B just moved to Seattle, after a good year in Portland, He’ll have more job opportunities and family there: his wonderful aunt and uncle and cousins, I’m so proud of him for forging his path, although I wish I was closer. We text and talk a lot but there’s nothing like spending time with someone and while we are on separate coasts that won’t be as often as I’d like.
I just finished reading Station Eleven (after watching the TV series), a book I picked up in Powell’s on my last trip to Portland. It took me a while to get into it: it’s about a post-pandemic time far worse than what we’ve experienced in the last few years, and at first I didn’t want to go there because I thought it would be too depressing. But reading about the before and after, in which there is no electricity, no phones or WIFI, no way to even know if your loved ones are alive – likely not, as most people died from the Georgia flu – it’s made me appreciate what we do have. Like telephones and computers and airplanes and ways to be in touch with those we care about most.
Modern life is often exasperating and alienating and yet we find ways to connect in positive ways, amidst all the violence in the world and online vitriol. My family helps me from feeling too socially isolated, for while I don’t see them that often I feel their love, and hope that it’s reciprocal. I’m not in a position to travel as much as I’d like or to offer as much help as I wish I could to others and I can feel bad about that. If it wasn’t for V I’d fly out and help B settle in when the time comes, just like I did in Portland but since I was just out in March I probably will wait a few more months.
In the meantime B will start anew, finding work and a place to live. While he’s making these big changes and decisions he will have family, and that makes such a difference. Especially in our family which is warm, welcoming, hamish and helpful. B appreciates and values his family connections a lot. I’m heartened that he feels so close to them, and that they will be physically so much closer. I’m so appreciative of their offers to help him out on his journey, to be there for him in ways so generous and caring.
At some point in the future we will find a residential placement for V and then we will have the freedom to be on the West Coast more often. Like B, we’ll have some big changes in our lives. I can feel overwhelmed thinking about that future and all the variables still to be determined. And yet having family, including some friends who have become family, helps me from feeling too unmoored. And having family for B will give him a loving anchor. I have confidence in his intelligence, good judgment, self-awareness and emotional maturity. Yet I am so grateful that he has his aunt and uncle and cousins to help steer the course, that he will be less alone than he was in Portland, as well as that turned out.
So onward B. I have faith that this next chapter will be full of good things. And I’ll be there as much as I can. For now my thoughts and love are with him and our loved ones on the West Coast.