Rites of Passage, Wounds to the Heart

two timesI am not a good emotional person. What I mean by that is I cry very easily, if I’m mad you know it because I can’t hide it, I cry when I’m happy, sad, sometimes when I’m mad too.  My eyes always rat me out even when I have myself under control because they are red and glossy and swollen for quite a while.  I am not brave when it comes to handling milestones like the one my son is about to celebrate in two days…College.

My oldest son, my second child, is going to be leaving me / us to live away at college and I’m a wreck.  He’s only going an hour and a half away and it feels like he’s leaving the planet. I am not comforted by facetime or Skype or calls.  It doesn’t make me feel better knowing I can get there in a pretty short time because well, this is college and it’s his time.  I cannot chase him, don’t want to be that mother because really the outcome would be the opposite of how I want it.  All I see when I look at him these days is a tiny little boy with shorts that look like jams because his legs were so little who has never been afraid of anything and has never known what “I can’t” meant. My Eagle Scout is now spreading his wings and it’s amazing that he’s ready….I’m not.  I feel this huge hole in my chest.   I can’t imagine how his roommate’s parents are going to handle leaving their son here in the USA and going back to Kuwait…ANOTHER COUNTRY!  I can’t even brave one state over without feeling this tremendous sense of something is missing.  Not having him around I guess will become normal in my routine so says my sweet friend Sharon.  She texted me to tell me it will be ok and I believe her.  She’s sent one off to school and sends another two this year.  What is my PROBLEM!  I can’t deal with one never mind 2 and a repeat.  Where is all this strength that God is supposed to provide in times of need?  I know it’s there, I’m just feeling sorry for myself and having a little pity party when no one is looking.  Writing this is making me feel a little like I’m normal.  I know it’s normal I just don’t feel normal.  Things I’ll miss will include making his breakfast, lunch and dinner (yeah I’m that mom that other’s roll their eyes at) , not having him down the hall to tell a funny story to or to see his new magic tricks the moment he learns them.  Not shouting down the hall that American Ninja Warriors is on and to come watch it with me.  He won’t be in my yard traversing the obstacle course he created, no baseball in the yard, no stray whiffle balls that I find in my garden.  His shoes won’t be strewn all over the house and the griddle will be clean LOL.  The hair gel will be put away in the cabinet where it belongs and the weight room in our cellar probably won’t be in disarray much.  My fire pit will remain half constructed for a while longer and there won’t be random half drunk gallons of water all over the house to pick up.  Not having him there to tell the story of some dingbat doing something stupid that I read about in my newsfeed during my day will be a bit like a hiccup and a burp at the same time.  Like swallowing a giant mouthful of water with an air pocket and waiting for the pain to go away.

I do still have two awesomes at home and they will keep me happy, preoccupied and busy.  They are two of my three reasons for not staying at rock bottom several years ago.  When I tumbled into the abyss the light from my kids shined down to me and showed me the way back.  My oldest, my only daughter Katy, who is my doppelganger and one of the greatest people on this planet, commutes to her college and lives at home still.  I don’t mind because I love having her at home even though she isn’t “at home” all that much.  I still kiss her goodnight even if it’s late and sometimes get to have a conversation that lasts more than 5 minutes face to face.  We have lunch sometimes and usually share a text each day if not just to say I love you.  She inspires me and makes me a better person all round.  My youngest son James is a joy.  He is so funny and good natured.  He’s a great kid and turned 17 today….17!  He has 2 years of high school left to finish so I’ll be busy as he begins finding what he wants to do with his life and we start preparing for him to take the same steps his siblings have.  He has this gigantic wingspan that envelops me when he hugs me.  I always feel better when James scoops me up and gives me kisses on my cheek.  All my children make me so happy.  I just am finding out how much I dislike one going away.  I’ll just rub some dirt in it and suck it up and get over it.  It’ll be fine.

I know this is how life is supposed to go with John leaving.  I know this is good for him and it will be the days that will be what he refers to as the best times of his life later in life.  I know it’s a right of passage and he is not afraid.  I wasn’t afraid either and this is no different from when I moved out of my house and into my first apartment I guess.  I now have sadness for my mother because I wonder if she felt this way.  I don’t think so because she and I are not close like I am with all my kids.  They are my best buddies, my crew, my peeps and unfortunately for them they are my entire world.  This is a good thing because our family will have what I did not even if it’s because honestly I couldn’t / wouldn’t have it any other way.  I can’t be without them and I hate the way it has to happen because I never liked the Band-Aid getting ripped off but this new little adjustment to not having them around all the time is probably more beneficial to me than them.  I’m happy it’s one at a time I suppose so the wound to my soul can heal over and callous before it’s time to take another step in the therapy process.  I guess it’s like therapy for a phobia…you have to face it to deal with it or it will consume you.

