If the choice were mine, I would take care of Segev every day. Of course I would have to retire from my profession of the last 22 years, but my tiny little life has been whittled down to a bare minimum and so I would take that step if offered. So far I haven't had to make that choice.
I have slowly been doing the opposite though. It all began after the separation from his mother when Segev would mostly stay with me. There were week long and two week long vacations abroad with the children while I stayed home alone with Segev. My choice. Eleven nights I believe is the longest period I did that, completely alone. Back in those days I was able to.
I keep looking back at what I was able to do but not in order to feel pride at these kinds of preposterous accomplishments but rather to see how things have changed, now that I am no longer capable of doing them. How the balance started to shift. Instead of caring for Segev in sessions of four days and nights in a row, alone, it became three days and nights and then even only two consecutive days and nights, with his brother and sister also staying over. From the two week vacations it's eventually come down to five days, four night holidays that I am able to take on the responsibility of caring for Segev alone. Needless to say, I cannot work during that period.
I don't go on vacation but I want it to be clear that this is not to raise the pity meter. As far as I'm concerned this is my choice. I don't go "out" after a full day's work, I rush home to be close to Segev, to check up on him so that I can sleep a little better at night. I even don't go to the beach to relax because the beach is always 45 minutes away from Segev which presents unnecessary risk in case something happens to him, as has happened on numerous occasions... Still, my work is always an hour to one and a half hours away from Segev. Here the choice is clear. Work, literally to have food on the table and a roof over our heads, or be closer to Segev and live off of handouts.
Once when I was six years old I drew comic books and went door to door selling them because I knew my parents didn't have much money. I was worried I was a burden on them. I felt I had no choice.
This theme has stayed despite certain inevitable changes, from experience and circumstance but the financial uncertainty because I choose to take care of my son instead of working full time as I used to, six days a week, continues to rattle my self confidence. I've had to literally beg people to help, people who knew the situation and had no financial concerns of their own. No choice.
I've never liked to touch on this subject, it's a matter of pride obviously. When you have to ask your children for their money in order to buy groceries, that is one hard pill to swallow as a father. I could fill pages here of similar instances and detail my woes, especially now when my landlord was kind enough to tell me that he is raising the rent by 25% and that I was very lucky to have such a kind landlord who made considerations for my situation all these years but now, "well, everyone is raising their prices". That's a woe I could do without right now. But a good reason, right? Everyone else does it. No choice?
"You had a discount over the years. I gave you that help, now the difference is being assimilated." I ask though, if the difference is now being wiped out by the massive raise in price, so then actually in the end, you are wiping out that help, aren't you?
Deaf ears cannot hear. So yes I'm a little bit pissed off that this is happening now, with everything else that is going on. I have been looking for another place for a long time now, long before his announcement. Do you know how many apartments have wheelchair access in the neighboring city? I don't, because I can't find any. Looking for so long that I have gone from looking for a three bedroom place to a two bedroom. From near to here, to farther and farther away so that when the call comes from Segev's mother, as it did yesterday when he suffered a minor injury in a home accident, the time it takes me to get there will be that much longer. No choice.
So I will move to a smaller place, with not enough bedrooms and once again stairs but certainly with a balcony so that I can put Segev in the fresh air, especially in the winter, which helps his breathing. It can't be worse than what I have now where sparks and even flames will fly out of the wall when you plug something in and the roof leaks, the dust is intolerable and the rats are a never-ending infestation. So lucky he let me live here.
You bet I'm pissed off but that's not necessarily a bad thing because at least it motivates me to get things done.
Things will change and for the better. No choice.