The tagline for this site reads: AKA the Journey from Being “in Jeopardy” to (Fingers Crossed) “on Jeopardy”. Here’s why.
Being “in jeopardy” by definition means something or someone is in danger. Throughout this perilous autism journey, the specter of losing my sanity frightened me the most. My mental health was strapped in a roller coaster with faulty seatbelts, enduring the loop de loops, awaiting the moment it would be flung to its imminent demise. Relationships were in jeopardy (many didn’t survive). Hope itself was precarious – lost and found, time and again. Worries, anxieties and concerns were my bread and butter. Would the boys live independently one day? Would Evan graduate high school with a diploma? Would Brian have another “fight or flight” episode at school and be suspended or expelled (again)? Would either of them learn to drive? Would they make friends? If a healthy thriving marriage is a shiny new BMW, my marriage became a broken-down ox cart. Would it survive this coup d’etat of raising two special needs kids? Yep, there was a lot in jeopardy.
With the perspective that comes only with time, endurance and perseverance, my outlook today, is that life will always have its ups and downs, and Murphy materializing to wreak havoc. Crap happens. But so many of those early fears, concerns and questions were thankfully, laid to rest.
Not only did Evan graduate from high school, but he’s in college now, studying to be an Accountant. He passed his driver’s test on the first try. He traveled abroad for ten days last summer with a group of high school students – no special accommodations – and had a blast touring Greece, Italy and Rome.
Brian graduates in May with a degree in Communications, from Salisbury University’s Honors Program. He was accepted into the University of Glasgow’s Master’s degree program which he begins in September. He fell in love with the UK after studying abroad in London during his sophomore year, so now he’ll be Scotland bound. Brian flies to Las Vegas annually to attend the Trivia Competition of North America (this year will be #4). He has auditioned for both “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and twice for Jeopardy! He auditioned for the College Tournament, but didn’t make it on the show. Recently he auditioned for regular Jeopardy, and now anxiously awaits “the call”.
Ed and I have had time and energy to reconnect and get reacquainted in an environment that doesn’t revolve around autism. I don’t recognize the lack of chaos and noise…it’s a bit frightening. About a year ago, I started a new job that I really enjoy, and I’m able to give it my full attention. It’s nice to have the boys come home for breaks and holidays…I do miss them when they’re away. But it’s also nice to see them return to school and thrive.
There are still many challenges and unknowns ahead. Our lives are far from perfect. But there’s a certain peace…a sense that the perilous “in jeopardy” days may finally be in the rearview. And with great hope and anticipation, I foresee Brian shooting the breeze with Alex Trebek and living out his Jeopardy dream. Fingers crossed!