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August 29, 2016
There was a lot that I loved about the Lost Coast, and the little school there was one of them. I called it “The Best School Ever” on my blog, and I meant it. There was so much that was great about it.
I was positive that Dana was going to wake up out of his coma soon. Any minute now. So I sent Micah and Moxie to school, which was just starting up for the year. Mack was still too young, even for pre-school.
Diane, Moxie’s aid in school, and also the sweet, caring woman who provided me with respite way up in the yurt when I needed it. I really loved her.
And Moxie’s teacher. Her class. Moxie’s teacher said, “oh, Moxie knows sign language better than verbal language? No problem! We’ll all learn sign language!”
Moxie was loved and appreciated in school, and I think no small part of that was due to my neighbor there, Josie Brown. Josie’s son Moses is my age, has Down syndrome, and has been an integral member of the Lost Coast community for most of his life.
It’s always easier when someone else paves the way. I was always grateful to Josie and Moses for doing that for me and Moxie.
This photo was there on my phone camera roll for this day, too. I guess the kids took a bath together when Moxie came home from school?
Our property had sweet water, like actually, sweet. It came from springs in the ground, fresh and pure and literally emerging from the earth.
That plentiful supply of beautiful water was one of the best things about living there. We would fill agricultural tubs full of piping hot water and just hang out on the deck and soak. It was wonderful.
This picture though shows that Mack and Moxie were in the new wing that Dana was building for me and my husband. It was unfinished but usable. I was picking out flooring and wall paneling at that point, I remember.
In all of this, getting the kids to school (- half an hour drive each way up and down the mountain), starting school and caring for Mack, I kept trying to feel Dana and I couldn’t. What I mean by that is that, growing up, I could always feel Dana’s presence. I just had to close my eyes and kind of center myself and I could feel him. He could do the same for me, which is why we knew when the other was calling (- before caller ID and ubiquitous cell phones!), it’s why we could sense when something was up with the other.
But I couldn’t sense Dana, I hadn’t been able to since he was shot. I assumed that I couldn’t because he was in a deeper place, one that I couldn’t reach. But it was really discombobulating to be wading around this fog, feeling like the world itself was surreal, and feeling so untethered, off balance.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.