As I drove through the windy canyon, the familiar rolling hills of my hometown gave way to the rows of turkey coops dotting the fields. The wide open blue country sky was a welcome reprieve from the city. Years ago, raising turkeys was the main livelihood for the country farmers. As a child, I would help my dad drive the trucks between the feeders to fill them up with grain. That shy little blonde girl roaming the countryside, looking for another adventure; seems like a million eons ago.
I had been making this trip more and more recently. To see my boys, all three of them- in the same town together! Finally, after many years of living in different parts of the state, they end up just 2 houses apart. Jobs, families, and that creep- addiction had separated our family and torn it to shreds. But the last 3 months were a true miracle. My eldest son had done a complete 180 and turned his life completely around. It took a brush with death- a new scary heart diagnosis, but it still was his choice.
His new mindset was completely focused on becoming legal again, resolving his court cases, trying to reunite with his kids, and forging a new career where he could meet all his financial obligations. Well, that and surviving heart disease too.
Most of those went smoothly but not effortlessly, although he has a way of making it seem so.
My goal and purpose with this trip and others was to enjoy every second I had with him and my other kids.
I wish I could capture the feeling of opening up Facebook and seeing my son doing life. Eating out, going to the lake, kayaking, riding ATVs. Things they had done together 4 years ago, now seemed like nothing had ever come between them.
I wish I could take this feeling of relief and gently hand it to every hurting Mom. I wish I could share my splintered heart whose gaps are being filled up with small mementos of my much-awaited hope.
Hope that I spent years clinging to. Yearning. Aching for moments that I have now. Along with it comes tinges of guilt. For those who are still suffering.
Maybe it's a bit like survivors guilt.
I vividly remember the anguish. The sleepless nights. I see certain pictures and it all comes back. The endless worry and feelings of powerlessness. The minute to minute panic of the perpetual other shoe dropping. I felt like I was running, running against the crooked sky.
Now I finally see the rainbow. The light at the end of the tunnel. The bliss of joy. Of relief.
I know that this good fortune could run out at any time, so it’s all the more reason, why I am covering myself in it. Soaking in his victories and just loving on him any chance I get. I think I’ve hugged him more in the last 3 months than 36 years. If only I could package up those hugs. Package up his essence, his joy. His smile every time I see him.
One of his little nephews asked if he was always so fun and pleasant, and we told him yes, he was. Later he can be told that sometimes drugs mask these qualities and that’s what the last 3 years were like. For now, it’s healing time.
If I could gift this feeling to other hurting Moms, I wouldn’t wrap it in a fluffy tissue bag with a pretty bow and a tag that says live, laugh, and love.
Instead, I would give them a bright glowing golden heart with the message: hold-on, hope-on, and heal-on.
A heart of intention, covered in precious dew drops of the tears of a thousand moms mourning the child they once knew. The dew would glisten and shine brightly to lead the way to give them hope. Hope that everyone's heart can heal. I would pass its energy onto trembling hands that have no idea what's in store.
I would cover those trembling hands with all the love and faith I could carry, gently warming them into a slow breathable calmness. Telling them to trust, to hope, to have faith that there is someone who loves them and their child even more.
Someone who has them gently wrapped in the palm of his hands ever so strongly, knowingly.
When the pain is almost unbearable, and they feel alone, they can hold on to that heart and connect to their loved one, wherever they may be.
When you can't see the light, the Rainbow. You can't see any way out. Come back to your heart. That's where the God of your understanding lies. That's where your peace is.
As my friend Joanne so lovingly states:
That's where your safety lies. That's where your child is safest.
In your own heart 💜