Two Spiceful Lives – One Special Needs Child

crying womanKG had planned to come for dinner two nights ago, but JD and I had to cancel. Meg had shown up at our door with bloodshot eyes, streams of tears coming down her cheeks and carrying her baby. Brie, just seven months old, had been diagnosed with severe, life-threatening food allergies, and Meg was devastated.  She couldn’t even nurse.Why her? Hasn’t she been given enough to deal with? What’s next for the poor child?” she wailed. How could her sweet little daughter ever enjoy birthday parties, school events or simply a well-deserved sweet treat?  Childhood is tough enough without additional obstacles, and this was just the latest in a series of heartbreaking diagnoses.

When Brie was born she seemed lethargic and scored poorly on the Apgar, but the nurses tried to act optimistically.  I had spent enough time with babies to realize there was something disturbingly unusual about the one in my arms. This precious child was unresponsive, entirely too still and flaccid.

I’ll always remember the drive home from the doctor’s office the day Brie was diagnosed with “floppy baby syndrome”, or hypotonia, a state of low muscle tone. “What the hell does that mean for her? The doctor said it’s not a specific medical disorder. What do I do with that?” Meg screamed angrily.  I let her vent her rage and fears the entire way home. What can one do in a situation like this, but listen and promise to always be there for them both?

The underlying cause and the child’s future is a mystery still.  But as the diagnosis settled in, Meg came to grips with the fact that her perfect angel was not physically perfect, and they would both face lifelong challenges.  Meg stopped looking backward or forward and simply dealt with one day at a time; one moment at a time it seemedIt took many weeks for her expectations to shift from “normal” to “special”, but she characteristically dived into researching the syndrome, treatments and support groups. My heart secretly ached watching them struggle through the cycles of life—and now this latest blow just complicates what was already devastating!

A stranger looking at Meg—attractive, well-dressed and fit— might sum her up as a typically ‘together’ young woman without a care in the world. But looks are so deceiving. On top of caring for a special needs child, dealing with a rocky marriage and a hoard of financial issues, Meg’s hearing-impaired twin brother, Nut, recently moved in, adding fuel to the fire.

Meg’s husband, Pedro, a hardworking man, is plagued with many disturbing opinions and is outwardly homophobic. He never liked Nut—having heard rumors about him—but against Pedro’s vehement objections, Meg allowed Nut to move in. Her obligation to Nut, obviously, is not helping their marriage.

My blogging experience has made my life more complete, and in a strange way it is doing something for Meg, providing much-needed distraction. Every day she inquires about the blog, and two to three times a week we brew coffee and discuss what I should write about or add to the format. Attempting to convince her to become a contributor, Meg simply chuckles and says, “I have enough on my plate, thank you very much, and I am not one of your clients!”  True, Meg is not a paying client wanting to be inspired to find more in life, but ironically she inspires me every day! My intentions are for this blog to help her financially, knowing she has many sleepless nights worrying what will happen when the day comes she can no longer care for Brie. Your support is greatly appreciated! Visit Scarlett Skillet E-Store and help me make a mother with a special needs child live without too many worries.

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I have known Meg and Nut, the “Nutmeg Twins” we called them, my entire life. We went to the same school and their family owned the farm next to my parents. There are many stories to tell; in fact they could fill an entire blog themselves. “Nut” is the nickname Meg bestowed upon her brother years ago. Being deaf from birth, Nut was often misunderstood by the “hearing” world. I have to admit, at times he did act rather nutty, but it was usually more the case of us not understanding his needs.  Today, Nut is a deaf man dealing with the complications of relationship with a distinct disadvantage. He’s certainly making Meg’s life more difficult, but I suspect he’ll be fodder for this blog in the future

“What am I going to do?” Meg demanded as she paced our kitchen the other night. Looking around she said, “It looks as if you two are entertaining tonight.”  JD went to get some ice and I explained that KG was coming over. “OMG,” Meg said, “He cannot see me like this!”  JD and I knew she was in no condition to socialize or to drive home.  JD made a call to KG, Meg fed the baby and put her down, and I made all three of us a pitcher of dirty martinis with bleu cheese-stuffed olives.  We were in for the night!

After swilling her first martini like a trooper, Meg began talking about Nut’s recent business trip. A mathematical genius, Nut found his calling as an auditor. There he could immerse himself in a world of numbers with few personal interactions. His boss traveled with him to on-site audits and to fill in the communication gaps, but there was something about this trip that shocked us all!

There were many rumors surrounding Nut as a kid, indicating that he could have interest in guys beyond skinny-dipping in the creek. But we figured he was simply going through the normal transition in becoming a man. However, his 10-year marriage going awry along with the email Meg held in her hand, confirmed the rumors.

Meg said she found the email carelessly open on her computer and confronted Nut. His response was simply, “What two adult men do on their own time, is their business!”

JD asked, “What? The two of them drank too much and shared a woman?” After all, Nut and his boss are two damn good-looking guys.  JD and I were speechless as Meg continued, “Nut and his boss have been having an affair!”  Our mouths fell open as Meg read the words off the paper she held:

Warning – if sexually explicit dialog disturbs you, please stop reading now!—

Hey ‘Boss’,

I was so looking forward to spending the week with you in Seattle. I knew you would make it a fun trip; I just didn’t how much fun you could be! We certainly saved the company some money by sharing a room! LOL The view on the 30th floor was incredible—especially inside!

I became instantly aroused when you stripped down in front me. As men, I know we all have the same junk, but having been married for years, I have developed modesty. Your body was the most beautiful sight my travel-worn eyes could have fallen upon. When you came out of the shower and dropped your towel, you noticed my response through my briefs immediately. You certainly took the queue from my hungry stare that you had me. I attempted to warn you but you took everything I had and you hungrily accepted.

Your appetite astounded me the entire week. I was so happy to be all yours!  Having hot, passionate sex every night, devouring each other and climaxing in unison was amazing!

Unfortunately, the week passed all too quickly and it’s back to the grind. We must always remain professional, but I cannot help stealing glances at you in the office. Thank you for arranging for the trip and for taking the leap!

BTW thank you for the site recommendation; “Bi Like Me – The life and times of a masculine, closeted, bisexual man!” It is great to know I am not alone.

Seattle is beautiful, and so are you!  Any plans for the weekend, Boss?

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As difficult as this is for Meg to digest, she’s really dreading Pedro finding out.  He would have a fit! But what really troubles me is our taboo-ridden culture imposing boundaries and pressures on a man like Nut.  Beneath his hard, masculine exterior is a longing for true intimacy with another human being. An instinctual yearning for a real sense of sharing on the deepest emotional level has escaped Nut all his life. I cannot believe it is strictly about male sex as much as male bonding.

No one chooses to have food allergies, to be physically disabled, or to be void of hearing the song of a bird.  Similarly, no one chooses to be straight, gay or bisexual. Irrespective of our design, we are all products of Nature and it is our responsibility to live a purposeful life! I suggested Meg check out Married Gay to help her understand what may be going on.

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DYK: Did you know nutmeg, one of the oldest spices, is unique among spices? The seed is dried, shelled and sold either whole or ground as the spice nutmeg. The outer, red, fleshy skin is also dried and ground, producing the spice knows as mace. Two spices from one nut!

©Scarlett Skillet

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