Just no one in this car…

(As Good As It Gets -Movie)
Carol Connelly: OK, we all have these terrible stories to get over, and you-…
Melvin Udall: It’s not true. Some of us have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car.

On Sundays we visit Damian.  The day starts early.  Everyone up, showers, breakfast, pack up the car with snacks, drinks, iPads, and games.  One more time everyone visit the bathroom, don’t forget your headphones.  Did somebody remember to kennel the dogs?  In the van, head count, run back inside 4 times for things we forgot.  On the road, the same endless questions about Damian.  The same ambiguous answers.   We try to make it fun, we sing, we stop to get donuts.  We take pictures like this to try to trick our minds into remembering this one moment.

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And not all the moments that follow.

We arrive at Deveroux, we drive through 3 lock down gates.

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We get out of the car and walk towards Damian’s unit.  Once there we go through 2 lock down doors and wait for Damian.  He has to through 3 lock down doors to reach us.image

We play on the playground, we watch ants busy in the sand.  We see Damian does not have his shoes-a sad indicator that he is still on suicide watch.

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We go to the family visitation room and eat snacks, play UNO and sit on chairs bolted to the floor.

We make small talk about the past, because the present is just too much to comprehend.

Then it’s time to go and I get everyone in the car.  I make sure everyone has their iPads  going with head phones on.  I tilt the rear view mirror so they can’t see me.  I turn the radio up praying they can’t hear me and I watch Garrett walk Damian away from me, from his brother and his sisters.  My tears come as uncontrollably as always.  The ride home is a torture of idle time and racing emotions.

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“Some of us have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car.”

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