Bittersweet: In conversation yesterday with our service coordinator regarding funding, we reviewed what monies would jeopardize our daughter’s qualifications for the government programs she is now receiving. A burial plan was mentioned, which she doesn’t have, but the words went through my veins like ice water. Wow, haven’t gone there before. The mere mention of such a notion underscored the feeling that in some aspects, we are giving our daughter away to someone else. How did I make that leap? Jolted by her reference, I started to wonder, who will decide her final ritual? The very thought of it triggered feelings that I could not immediately identify, but they had a familiar tone.
A Young Bride: Later, I nailed down the image. I feel like the mother of the bride as though our daughter were going off to begin her life with someone else. I now understand the power of that process, the loss and the gain, the hope that this other person is watching out for her. And she is a young bride, only twenty-one. Of course, most brides do not retain their parents as their legal guardians; nor are the parents called upon to make critical decisions. Yet the process is in marked contrast to that of sending our children to boarding school or college. This is inclusive, covering all aspects of her life, comparable to the 1950’s notion of marrying off the daughter, placing her in the hands of a man who now would determine her life’s fate. Sounds a bit dramatic, even to me, but that was the rush of feeling I had yesterday.
Today was spent on funding paperwork, transferring to Ability Beyond Disability the right to receive our daughter’s funding checks to distribute for all cost of living expenses. What a relief to think that soon the agency will fill out the eligibility forms for Social Security as well as other streams of procedural paperwork. You see, it does replicate the old model of the hubby who places a protective shield over his spouse’s life, once the vows are said and that kiss seals the deal.
The Other Mother: And how uncanny that the other mother and I are discussing dining and living room sets today. Just as if we were the future in-laws.
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
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