Hoping he would pick up, and he did . Late at night I just wanted to hear his voice . It was 12 midnight for me, and sleep did not seem as if it was going to happen . He was two hours earlier, and a consummate nocturnal kinda guy.
There was no specific reason or pre meditated plan for the phone call, except that I was missing him, and was feeling lonely. It’s at night often that the lonely creeps in, when all is still, and your cotton sheets, and heavy multiple quilts that lay atop you is the fabric hug that surrounds you . Not nearly as good as a human hug.
It is still, and I’m not sure if there is a moon, but it is quiet and dark . These are where the unhindered thoughts of the day hide out, laying in wait for the night to flow in from the sacred recesses of the mind. It’s like a slow sinister breeze that could gather strength, as the thoughts spill forth that during the day could be brushed away with more ease in the light.
The laying still is a vulnerable place, and the thoughts know this. As relaxation begins to take hold, the mind opens, and the heart slows to a more regular resting pattern. The unwinding commences. I am unguarded . The stone walls are down, the dirt and dusty road of travelled paths trodden is more visible .
” Hello, oh hey Mom, what’s up..are you ok?”
” Yup, it’s Wednesday, and I thought it might be your day off?”
” it is.. I’m just online playing this game with some friends.”
” I don’t want to interrupt you.”
” You aren’t interrupting Mom, I have them on mute.”
Permission to speak . Conversation, communication . Unexpected sharing of feelings, and deep thoughts flow from one phone device to the other .
Clear as day, in the dead of night. Our connection is good, but tonight it is great. It will be memorable . I embrace his voice from afar and hold it tightly.
I don’t know quite how all of the things began spilling out but they did. Truth and honesty were uninhibited , and multiple times throughout our sharing I couldn’t stop the smiles and the happiness that invaded my countenance .
This was a special gift, and several times I thought to myself, I wish I knew how to record this conversation because it’s so deep, and raw, and uncensored, and pure..I don’t want to forget it . I’m holding it in a tight embrace that I never want to release. I want to be able to hit replay, and be able to mull over the words, the ideas.
Please don’t let me forget . This is the good stuff, the incredible union that we chase . The high of great conversation with family that is medicine for the soul.
The adult kids. They aren’t kids. They are full blown adults leading their own lives . Getting to know them now as they are, and as my son reminds me,
“We are friends now Mom.”
” You have raised me Mom, I see you not as a parent, but as a friend.”
It’s a gift.. a present..and it is priceless.
I don’t squeal into the phone..Instead the tears trickle out from the corners of my eyes, and one rivulet finds its way into my ear . That’s what happens when you cry laying down. If you cry a lot of tears than your pillow gets wet. Then you turn your pillow over . Sometimes the rivers of water continue to flow . It’s a thing this weeping from joy and sorrow . The tears are the words that I cannot string together, because there aren’t any to describe this present preciousness. I need heavenly out of this world words.. Is there a thesaurus with these words? I just may google it.
When does this happen? You are Mother and child for so long, and then this transition occurs, and it really does feel like it’s from day to night. This sounds cliche, and perhaps it is, but it feels true.
The raising of the child has ended, new chapters are being written, new experiences and conversations are being had. It’s like s whole new novel is in the works. The story is continually being written and birthed, and the conclusion is yet to be determined, for him, for me, for any of us still living on this planet.
The transition piece. It is born from change , and traumatic experiences both shared, and encountered individually . The sharing of how these affected one another is profound. The processing of events unfiltered and unadulterated is unexpected , but so welcome.
It brings a sigh to my spirit. Who knew this was what the heart needed.
There came another conversation weeks later. This one was different. It was there in his voice, and I heard it immediately as I answered my phone.
He was dark. I recognized it. I had heard it many times before.
My reaction from deep within my body is always the same. My heart races, and my breathing becomes more ragged, and the deep lump in my throat emerges, and lodges itself there like a jagged rock.
I listen, and inside I weep for his state of mind.
It’s back, but really it never leaves. Depression and anxiety are part of his journey. Oh how I wish it wasn’t. I pray continually.. ” help him Jesus.. deliver him, heal him in the mighty name of Jesus.”
I choke back tears, and pray for inner strength and courage to say the right words. I know he wants to “stay.” It’s hard. These mental weights are like tons of heavy chain links around his neck that bind also his feet and hands and keep him held tight as a prisoner within himself.
I feel helpless. From across the distance, I can listen, I can care, I can walk beside him and love him, but I cannot take this away.
I am beyond thankful for these calls. As much as they hurt, and disturb me, I welcome them.
He reached out. He told me. He wants help . His voice laden with despair needs hope.
I keep talking, and gently urging him to help me understand. What is the root of this deep anxiety right now? Sometimes he doesn’t know which is infuriating to him . It seems to hide in the shadows, and pounces on him, attacking him unguarded like a volatile enemy stalker. It does not care. It just wants to destroy him .
I will fight . I ask him if he is ” safe?”
I say, ” you know what I’m asking, right son, when I say that?”
” Ya..I know.”
He doesn’t answer .
He tells me he doesn’t want to hurt me. I know what he is saying . This depression and anxiety have been with him a long time . He has borne it for much of his life. He is 30 now .
I don’t pretend to have a clue what it’s like for him, to be in his skin. I know it’s a constant struggle . He has been a warrior, he has needed to be. His mental health and well being has been a battle . He has friends and family who care, and love him. He knows this. He loves them too .
After talking with him for a while, he unburdens what is bothering him, and I can sense his voice become lighter, and brighter as he continues to be more vulnerable with me. I am so grateful that he reaches out.
Listening to each other especially in these unhindered exchanges frees the darkness if only for a moment. I often feel like I’m just babbling on incessantly, but my nerves and my heart wants to jump through the phone and just hold him like when he was a little boy, and I could make him feel better, by reading him a story as he sat on my lap, head leaning against my shoulder.
He’s a man now, so the lap thing would not make him or me comfortable . Not that I needed to actually point that out. That’s me, being ” Captain Obvious.”
” sorry if I’m giving you too many ideas and thoughts.”
” I like it Mom..it helps.”
I feel like collapsing. My strength flies out the window on the wings of an unseen bird.
His spirit has become lighter.
There is hope . It seems as thin as a piece of thread, but I won’t let go. Talking helps . I’m certainly not a therapist, but it helps him, me, and my other son too .
Letting our truths out. Some are ugly. They become less so when you take them out of their boxes, and let someone hear them. They are a lot less scary when you say them out loud to someone that you trust. We don’t have to bare our pain, trauma and grief alone.
We all have stories . Listening to them is healing. It is encouraging, and it’s as necessary as oxygen. It is life affirming, soul enriching, spirit lifting, smile inducing, and often laughter producing.
2 thoughts on “The conversation….”
Oh Jill, we cry out for our children. Mine have wives so they don’t share their innermost struggles with me. I think that is God’s plan. But I can still cry out to God. Love you, Lisette
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Thank you Lisette.. agreed. We can always cry out no matter what. So thankful that is available 24/7.. no matter what our ages are. He is timeless, and his well of provision never runs dry .
Love you too, Jill