Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Christmas Angel

It is not news to those of you who read this blog that my entire life the past few years have presented some challenges.

Most recently, one of my beloved children has been upset about something. That is distressing by itself. But in this case, they have decided that they need to distance themselves from me as part of their coping strategy. I have really suffered with this, having a hard time accepting this choice. In fact, I am inconsolable. Without exaggeration I can state this is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. But after months of agonizing and begging, I have decided the only way I can deal with this is to let it go and hand it over to God. I am trying hard to appreciate the fact that it is not just about me, that my child needs this and I must respect their decision.

However, being respectful does not preclude feeling as though my heart has been ripped out of my chest. Being respectful does not stop me from crying constantly. Being respectful still leaves me feeling like a miserable failure as a mother. I keep praying ‘Thy will be done’, but I am all too human in my anguish.

This is what I have been carrying and why I have not been keeping up with my blogs. Or much else. It has simply been too hard. Everything, including breathing, feels too hard.

Enter the Christmas get together planned by my high school classmates, a rollicking bunch of really kind, funny people. I do not want to go anywhere. But I had committed to showing up, so I force myself to go, unable to imagine how I am going to socialize without howling my grief. All I can think about is my child and how much I miss them.

When I get there, wrestling with my walker, I am warmly embraced in affection and caring. We exclaim at how little some have changed, how great it is to see everyone and we catch up. Santa, looking suspiciously like one of my classmates, appears. I am trying hard not to cry, but I am surrounded by so many fond friends that I am able to keep it together.

About an hour into the evening, a woman appears at the end of my table. One of my classmates is pointing us out one by one. Kathy says my maiden name and the woman shoots out her arm, pointing at me. “You!! I have to talk to you!!”

She squeezes through the chairs and throws her arms around me. And tells me how much my blog means to her!! I recognize her now, a sweet girl I haven’t seen since high school days, now a bubbly, enthusiastic grown woman. As we talk, she shares some of the difficulties she has been facing in her own life. Very, very hard stuff. Heartbreaking. But she describes these things with a wry sense of insight and acceptance, without a shred of self pity.

She is so complimentary about my writing that I feel myself blushing. She tells me the most incredibly humbling thing: that my words have provided her not just laughter, but sustenance. Sharing my experiences has helped her, has even been inspiring. I am awestruck. I know people have enjoyed my writing and my goofy sense of humor, but this is the first time I am presented with a flesh and blood person who tells me I have made a difference in her life. “You must keep writing!” she insists.

As we talked, I felt the slightest thread of hope rise up in me. And a sense of purpose. Someone I love deeply has absented themselves from my life, but my life is not entirely worthless. I touch other people with my words. And here is someone right in front of me who is affirming and grateful…for me! She offers wise and comforting observations as we chat and she makes me laugh. She is an emphatic bundle of positive energy. I see this as a gift from God, true light in a dark night. A messenger. An angel.

I am still desolate. But today it is a little easier to draw a breath. I am so thankful for the comfort of old friends and for my sharp, exuberant, encouraging angel.




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9 comments:

Peace Be With You said...

A wonderful story. Sometimes we have the families that are biologically determined and sometimes we have intentional families. The lucky ones have both. I count myself lucky that in the course of my blogging I have been blessed to become a part of a community that often expresses care and devotion.
Judy

Anji said...

I'm so sorry to read about the separation from one of your children. Just keep loving them (which of course you will do!) and they will come back. Perhaps it's better to wait until they are ready than force a meeting too soon.

You never know who is reading your blog and why they read...

beth5393 said...

Marie...I miss you ...

And I too love your writing...
Families are so tough to deal with..it's all so emotionally loaded.

Good for you for being able to let go and them work it out.

In the meantime, we are here for you.

Pricilla said...

I am sorry. Families are challenging in the best of times.
Goat hugs

Dirty Butter said...

I can't imagine what it would be like to have a child pull away like that, but can only pray for you that it will not be permanent. As for your blog being a good influence, I'm sure it is, as you are open and honest about your feelings.

One of our daughters has recently divorced, and she tried to get out of being with family for Christmas, saying she'd be too blue. Thank goodness her sister was able to convince her to come anyway. She'll be a lot better for it, just as you are better for having gone to your party.

Patrick@Caregivingly Yours said...

There is a world of untold Christmas stories out there. Thank you for sharing.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick

Marie said...

Judy: Blessed is a perfect word. Thank you so much. :)

Anji: Oh, I will love them always, no matter what, you are so right about that!! I will be here when they are ready. Thank you for stopping by!

Beth: Your comment made me cry, because I miss you too. I miss so much. Thank you for your kind words.

Pricilla: Thank you for the goat hugs. xoxo

DB: Your prayers would be so appreciated! Thank you for your warm and wise comment.

Patrick: Thank you so much for stopping by and for your comment!

Jane Turley said...

Ah. Now I understand why you have been so quiet:(

Children. You never stop worrying about them. Be patient and all will resolve itself Marie.

What a fantastic and uplifting story about your reunion though! That woman was definitely your Christmas angel:)

Marie said...

Again Jane, thank you for being so wonderful. {{hugs}} I treasure your friendship.

I can only pray at this point that things will resolve. It is very, very hard.

But it was a boost to have my friend tell me how much my blog meant to her. Anji is right, you never know who you might touch...