They sound like a cartoon when they are together. Pops, whistles, zingers mixed in with wisecracks from the 3 Stooges and Tex Avery. Father and son live in a delicately crafted world that makes 16-year old Brock the most happiest and least annoyed. It takes an incalculable amount of time and energy to care for Brock and his father Kim does it well and he does it alone.
Usually it is the man that leaves. Not Kim. The divorce was tough and it still lingers. Kim says his wife literally could not cope with what needed to be done with the resources they had available to ensure Brock’s life would be fun and engaging, educational and productive and full of the same potential and opportunities as any other teenager.
Although the actual divorce rate among parents who have a child with a disability is debated, the fact remains that a family without sufficient help is prone to “high levels of marital discord”, according to researchers L.F. Whaley and D.L. Wong. The actual reason for the divorce is complicated but a common theme is the lack of support in the home. Parents need the support of a nurse or an aide that could provide in home assistance so that a mother can be a mother to more than one child at a time and not be the 24-hour nurse as well as a 24-hour mom. Families reach the breaking point when it is not enough hours in the day and not enough mom or dad to go around. When the worst happens the parents split apart or the child with a disability ends up living in a nursing facility or a state run institution. Once a child with a disability enters a nursing facility Medicaid dollars kicks in and pays the nursing facility for that child’s care. A Medicaid waiver can divert the funding that would go to the nursing facility and make it available to a family to hire the support needed so that mom can work, dad can be dad, a little sister can not feel overlooked and ignored and the child with a disability can live at home.
Kim talks about the birth of his son with clear and measured memories. Three days after Brock was born he went into a coma due to a metabolic disorder that cause brain swelling and left him unable to speak. His son was created out of genuine love. Kim says he filed for divorce to shock his wife back to reality, back to a place where she was needed most. It didn’t work. She moved out leaving Kim, Brock and their younger daughter at home – in Brock’s world, a difficult world to balance for the best of parents. Kim is committed to his children. His commitment can be heard in his voice as he pops, whistles, zings and pokes his son Brock with wisecracks from the 3 Stooges and Tex Avery. This is the world that makes Brock happy and this is the world Kim maintains as a single parent.