Some of you may be surprised to learn that I finally left Joe.
After all of these months of caring for him, dressing him, preparing and serving his meals: I realized it was time to go. Yesterday morning I saw my opportunity.
At 9:00am I was presented with the perfect scenario for leaving. Up, dressed, my breakfast devoured, Joe still soundly asleep in bed, I grabbed my to-go cup of coffee, slipped out of the house, eased into my car and made my break.
As I pulled out of the driveway, windshield wipers going at full speed to clear the heavy rain that was pounding down, I felt a sense of relief that I’d not had in quite some time. The deluge did not dampen my spirits for I was energized and excited.
I was off to get my hair cut and he was going to be left to his own, now capable devises, to get himself up, showered, dressed and fed.
No. I did not leave Joe permanently. Of course not. But I did leave him during the crucial morning hours when he would most need my help. I had faith that he’d be just fine when I arrived back home freshly coiffed.
Prior to this getaway I’ve only left him with friends who are prepared to help. For example, there are now instances when I drop Joe off at physical therapy and drive off knowing one of his buddies will be there when his session is over and will take him to lunch prior to bringing him home.
Or, if I’ve had to go to work, it was only after I’d made sure he was up, ready for the day with his breakfast or lunch prepared and easily accessible.
But this day was different. On the infamous day of my haircut I bolted from the house knowing Joe would have to be totally independent until I’d returned several hours later.
Joe valued the time on his own as much as I treasured being able to give it to him.
We are told as parents that there is a time when we need to let go; when we must allow our kids to figure out life for themselves as they strive to become independent adults. And while I am not insinuating that Joe is my child and I the mother, we are both working towards having him achieve personal autonomy once again.
This will never happen if I continue to hover. I cannot be a “helicopter wife” and expect Joe to continue on his path to recovery.
So I left him. It was emancipating for us both.
Could I have done this before yesterday morning? Perhaps.
But, to quote the title of a song a dear friend has written, “It Takes the Time it Takes.”
It took until yesterday to leave Joe. But once I did I knew it was the right move.
Perhaps next week I’ll escape to get a pedicure.