Face to Face.

Last night I blogged on part of my experience with my oldest son.  Remembering that is still with me even as both my children are up at 7:30 am on a weekend-raring and blaring.  This time it is Star Wars battle droids and warfare.  I never have any idea who is winning or for what we are fighting, much less what my response should be when they ask for direct order from their commander.  HUH?

As I listen to them play their DS on the davenport I can’t help but think of both of them and the last year we have traveled.   I know that I will never forget the impact having my son in the hospital had on my outlook.

You see, I pride myself on being a strong and capable woman, one who can face any trial or obstacle, stare it down and come out on top of the game.  I not only thrive on the challenge of obstacles, there is a certain element of crave that goes into play.  This last year stripped me bare of all that I thought I believed about myself and a faith I touted.

Many of us have this idea that God is all love all the time.  This is true, but there are other attributes of God that I experienced as my son sat in a hospital that I never knew existed.  For all my knowledge, talent, and talk I felt small. I felt helpless and ineffectual.  I hated that.  I blamed myself for where my son was and I blamed him for having something that I could not control.  Yes, I said I blamed my son. Part of me cannot believe I just typed that, yet there are times when I think back on that horrific week that I remember hating what drove him to act in such a manner.  Never ever did I hate my son, but rather what was happening to his body and soul.  Even now as I type this he has interrupted me at least a dozen times with loud and obnoxious comments about not wanting to live in this family anymore, that we hate him.  Most of the time I can ignore it and wait for his calm to return.  Yet, there are times when I want to know what it is like to have a quiet morning in my home–where I can breathe without wondering what issue might blow up next.

Most of all I blamed myself for not being enough.  I had all the knowledge and compassion and it made not one bit of difference.  I was a student of faith, studying for a future in pastoral care and counseling, received training on family systems and chaplaincy–it mattered not.  No amount of what I knew could prepare me for how to feel when those doors closed and I left my son on the other side.  I blamed myself for not being the kind of mom that would instinctively know what was happening and come up with some creative and sure-fire plan to fix it.  After all, that is what our kids expect us to do when something hurts.  They come to us with their boo-boos and we fix it; most of the time.  There are still times when I feel like I have failed him.

I have heard multiple theories from others about what he may or may not have, as well as what causes it.  I have heard some tell me that it was because of medicine I may have taken when I was pregnant with him,  Others have commented that it must be the fact that I am adopted and probably passed it down to him from my own DNA.  Still other comments are steeped in wondering about him having a brain tumor .  None of these is or was the case.  They only served to make me feel worse about what I was or was not doing to help him.

I talked earlier about the door.  I had passed through this door with my own key fob countless times, yet I still recall the sound of that door as it closed as clearly as yesterday,  It was the loudest, most lonely sound I have ever heard.  I never knew that silence could rip through silence like that.  I did not look back, I did not want to see that which separated me from my son.  In that moment I wondered where my God was.   I wanted the ground to open and swallow me right there and not return me.  I felt small, I felt forgotten and alone.  I was convinced that I had done something horrible for an all-loving God to let this happen.  Then the words of my theology professor came to mind, “Remember the so that.”  So that.  Bad things do not happen SO THAT a ministry will happen somewhere else down the road.  It happens and it stinks, and sometimes there is no right and easy answer.

In the moments that that door slammed shut behind me I grew up in my mind.  On that I will comment more later.  As I imagined what my son would face in the days ahead, I hurt.  There was nothing in my power that would solve this situation, the fury was palpable.  In hindsight, he was in the right place at the right time and in the hands of some incredible people.  I knew their strength and passion for caring, after all, I was also one of them.  I chose not to work any hours while he was in the hospital.   While I crossed the parking lot, I had to trust and that was the hardest lesson.  So,  I end this post having calmed my own charges in the last 2 hours….ADD meds have kicked in and my oldest is no longer climbing the walls and there is a bit of peace as they both watch Shelldon on Saturday morning cartoons.  I am positive I will post later, so stay tuned.




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