Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sad Eyes

Yesterday Lizzie spent the entire afternoon at her new group home (as a trial/introduction), and the reports that came back to me were positive. I was told that she sang and danced to MTV with the other residents; talked and laughed with her assigned staff; and enjoyed the Port-of-Subs outing although she preferred to take her lunch home and eat it there.

When she returned home, her first words were "Well, are we going out to dinner?" and the nightly discourse about that topic began. I simply said, "No. It's time for your bath." We went back and forth on that a few minutes until she conceded with "Well, what are you waiting for: Christmas? Let's take a bath!"

This morning her usual SLA trainer came and took her out for only an hour because she was scheduled to return to the group home for the day. When she returned from her Walmart excursion, once again, "Are we going out for dinner?" Lizzie has no concept of time whatsoever!

Her new provider was here ... I'll call him Dino. She was very kind in her greeting, but did not want to leave the house without her "twin sister". I walked her out the door amidst her protest, and Dino encouraged me with "I'll be OK. As I watched them saunter down the walk, I watched her look up to him, they talked, and she walked to his truck. As they pulled away from the curb, her little face was looking at the house and she looked so sad it broke my heart.

I remembered the day back in 1960 when our family was staying at our grandparents' home for a family wedding. I was supposed to sleep in a bedroom and Lizzie was assigned the sofa. She crept into my room and said she wanted to sleep with me and of course that was OK with me. Our father heard us, and then our grandmother arose and INSISTED she sleep in the living room. Out of fear for a scene of domestic violence, I helped Lizzie get settled. I will NEVER forget the sadness in her eyes as we said good-night and the ache in my heart as I did so. I will go to my grave regretting that I didn't fight harder for that night. Her eyes in the truck reminded me of that night.

Around 4:00 this afternoon, Dino phoned and told me Lizzie agreed to stay for dinner at the group home. I felt so relieved ... maybe this will work! Alas, at 5:30 my phone rings only to learn that she wants to come home and have dinner with her family (ME!). OK, so home she comes, and again we begin the let's-go-out-for-dinner routine. Right now as I am writing, she is mad because I made her favorite spaghetti sauce for dinner and we are eating in.

This is going to be a roller coaster of emotions. Oh wait ... her she comes into the kitchen now. Lizzie is happy again.

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