I love this photograph of Pete from sometime in the early ’80s. It’s how I remember him best, with no confused look in his eyes and a shock of wavy (though receding) hair. These were the days he spent teaching me how to hit a ball and appreciate underducks on the swings in the park behind our homes. The good ‘ol days, for sure.
Once again, three months has brought lots of change.
First and foremost, at the end of August we hired a daytime caregiver. Her name is Crystal and she’s 25 and contagiously bubbly, which puts Pete in a good mood of his own most days. She’s with him a little longer each day than I was, allowing all of us (me, my mom, and my stepdad) to go back to our full work routines. I spent the first three days of her employment with the two of them, hoping for a smooth adjustment. And on the third day when I explained to Pete that I would see him the next week instead of tomorrow he said, “If you gotta go, you gotta go!” A good sign if there ever was one.
Secondly, my mom closed up Pete’s Pennsylvania home early last month. After several trips back spent weeding out twenty year old receipts and other junk, it was time. Plenty of furniture was given away and his car was sold. Everything else was boxed up, loaded onto a moving truck, and sent into a storage unit here until we can root through it all. Of course Pete has no idea all of this has happened, though the only houses he asks about these days are boyhood homes.
I’ve gone back to freelance graphic design and blogging on my own time, instead of hurriedly in the evening hours. It’s good. And though I thought there would be a modicum of guilt attached to this moment, there really isn’t. I know that I did my best job helping Pete for as long as I could. And now it’s nice to visit for Sunday dinners instead of being the one telling him he can’t do something he wants.
So for now this will be the last Pete update. I cannot even begin to thank you all for your kind comments and emails and shared stories and words of wisdom. They mean more to me than you’ll even know. This site was never meant to be a story of the trials and tribulations of my life, but I’m so happy that when it took a tiny turn in that direction you were there as always.