Waving a white flag does not always signal defeat. For me, it is a showing of bravery and admission of human weakness. We all suffer with weakness, though some are better than others at hiding it or better yet, disguising it. If we choose to play this game of cat and mouse then we are offering up a distorted view of ourselves to the outside world, especially those friends and family members that may emulate this false behavior. On the surface my house is usually straight/ organized. Ha. If you dig a bit deeper you will discover the myriad of places I have found to shove with clutter- artwork beneath a bench fusion in my kitchen, a variety of camping objects stuffed under beds (we have yet to do any real camping), or perhaps a variety of pans that almost overflow from my warming drawer that I have yet to use due to its' superficial storage capacity. We can all relate to these types of weakness and laugh generally at minor faults that may portray us in a less than perfect light. In fact, most of us in this day and age are comfortable admitting we feed our children processed foods, allow them to play video games more than we care to admit, spent way too much time on social media, or even, strive to love our husbands in the ways we think we should. love. This year I am going to tell the truth, truth that is so bright and clean and by being in the open, will hopefully teach myself to trust more steadfastly and love a bit more deeply. You see I have to talk about the elephant in the room.
Amos. Our surprise fourth baby. Born with a hint of trouble and now two years later....the loaded questions, the vague statements, the worried glances, the long silences, they have incited fear in me and I fear if I cry, I may never stop. Through prayer and supplication I remember, ask for help. The peace and grace that anoints me can only be a miracle, though it remains the elephant in the room. Amos. My latest trial and perhaps, my loveliest. He may not catch up.... It is a concern that his receptive language is delayed....at some point without continued progress, he may not be eligible for any more speech visits...we just don't know, you'll have to wait, what can he do?, is this ALL he does? Does he sit up? Does he roll over? Progress of a four month old. The walls are closing in on me. The grief has welled up and I can't breathe. You see, I have another elephant.
It's not cancer. It's not cancer. It's not cancer. Of course, one sadness always meets another doesn't it? They link up like old paper clips, dangling precipitously loose but joined nevertheless. I go to my closet and reach for the tattered yellow notebook with the familiar scrawl of my favorite person on the planet, my adored older brother Adam. The words scrawled from the left hand of a nineteen year old college boy were filled with hope but oh, they were so false. Wrong wrong wrong. It was cancer after all. And now, my world was gone and my life filled with dark, despair, grieving without hope. You know, I have learned that these feelings are not of God as he offers only good to us and so I liken them to the devil who I believe is lying in wait to steal my joy and remind me of death and how bad it felt.
As I ponder his role in the universe, I am reminded of the good that I have received only due to my brother's death. Never ever a worthwhile trade I often have said, but good. The Adrian that lost her brother chose the right kind of husband, developed a penchant for educational success, a need to pass on her brother's wonderful sense of humor, and to be the kind of parent that had molded characteristics that I found perfect.
How many of us have truly surrendered? Not only to ourselves but to the outside world, our closest friends and confidantes? I think I thought I had but not really. I don't think everyone is required to do this in the same way. For me, writing has always been therapeutic and I am the third generation female writer on my mother's side. It seems only natural that I have shared my secrets this way, anonymously, from my couch in the dark wee hours when my house is finally quiet and I am alone. I shall write this year to get to know my elephants and more important still, to divulge their secrets to my family and friends. I promise to murmur words to myself and spend time in reflection and writing. I shall read my musings aloud to my dear husband and then to my children, particularly the three siblings who worry too, about their tow-headed bespectacled brother. What a gift we give others when we choose to not err on the side of caution and seek love and acceptance for the way we were created, none of us perfect on our own. If I can share this knowledge and believe it myself, than I shall succeed.
The future is far away and scary but today is lovely, wonderful and full of laughter. I choose to live with acceptance and hope, humor and tears, and thankfulness for God's grace. Who knew it could shield a mother from despair and offer delight?
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