We do speech therapy to help him talk again. In my head I am thinking I cannot be having this conversation but I was it was happening. I was telling my son with special needs, permanent brain damage that his dad now had special needs and brain damage.

I reminded him what doctors, and teachers told us he would never be able to accomplish and he has surpassed all the limitations placed upon him. I told him that is why we play the games, help Dad practice writing, do exercises because this will help his brain learn how to think better. So this circle of life has our son with special needs, making care ride schedules so that he and his Dad can go to the mall. He calls uber and takes him for hair cuts. He makes sure he puts his change back in his wallet and he has learned to give him his insulin in case of emergency. He takes him on drives in his golf cart, they do chores together.

I don’t know what I would do without him and I do not want to know. His life has been impacted very heavily by the stroke and so has mine. We do work at encouraging each other with love and support, neither of us is a perfect person but we both rely on God for our daily strength.

2 thoughts on “The Conversation I had to Have

  1. Diane, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. You are so right, God is your Strength. Please let me know if you need anything. I’m going to pray for you and your family to continue to receive strength and healing.


  2. Diane,

    I know that was a tough talk you had with “the Jakester” but he is the most special young man I have EVER met! You are so blessed in so many ways and I know you remember this!

    Jake could not have found a better Mother and Father and he knows this! He will continue to “pick-up-the-slack” because he does realize, it’s his turn!

    You are an A+mazing Wife and Mother and I hope you NEVER forget that! Your strength, energy, “openness” and energy are simply inspiring!

    Thank you for continuing to share your story! You have NO idea how many lives you are touching by doing so; mine included!

    Love you, my hero!!!!!

    Sincerely, Glenn Elliott Stephens


    Liked by 1 person

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