On July 24, 1998, our son, Adam Dzialo, drowned. Twenty-five minutes under water at a summer camp when he was 12 years old eventually resulted in a disabled body but produced an indominitable spirit and brilliant soul. Seventeen years have passed...we believe our son and his family to be in an active state of healing. We devote our lives to his maximum possible recovery and his comfort in his body.
Our son, Adam Dzialo, age 30
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Vacation...Getting Away From Life (A Sharon Dzialo Post)
Phil's Vacation Resort
I needed a retreat – also, knew that it would look very different from Phil’s recent get-away. He checked into a hotel for three days, slept blissfully, wrote a blog, read a book, walked by the ocean, ate “sinfully” delicious food and had NO RESPONSIBILITY. I want to mention here that Phil has NEVER done this before and I prodded, pleaded and eventually forced him to go. I have, in the past, when Adam was in stable shape, taken days away, even a 12 day trip once to Hawaii to visit friends. Adam was in school then and we had several good people to help with his care. This, unfortunately, is no longer our reality. Phil, however, could not leave his home, his son, his safety (the old PTSD STUFF. . . ) Until recently - If you follow our story you will know that the last year has been very difficult – many, many challenges with Adam, ones that left us with that “special fatigue” only experienced by the extreme caretakers of the world. We were both desperate for a break and, given that we have a gravely diminished support system in place, we needed to take our retreats separately.
Kripalu Retreat Center
I traveled to a yoga center in Western Ma., intending to sleep, walk, participate in some gentle yoga classes, eat healthy food, read, and “if the spirit moved me” connect with some other folks. RUDE AWAKENING – I signed up for a dorm room with five roommates, all of whom had arrived and settled in before me. Only a top bunk bed was left, with other people’s clothes scattered about – so welcoming (NOT). I grabbed my book and tried to find a comfortable chair in one of the many sitting areas. The Center was packed, people coming and going, chatting, chatting and more chatting. I couldn’t read so I eventually found my way to a yoga class. Relaxing? Peaceful? Comforting? No, no and no. My body was screaming – couldn’t turn my head to the left, had pain running down the middle of my back and this happened just because I was laying flat on the floor. Wake-up Call!!!! Hate it when that happens. My body was talking to me – too much stress all bottled up. I hobbled back to my room, met one roommate (nice enough) and then settled onto the top bunk worried about the night ahead because I ALWAYS have to get up in the night to use the bathroom. I was envisioning myself slipping down the ladder, crashing on the floor and further harming my fragile body. As I was trying to drift off another woman entered the room, loudly announcing her presence, flossing her teeth with great drama, brushing her teeth in the sink while loudly spitting and then setting up a laptop on her bed with the lights on. I could hear her typing. Tossed and turned all night and, finally, in the wee hours fled the room, took a shower and made a plan.
I requested a private room – YES! And, was settled in within an hour. I scheduled a therapeutic massage and it was perfect. A tall, gentle man sat me down, listened to my story (which I told in two sentences) and kindly and compassionately talked with me about honoring mothers and, especially mothers in extreme circumstances. I cried and he then proceeded to massage the stress from my body. I must admit that I fantasized about taking him home with me – Phil and Adam would have loved him too. And, my daughter – well, she loves massages. . .
So, I learned that I needed and wanted to be alone. This seems like a contradiction when you know the circumstances of our life. With the exception of one committed and loyal therapist who appears at our door every ten days for a four day stay AND visits from our daughter, her boyfriend and Tiki (the grandpuppy) we lead a very solitary life. A few family visits each year, phone calls, casual conversations with the neighbors and one or two new friends – that’s it. Being alone afforded me the luxury of NO CARETAKING, unless it was moving in my own direction. I went to bed when I wanted, walked, read, took a nap. I didn’t need much – the simple bliss of no responsibility for even a few days. . .