Good morning, this second day of the new year. I thought my post, as of New Year's eve would be of taking stock, lessons learned, etc. But instead- my youngest son was in an accident, almost unscathed- and I've been walking around here not entirely sure of my feelings. The most pronounced and immediate response was "Thank God you are alive!" We all cried and hugged and listened to how badly he felt, how he was such a screw up (he being the only 18 year old to ever wreck a car) how he no longer feels invincible... What a day, unexpected-turn-your-life-upside-down-in-a-moment day. And then, yesterday- I just wandered around after cooking everything I could get my hands on. And then there was the laundry to finish and the floors needed swept and the Christmas to come down...And then outside again, I found myself.
The questions I asked my alive son perhaps were the questions I never got to ask my other one. I couldn't seem to separate the incidents for a time, actually grabbing my son's toes and shaking them periodically. Crazy.
"It's good to be alive, isn't it?"
"Were you scared?"
Of course he was and couldn't really talk about it.
"Why didn't you call?"
"I didn't want to bother you guys..."
And then more emotional outbursts on how he has upset us so. But we maintained, over and over, emphasized with hugs and hand holding-
"Cars can be replaced, you can't. We're glad you're alive. Thank God."
That's pretty much how the conversation ran in circles. After my wanderings and busy, busy...keep busy- I realized that I was utterly powerless. I couldn't save him and I couldn't keep him invincible. We may all say we know that, deep down. But when you're put in the predicament of a parent's worst nightmare- believe me, you think you too are invincible and could keep safe the child from all accidents, bullets, drinking, drugs...When it comes right down to it, the only stronghold you have is hope. And dear, sweet hope sometimes flies right out the window and sets you to wandering again, looking for it.
Was it in the ham and beans and cornbread I made yesterday, perhaps in the lemon cake? Yes, a few of those ingredients included hopefulness- baked right in and then sprinkled on top. He had to eat, I hoped this would sound good to him. (He loves cornbread.)
Was it in the dust and dirt and Christmas tree remnants I swept up? Yes, perhaps if the floors shined so, the pain and misfortune wouldn't be noticed so much.
What about the laundry, any hope in there? Well yes in fact- clean, good smelling underwear can perk a body right up.
Mathew is signed up to start school later this month, he referred to that event as a big step up for him. He is really looking forward to it. But now this, and just when things were looking up, he screwed up again...(His words). So all the hope that I could muster- could clean sweep and bake in and make bright- I laid it on him, thick. It's all and everything I can do.
So fragile is this life, handle with hope.
(And later when he is all healed up, physically, mentally, spiritually...I plan on whacking him upside his head when he least expects it and telling him-"Don't you ever take your life so irresponsibly for granted again, and do not ever put me through the hell you have, I brought you into this world buddy, I can take you out...")