I took this picture of John when we visited the school he is now about to call home.URI

I am tremendously happy for him and scared and sad to leave him at school but the opportunity he is about to embark on is amazing and wonderful and exciting and he deserves this opportunity.  It’s his time and I’m so proud of him I could bust.  As you walk away from me through the door that leads to your future, don’t forget that home is never far away and the door is never locked!  I Love You Johnny!

HAPPY RUNNING!

Letting It Go

Letting it go

I have always wondered how to “let it go” but have never been good at it.  What is it?  Is it a switch?  Is it a moment of definition or clarity?  Is it the influence of another that has an impactful effect on you that makes the difference?  I think maybe this is different for everyone and the “moment” that one let’s it go is defined quite differently for everyone.  When does pain stop and healing begin?  Maybe that happens over time or maybe we grow out of whatever it is that plagues us.  Maybe we attend church on one dynamic day and find insight and forgiveness.  Maybe it’s just the need for inner peace that drives us to take that scary and risky step to let go of pain and hurt.  I don’t think there is one solid answer, just reasons that envelop us and sometimes consume us.  If we step up and change ourselves from the inside out, it will not get us.

Today I let go of something and I’m not sure I was quite ready to or maybe I was afraid of what letting it go would do to me.  does letting go make it ok?  Nope.  Does letting it go mean  forgiveness? I’m not sure that is 100% true but in part it is.  I needed to let it go before it consumed me and drove me crazy & to places that I fought really hard to get out of.  I needed to let it go because I’m rotting from the inside out and I feel like I’m stuck in some awful time warp. Like Dorothy in OZ, the power was always within her grasp, she just didn’t know it.  I’m not sure where I go from here but it will definitely be better than hanging on to the sinking ship.  Time to let go and tread water and embrace whatever comes next.  I’m unsure, scared and feel a little like I lost the war but who’s war was it?  Was I like the Catcher in the Rye and nothing was real except in my head or was it very real and  should I have hung onto what is now the thing I have taken a step away from.  Maybe I’ll see with new eyes.

Is this healing?  I don’t know.  In the past few days I have read all the unfortunate stories of others that are plastered all over social media and in fact a friend of mine recounted a tale or such overwhelming tragedy and his story of triumph and how he uses that pain to do good for others and to keep moving on.  What am I doing other than just being mad and feeling wronged?  In light of all that others bear and all that I have in my life to be grateful for, my motivation in being angry sounds like that of a petulant and bitter person and that’s not who I am inside.  I do not want that to be who I become.  I feel like it’s time to take a step away from this and begin to find my next chapter of happy.  Running brought me my first true happy, delivering me from depression and unfathomable thoughts.  Letting go from my heart and closing the door on this is the right direction and the right thing to do for me.

It does not mean that I condone or forgive because I don’t feel “better” but it means that I need to heal and to let the rotting anger and negativity out.  It’s no longer welcome in my heart.  As much as I want to see those responsible hurt like I hurt and cry like I cry down to my very bare soul, I must accept that they will have to atone at a time that is not mine to decide.  I am OK and I have learned many things from what i’ll say has been an eye opening experience.  Things about me, things about others and things about life in general.  I have had to accept some life lessons, some things about myself that aren’t so admirable and delve into what life is and what it means to me.  It’s been a long time and I’m ready to take a deep breath and let it go for me.  It hasn’t gone away, I am just ready to deal with it in a different way.  A way less painful but retaining all the lessons it has taught me.  Like the scar I bear on my right knee from a childhood injury it will hurt less as time goes on and will get smaller.  I will always “see” it but it will no longer tear me apart from the inside like something out of Alien.  I’ll live with it like “A Beautiful Mind” and ride it’s lessons like the wings of an eagle.

I run and I will continue to run until I can no longer do so.  I run to heal and I’m on my way. I’ve found my way.

HAPPY RUNNING!