I followed Cary around. First I worked at the boys' ranches after his release. The Community Colleges needed someone to teach at the prison, which I did after Cary left; I taught Life Skills to men who had been in prison for long periods and were about to return to the public life. They had to learn how to get a job, manage money, control anger, communication skills, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. Many had wives and children "on the outside" and my task was to help them re-enter family life. I also worked for the Battered Women and Children programs at the colleges and the Displaced Homemaker Program through the colleges. I taught evening classes at Whitworth and Gonzaga on the same subjects. The city hired me to work with the city employees to try to improve morale. The city police had me teach risk management.
While I did these jobs over the years, Cary had a tough adulthood. He continued to drink, refused to join the family for birthdays and family events. He lived on his own, and I did not see him for several years. One day Sacred Heart Hospital called me and wondered who was going to take responsibility for his hospital expenses. I told her Cary had been out of touch for several years; I had no idea what happened to him. She could not say anything because of confidentiality laws. "I'm his mother!" I pleaded. She gave me the name of the head nurse in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
I walked to Cary's bed in I.C.U. He was in a coma; there was a stainless steel bar poking out of the top of his head; it was a pressure gauge on his brain. I got in touch with the police department and talked to the police team that found Cary staggering helplessly around with blood coming from his skull, eyes, nose, and mouth. The doctor said he had two brain concussions, probably from a heavy pipe, and he didn't expect Cary to live.
I walked to the hospital because I had just had heart surgery and could not drive. I found Cary was filthy; his feet had callouses that looked like he had not worn socks with his shoes. I asked the nurse for a basin of warm water, soap, and towels. She brought them, I gave him a bed-bath. I had been a candy striper at Sacred Heart when I was 16 - 18 and had given many bed-baths and knew what to do. Each day I returned and gave him another bed bath and used lotion to soften his skin.
On the eighth day, he awoke from his coma and was a raging bull. He refused injections, refused to stay in the hospital, and walked out. A friend drove me up and down the streets, to every place that I knew where street people gathered. I talked to the police, they searched.
On my way home from work one day some time later, I saw him staggering to reach a telephone pole. I stopped, he got in my car; I took him home, he had a shower while I cooked him a meal and he ate with gusto. His color, yellow-jaundice like, his face looked old. I told him he could stay in his old room if he didn't drink alcohol. That put him into a rage, and he left.
I didn't see him again until I was very sick. Laura drove looking for him, found him drunk, sitting on a curb with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. She parked, walked over to him and told him I was very sick, that I needed him and wanted him to come home. He got in her car and came back.
Laura and Larry live 50 miles away, have a family, and each has businesses that keep them busy. They also work hard at Volunteer Fire Dist 8. Cary went to his old room, found some of his old clothes, he took a shower and started taking care of me. He brought me three lovely meals every day that he cooked, and I could not eat, he changed my water several times a day. Cary cleaned up my vomit, kept the house tidy, the dishes washed, and the laundry clean. He took me for short walks and then longer ones. Cary supervised to make sure that I took all my medications and reminded me I had doctors' appointments.
He is sober and has been since 2013 when I had cancer. The neighbors all know of Cary's behaviors and some fear him, others encourage him and care for him as I do. We are aware he will never be able to live a normal life because of his emotional immaturity. He just never grew up.
His life has been a hard one, there have been moments of great tenderness and moments of pure hell. One thing is for sure; my life has been interesting because of him.