Our journey of 1000 steps (feeling more like 1000 miles) with my developmentally disabled brother in law, "B", deserves two more blog posts this month. One will be today, and the other on Thursday.
For those who followed my story last month, my spouse has a developmentally disabled younger brother, "B". When I did my several autism-related blog posts last month, I blogged that my spouse had applied to become the guardian of his brother.
This month, the guardianship (with some stipulations) was granted. My spouse has a steep learning curve ahead of him, as he learns his duties and responsibilities.
Today and tomorrow, I want to blog about how this journey began. It didn't begin with the application for the guardianship. In fact, it started years ago. I've known "B" for over forty years. We've spent time with him, taken him shopping (one of his favorite activities), done other things with him.
What I wanted to blog about was how we got involved in advocating for him.
My father in law was a good man, but he would always brush us aside when we would make inquiries as to if "B"'s future had been planned. I think, in his mind, he had done what he could for "B".
While my father in law was alive, he always reassured his other children that "everything was taken care of" pertaining to "B".
It hadn't been.
My father in law died suddenly, one Christmas night in the 1990's. His death was discovered the following morning.
Earlier that year, "B" had a milestone birthday party. At one point, someone noticed that my mother in law was the only attendee over a certain age who was not a widow, and made a remark. How could any of us know that, some months later, my mother in law would suddenly enter the ranks of widowhood?
We were visiting, as it happens, that Christmas-after morning when my mother in law awoke to find she was a widow.
Needless to say, there was the shock, and suddenly having to make funeral arrangements. My son was then in elementary school, and there as the impact on him, too.
At the funeral home, and the funeral, many people came up to us to tell stories of good things my father in law had done for them. It was a great comfort. But then, the funeral was over, and we were all on our own, left to carry on.
It was time to start planning for "B"'s future, even as we coped with the aftermath of my father in law's death. Thursday, what happened next.