I feel like taking a little virtual trip into the future today. I’ve decided that for a few moments I will be the architect of my family’s future, and I will share that building with you! Here is an update from my virtual life, 10 years into the future:
My birth son is now 29 years old. He graduated a while back from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in computer Information Systems and a minor in mass communication. A year after that, he graduated from Wharton with his MBA. After agonizing for almost year over where he would live with his beautiful wife, Rose, and my sweet little grandbaby, Elizabeth, they finally settled in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Chip works for a newly formed satellite radio company that is exploring many unique and cutting-edge technologies for delivering radio content to people. He’s actually getting his hair cut on a regular basis now, but he still hasn’t given up his frayed bluejeans.
Jessica is also now 29 years old. Just two years ago, she completed a work/study program for people with intellectual disabilities at our local community college, and received her certification as a nurse’s aide. This was a long term dream of Jessica’s, and I don’t think I have ever seen a bigger smile than the one on her face as she walked to get her certificate. She is living in a commune near the beach, and although it is reminiscent of the 1970’s to me, it is a lovely place where folks with disabilities as well as those without live peacefully together. There are always friends around to help Jessica if she needs something, and I believe the peaceful environment has really helped to keep her aggressive outbursts in check. She has her own little dog which just happens to look exactly like our dear Lizzie, who passed away seven years ago. Jessica and Fluffy, the dog, love to go for walks around the commune, and can spend many, many hours visiting with friends. Although she has come home for visits on several occasions, she prefers if I visit her there. I think she feels safe and at ease in her commune apartment, and something is telling her not to leave. I understand, and I am just happy that she is so happy.
Corey is now 27 years old. After spending 4 years in high school in the JROTC, he decided to join the Marine Corp when he graduated. Even though he and I both thought boot camp was going to be his demise, he persevered and is today stationed in 29 Palms California. He is learning electronics, and I believe that will help him greatly if and when he decides to leave the service. Thankfully, the war in Iraq ended 8 years ago, and I didn’t have the worry of him going to war. He is now talking about applying to college, and I am encouraging him to do so. He also is married – to Lauren – and she is a wonderful young lady. Corey did a great job finding a good wife! They haven’t given me any grandchildren yet, but I think the time is nearing that they will.
Ashley is going to be 25 years old soon. She’s been out of school for many years now and is still trying to decide whether she prefers to work at our local greenhouse or as a tester for children’s computer software. While she has been making up her mind, she and I have been traveling the country in my hot little red convertible sports car (bought once the oldest kids left home and I no longer needed a van). We are making the rounds of the television talk shows to discuss the publication of my book, Blind Leading. Although it’s been out for a couple of years, it is still on the New York Times top 10 list, and we are still getting invitations to talk about it. Most of the shows would fly us to their locations, but Ash and I enjoy the car ride more.
Ashley got a prosthetic eye almost 8 years ago, and I think she has finally stopped pulling it out to surprise people. Either that, or it’s no longer a surprise to everyone we know. She has redecorated her bedroom 6 times in the last 10 years, and is still requesting that we expand the size of her closet so she can fit in more dresses and Converse Hi-tops. I have a hard time refusing since Converse is using her in some of their shoe commercials.
She has learned Braille and is an avid reader. She will sit in our family room after turning off all the lights and read for hours. I do have to keep reminding her that I need to lights to read though.
Even though her first boyfriend, Miles, dumped her in 7th grade because she couldn’t stay up late enough to go to the 8th grade dance with him, he has realized the error of his ways, and 5 years ago, came back into her life. They are so cute sitting together on the couch while Ashley tries to teach him Braille also.
Ronnie graduated from high school the same year that Ashley did. I was probably the proudest Mom in attendance at the graduation ceremony to see my two youngest children walk/roll to the podium to get their diplomas!
Ronnie went on major in social work at Virginia Commonwealth University, and so many times I have wanted to go back to the Guardian ad Litem he had when he was in the foster care system and say, “See, you were so wrong. Ronnie was not the stupid, naïve child you insisted he was.”
Ronnie is living with his girlfriend from high school, Brittany, and their big, old Labrador Retriever, Max. Both Ronnie and Brittany work for our state’s protection and advocacy organization as advocates for people with disabilities.
I would love to see a wedding in their future, but honestly, they are so happy and committed to each other that I don’t believe a piece of paper would make any difference whatsoever.
I am finally not in pain all the time because a new medication was developed about 5 years ago for Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. It has worked wonders in my life. Even though I am getting much older, I feel younger now than I did 10 years ago all because the pain is gone. And I LOVE my little red convertible!!
Our life is good. Everyone is healthy and happy. Of course, since I am dreaming this 10-year-scenario, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What are your dreams for 10 years hence?