Embracing Uncertainty: Sometimes decisions are out of your hands

“Embrace uncertainty.  Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won't have a title until much later".  - Bob Goff

Transition is the process of changing from one state or condition to another. We try to plan for transitions as best we can and make good choices, but very often we don’t have control over many of the decisions that determine our course. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as we waited to hear if my son would be accepted to his first-choice university for fall 2016.

We knew that if he was accepted there, or even to his second choice of universities, that he would be able to move forward with his chosen path of transition. If not, however, he would need to move to his back-up plan or even consider starting over again.  

As Hunter’s mom and advocate I always remind myself that I have to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best when it comes to my son and his life with deaf-blindness. His etiology is Usher Syndrome and we are totally aware that the worst is yet to come. Medically, his vision will progressively get worse from the eye disease of retinitis pigmentosa and this same scenario is absolutely possible with his hearing as well. I know this. He knows this. We have been preparing for it all along.

As we waited to hear from the university there was feeling of anxiousness, excitement, and nervousness in our household. I thought (and I’m sure, over thought) about how to prepare for the possibility that he would not be accepted. I worried about him feeling sad and disappointed, but also wondered how I would help him understand that we all experience the bad and the good of life and there is no plan of protection for it. Together, we might need to revise or restart his plans for transition.

“You know, Hunter,” I said. “You may not get accepted at this time, so we need to think and plan just in case.” I explained that applying to any college or university is a competitive endeavor. As a transfer student from a community college, he might not have enough credits or the courses he had taken might not transfer to this particular university. It was possible that the university might not see him as a good match. I told him that we didn’t know what might happen, but it was important to be prepared.  

Each day Hunter checked our mailbox and patiently waited for the “letter.”  He talked about buying a robotic vacuum for his dorm room and purchasing a Keurig coffee pot like the one we have in our home.  He hoped to obtain a single dorm room for he knew that his guide dog, assistive technology equipment, and the use of 24-7 lighting could be difficult for a roommate. 

Finally, I realized that as I prepared for the worst, he was hoping for the best!  It was another good lesson learned for me as a parent, from my son with a disability. And his tenaciousness paid off once again. He has just received the letter of acceptance. Job well done my son! Carry on as your path of transition recommences.   

Mother and son by mailbox receiving letter