Clearing Out The Tears

Art-By Sandra Salana

After many years of many tears, this picture struck my heart today. It so closely resembles my feelings of the last few years. Dark tears of grief- of what paths my son had gone down. The inability to “fix” him. Seeing the pain in others as they coped with the loss of a person still physically here.

Lately though, I have actually been able to breathe- breathing in sweet gratitude for so many things. I need to give credit where credit is due.

My window washers.

My window washers who are always trying to clean up my tears.

A window washer

What do they do? With their buckets of fresh water and wands of hope; They go to great lengths and danger to give us clarity. With almost one swipe they can change our perception. Remember the dirty window story?

My story isn’t about others’ dirty laundry though. It’s about helpers.

I’ve had many window washers in my life, especially in the last 3 years.

The variety of window washer angels who willingly scrape those embedded tears from my dark stained eyes.

Firstly, My long-lost but reunited God. A God who, even as I was pouring out my tears of my long-lost son to him, gently washed them away speaking, “lay him at my feet”.

There are my grandkid window washers, who with their innocent smiles and bright laughing eyes pull me into their world. Taking me to baseball games, parks, hiking. Showing me the beauty of their world.

My daughter, who will ask me, “what do you need?” on those days when my sadness envelops me like a dark storm cloud. She might as well be whipping out her magic window washer to show me that I matter and that I deserve to feel good again. Even if only for a day. “What’s your plan?” She always asks. “Plan? I Plan to sit here in my misery.”

Then there’s my dear husband-the stagehand that never gets thanked. He pulls out his window washer and works his magic. When I need a back rub, a sounding board, or silence. Even if he doesn’t understand my undying devotion; he supports me over and over.

So yes, this picture strikes me. The sheer size of my problems in this picture, as I see them-is telling. According to my leaky saddened eyes, my world is a giant. My problems were so large, they seemed insurmountable. All the people trying to console me.

Until I declared my son healed. 

He wasn’t yet. He was actually in jail. He was frustrated and then suicidal. After they put him on suicide watch, he gradually started to feel better.

Now my son is 103 days substance-free! I want to shout it to the rooftops. It’s everything I dreamed of the last few years and more. But my studies have shown me that it’s not wise to be so sure. Relapse is common and with the contaminated drug supply, they are often deadly.

So I bask in silence. I let a smile cross my lips in occasion. I can almost wholeheartedly enjoy an activity or event, knowing my son is safe and being productive on his healing. He told me excitedly the other day:

“I’m such a better person than I was before my addiction”

I have to wonder, am I?

Did those saddened tears of disappointment do some good for me? Did I learn to love unconditionally? Not just the addicted one, but those who exiled him from their life?

Did I learn that my life matters, no matter what tragedy goes on around me?

Do I make even small improvements that help me feel better about my environment? Just yesterday I organized my desk display from chaos to cuteness.

But I also went to the doctor yesterday for the first time in 3 years and saw how much I weigh. I was shocked, to say the least. I now need a window washer to wipe away that problem.

Baby steps