The award-winning film "A River Runs Through It" was on the top shelf of Unit Director B's office at CHYC. Wolf never wanted to watch it with me, even after I said it had antique autos, fishing, and Montana in it. I ended up purchasing the DVD at Wal Mart in Salt Lake City and watched it on my last flight home this past June.
I enjoyed it immensely; being part Montanan (my mother was born and raised there, most of her life was spent in Missoula, where the film takes place) I guess the sweeping landscape and familiar rivers drew me in before the story line. In fact, it took the last lines of the film to provide the ah-ha, the validation, and the new reality of our family life.
Reverend Maclean, father to author Norman Maclean (and to Paul, the antagonist of the story), was preaching in the Presbyterian Church of Missoula, after Paul had died a violent death due to his lifestyle, personality, and choices.
"Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: "We are willing, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed?"
For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don't know what part of ourselves to give, or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us.
But we can still love them - we can love completely without complete understanding."
I left this blog almost three weeks ago, just after Wolf had entered New Facility Anchorage, and just after he had presented (been evaluated) to the State of Alaska as a child/adult with few options for his future. Yukon and I had some difficult and painful decisions to make, and I wanted to make them with wide-open eyes to the possibilities ahead.
Wolf does not have the capability to love; he does not have the capability to empathize with others who hurt on his behalf, and in the same vein does not understand the agony of my mother-heart when I see the bruises and scrapes on his body because of some behavior-related incident.
The reality of Wolf's life is instutional; he likely will transfer out of Alaska once again, he likely will be in a locked facility where he and the community will be safe. Wolf hopefully will receive the long-term assistance he needs to graduate from high school, learn independent living skills, and perhaps get a job nearby.
Yukon and I have had to think of "what-if's" with regard to Wolf's future, and what we will do if he refuses treatment, runs away, or injures himself or someone else. That is raw emotional torment, having to make a plan like that, for a lifetime, but honestly, Yukon and I know at our cores we have made the right decision.
That's why I left; to decide.
I came back to write it all down.