Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Down the road

Do you have long term plans for your special needs child?

For most of Brayden's life, we could barely see past the moment, let alone long term plans.

Can you imagine being a parent of your special needs child for over 50 years?  Taking care of their every need at every moment, every day...for over 50 years.

Sounds exhausting, sounds hard, right?

But you wouldn't have it any other way.  You would do anything and everything to take care of them, have be a part of your family and be happy.  All of those years of love and joy with them.

Well, the family I married in to has a very special member.  Aunt Janine.  She is Jeremy's aunt (Jeremy's father's sister).  Aunt Janine is in her 50s and has down syndrome.  She has lived with her parents for all of these years (they are the 3 amigos, the fun bunch, many nicknames for the 3 of them, they are a package deal).  Janine has been a constant joy in the Jenkins family.

Today is the day that Janine is moving to a nursing care/assisted living facility.  Over 50 years she has lived with her parents.  Janine has down syndrome and Alzheimer's (and lets toss in seizures for them to handle as well).  Her health has been declining as well as her parents.  Grandma and Grandpa Jenkins (Jeremy's grandparents) have their health problems and concerns as well.  For Janine health and safety, as well as theirs, she can no longer live at home.

Please pray for them.

It will be one of the hardest moments in their life. 

I cannot fathom getting to that place with Brayden, when we can no longer care for him.

I have been on the other end of the spectrum when I feel trapped at home because of Brayden's needs...but talk about reality check...we can have him at home, we are able to care for him at home (of course with some help).  And I cannot even entertain the idea of not having him at home, not providing for his every need.

All of those years for them to be taking care of Janine, then to not have that primary role...

It will be heartbreaking.  But Janine needs more care and the family supports their decision, they love them.  We all adore Janine and so does anyone who has come in contact with her.  She truly has a deep joy in her heart.  Grandma and Grandpa Jenkins love Janine.  Grandma said that she loved watching Grandpa's servant heart when caring for Janine, it made her love him more.

But this is an act of love.  Selfless love.  As much as they want Janine to be at home, they love her enough to protect her and find the best care for her.

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