I’m still recovering from surgery, so posts will come as they fit into my meds-sleep-eat-walk around-repeat routine.
Here’s one that’s been a long time coming!
Longtime readers know that a bitch and my sister are co-guardians of our older brother Bill. Bill is autistic and is in a residential program that grew out of the school for autistic children he attended when he was a wee one.
In many ways we’re lucky – we’ve been familiar with the program since we were kids, Bill’s grown up with the program and we’ve all found a way to get shit done despite massive state budget cuts and a neglectful lack of funding.
And in a lot of ways we’re typically challenged – ‘cause of those massive state budget cuts to the Department of Mental Health and the neglectful lack of funding for jobs programs and so forth.
I moved back to St. Louis in 2002…to the city while our brother lived in the county. He wasn’t as far away as he was when I lived in Texas, but visiting was challenging and random drop-ins where damn near impossible. Randomly dropping-in is key when you have a loved one in any sort of managed care – you have to see how things are when staff doesn’t know you’re gonna be there and doesn’t have time to prepare. And regular visits are beyond key to maintain a relationship with my brother – he’s aphasic and doesn’t communicate through the phone, so we rely on face-to-face interactions.
Not long after my sister and I became co-guardians we inquired about moving Bill closer to the city. That has turned out to be a seven year long process that’s been delayed because of funding issues, finding the right roommate match and securing affordable housing in a safe area.
Moving to the city has been a part of my brother’s Person Centered Plan for years…and for years it’s been copied and pasted into next year’s plan with little progress having been made.
Until this year…until 2010…until funding sources emerged after some sort of language changed (gotta love government drama!!) and rents went down and roommates emerged...and finally we got word a few months ago that Bill was approved to move.
That approval triggered a process to find housing that all roommates & guardians agreed on…and my sister Crystal took on that project like a bad-ass Sister Polar bear (What? Everyone knows Polar bear are way more fierce than Grizzlies…wink).
I’m grateful to her for finding time where there wasn’t time to look at houses and pressure staff who just wanted to check something off their to-do list…
…because a couple of months ago we found an amazing house less than 10 minutes from our home.
Less than 10 minutes instead of damn near an hour away!!!
And the house is near parks and shops and sits in a fantabulous neighborhood for walking about...a lot of the things Bill wants and a bunch of things he needs.
It’s close enough for random visits from pesky sisters who just want to say hi and make sure their brother is eating his veggies.
My brother moved into his new home yesterday.
Even though I’m too weak post-surgery to visit yet, I’m damn near bursting with happiness and joy!
It’s been a long time coming…
…and oh how sweet it is!