Soak In The Rockies

On Saturday Sophia and I climb on a plane, our eventual destination is the University of Montana at Missoula. She’s a Senior this year, and we are in the thick of our college visits this fall. It will be my first time in the mountains, so I’m looking forward to this very much.

The other part of this visit affects our future plans significantly as well. Sophia is permanently disabled — if you know, you know; if you don’t, check out Meg’s posts at — and her college search is a little more in depth as a result.

The goal is to make sure Sophia can live independently, safely, under all medical circumstances, for all four years at her chosen school. We are trying to find a school with the right academic, environmental and assistive arrangements so that this goal can be achieved. Because if we can’t, we are going to have to alter our plans somewhat.

It’s possible that no school will fit the bill entirely. If that turns out to be the case, then we have a secondary decision to make. Our youngest will still have a year left to go in high school, and we have committed to keeping him here through graduation. But if Sophia needs somebody to be at-the-ready should she suffer a break or other problem, her mother becomes that person. That means Meg will move to the city near the university Sophia chooses, and I will stay here with Thomas until he goes to college himself.

So these university visits aren’t just, “They have my major, and the cafeteria food was awesome!” We have five meetings set up over the course of the day, and we are trying to line up more. Academics; student housing; snow removal; transportation (both on-campus and off-campus buses, plus regional point-to-point, on-demand private couriers with wheelchair capabilities); hospitals; medical specialists; medical transportation (helicopters); wheelchair repair facilities; student organizations; state assistance for disabled persons; it’s seemingly endless. Once you finish one inquiry, it creates two or three more. Some of it can be done remotely, but some of it you have to physically see and test out yourself.

I’m going to see the mountains. I’m going to try to soak in the Rockies on the drive down from Spokane to Missoula on Sunday. Because first thing Monday morning, it’s on like Donkey Kong.

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