Our first born grandson Obi graduated in early June 2021. What a joyous day that was! He was the valedictorian of his class and gave a moving talk about the value and impact of small communities on all of their students. He highlighted how small communities created cohesion and caring and noted that everyone in his class (of 60) knew each other. He highlighted how all of their teachers saw each of them individually and worked valiantly to teach each of them through the season of COVID-19. He rejoiced in what their class’s handling of this unsettled time of COVID-19 had illuminated about who they were -and he reminded them that each of them could impact tomorrow’s world for the better.
His pepere and I were present, participatory and so proud of his clarity and commitment to his future and to his path as an artist.
Then we came home to our youngest son who has lived with serious mental illness since the beginning of his first semester at Bard college when he had his first psychotic break and the grieving blossomed again.
So for some days I have been under the weather with unbridled sorrow for Clem’s losses – which are always made more clear and poignant at graduation time – that time when Clem’s future too seemed brimming over with possibilities, 28 years ago now, before the illness struck.
Grieving the losses for our loved ones who get stricken with serious brain based mental illnesses is a grieving that keeps on giving.
I will never ever ever give up on trying to help my son gain some better health and happiness no matter how different it may be from what was hoped for and expected .
Still, it is deeply painful as all grief for truncated potential and enduring pain is – due to these serious illnesses still in the pioneer
stages of understanding and treatment.
Now you have before you an opportunity to advance the humane and promising treatment approach of PTP by passing LD 1994.
Not passing LD 1994 would be maintaining a roadblock that keeps our sons, daughters, friends, parents, brothers, or sisters who get sick with devastating serious brain illnesses that compromise their cognition and functioning from getting a less expensive, more humane, and more rehabilitative response to their illnesses.
Not paying the legal expenses for initiating a PTP has much higher costs – the high costs of financing staffing for emergency services,
homeless services, and the priceless cost of the lives of our loved ones who may die from not having access to treatment for a brain disease that they got through no fault of their own.
I can think on no other serious illnesses that we treat this way.
I urge you to stand in the shoes of families who are primary sources and speak from what they have lived and let them be your guide as you cast your vote for LD1994.
Go Obi – make the future better for all!
Go Maine – Make the future better for all those who suffer so with serious brain based illnesses and pass and fund LD1993 and LD1994 !
*** I was on of the family speakers when this legislation was under consideration – it was passed!