Posted on | August 28, 2014 | 4 Comments
Should I go the Woody Allen route and announce that “Love is too weak a word for what I feel — I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F’s, yes I have to invent, of course I do, don’t you think I do?” Maybe the sappy (and incorrect) “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” from Love Story? Or perhaps echo the old stand by Pride and Predjudice with the gloriously unrealistic Mr. Darcy’s startling proclamation that Elizabeth has “bewitched him body and soul” and he loves her. Books and movies seem to focus entirely too much time on the falling in love and not enough just on the BEING in love, you know? But love isn’t just about the falling; in fact… I dare say that’s not even the best part. The best part comes after the fall, when you’re knee deep in the mud and muck of BEING in love. Me? I’m full on in love… the REAL kind. Where the movie leaves off and you think they just ride off into the sunset forever but really they go home and someone has to do the dishes after dinner and someone else forgot to pick up milk at the store. Being in love is the day to day drudgery and gloriousness that comes long after the butterflies of a first date… it’s the moments that still take your breath away even in the midst of all the moments when you’re too busy to notice just how good you have it.
Of course, BEING in love isn’t the stuff of movies…. Falling in love is more delirious; more suited for romance. Falling in love is an epic anthem played by a symphony while you run through a field of daffodils clutching your beloved’s hand. Falling in love is… decidedly easy, if we’re being honest. But BEING in love? Being in love is a horse of a different color.
Being in love is rolling your eyes because he forgot to pick up yellow table cloths at the dollar store, but loving him for spending $23 there anyway on random things for your son’s birthday party. Being in love is sometimes getting up early enough to make breakfast and sometimes shrugging and saying “no” because you don’t have to DO things to love someone. You don’t have to cook or clean or anything else… but sometimes you do. Sometimes I do. But I do it not because it’s my duty or my job to please him. I do it not because a woman is SUPPOSED to do those things for a man… I do it because it makes him happy. And making him happy makes me so happy that it really feels like a selfish act.
Sometimes we fight. Sometimes I get so mad at him that I think my head will fly off my neck, orbit the Earth and then explode in a mushroom cloud of anger at his door step. Sometimes I hurt his feelings and sometimes he hurts mine. But when that happens, our love means saying sorry… and BEING sorry. Because it hurts to hurt the person you love.
Sometimes he drives me bat shit crazy… But sometimes? He brings me the centerpiece off a work lunch table. Sometimes he calls just to say “hi.” Sometimes he grabs my hand and wraps his fingers into mine with a ferocious gentleness that makes me smile so big my cheeks nearly split. Sometimes he is mostly perfect. Sometimes I am nearly there myself. And sometimes… maybe more of the time… we are both individual disasters.
But we love each other. And although we are totally imperfect individuals, I think we’re totally perfect together. Because when we’re together we work hard at being more for each other… more than just two imperfect people. I guess… if falling in love is Drew Barrymore standing on the pitcher’s mound while Michael Vartan walks purposely toward her for a kiss, being in love is the couple they don’t show. The one sitting in the stands with their two kids fighting over who gets which end of the hotdog while they, the parents take that one moment to glance up at each other and the father presses his knee slightly against hers… and she knows.
He loves her. She loves him.
And that is all that matters.
Posted on | August 27, 2014 | 4 Comments
I have a confession to make…
If I don’t wear mascara, I look like a rabid albino monkey.
There. I said it. ::breathes sigh of relief:: I mean, I hate that it’s true. I hate that having reddish blonde eye lashes means my eyes sort of sink back into my head without artificial accents, but it’s the truth. And it’s awful. Especially on days like today, when I can’t find my make up bag to save my ever loving life.
I know that I had it yesterday.
I know that I had eye lashes on my face yesterday, which means that I screwed my mouth sideways and squinted into a mirror and put the mascara on just so, and gave myself those lashes.
So where is it today?
And that’s sort of how my morning has gone. It’s been one missing thing after another. At one point, I couldn’t even find J because he was hiding under the dining room table. It took him making a ghostly “whoooooooo” sound for me to even locate him and that, my friends, is just sad. He’s five. He’s not exactly an expert hider. Traditional games of hide and seek usually take only a few minutes because he will do something like crawl under the covers of the bed, creating a lump of covers and then announce “YOU’LL NEVER FIND ME HERE!” as though I a) can’t see; and b) can’t hear.
So it was a morning of losing things…my mind, my mascara, my child. And when I finally got to work it felt like such an epic achievement that I wanted to just reward myself by turning around and going home again. Instead, I made a pot of coffee, basically mainlined the entire thing, and found myself seated at my desk and somewhat caffeinated enough to work. On my first trip to the bathroom, I stepped out of the stall and did a Dowager Countess of Grantham double take. Honestly. If I hadn’t just peed, it would have scared the pee out of me. I actually didn’t even recognize my own reflection. THAT’S how important mascara is, people.
Sigh. My mind is gone. My coffee is now gone. My mascara is gone and thus my eyes are gone.
I look like a rabid, albino monkey… and it’s only Wednesday.
Please send make up. STAT.
Posted on | August 26, 2014 | No Comments
A couple of months ago, another attorney in town sent me an email, asking if I’d participate in a charity flag football game to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. Of course I said yes, because how do you even say no to that? Plus, I’d played flag football in the past… in high school and even in college. I knew what I was doing. I would just put on my running clothes and run around while people throw me a ball on occasion, right?
Um… no. See also: Dear God what was I thinking.
First of all, I’m old now. The last time I played a team sport other than beer pong or corn hole, I was in my VERY early twenties. So even though I fancy myself to be in pretty decent shape, my shape tends more toward round than lean. Last night was the first practice I could attend. I got out there in my workout outfit, strapped my flags around my waist and thought “Yeah. I’ve got this.” I can catch. I can throw a little. I can run. That’s football, right?
And then practice started.
Honest to God, I couldn’t even do half of the “warm up” stretches because they looked like something out of a Crossfitter’s Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. They were all spider monkeying around and raising legs to shoulders. The only way my legs will ever reach my shoulder is if I amputate one and have to carry it some place.
Things didn’t improve once we started the actual drills.
I got hit in the nipples more times than a hooker in a dunk booth.
The very first time a pass came my way (from our head coach who, oh by the way PLAYED COLLEGE FOOTBALL), I thought my entire boob was going to swell up, jump off my chest and say “Eff this, I’m out of here.”
It was like an hour long session of how many times can a football bounce off Law Momma. I think I caught the ball all of twice in a one hour practice.
The game is promo-ed as Blondes vs. Brunettes so it sounded fun. But if I was thinking it would just be a cute way to get a little exercise, raise a little money for charity, and maybe meet some new friends… I WAS WRONG. Some of these girls can ball. (And some of them need better sports bras…I’m looking at you, bouncy blonde.) And there are actual plays and stuff. Like we’re some kind of athletes.
It’s all very stressful. And will be played during halftime of a college football game here in Macon. With people watching.
I’m not quite sure what I got myself into with this….. BUT… if you’d like to donate to a worthy cause and support me making an ass out of myself, I’m happy to have the help! Click HERE to donate to my shame and I promise to name one of my (many) bruises in your honor.
Posted on | August 25, 2014 | 1 Comment
When I first started this blog, J was just shy of five months old. He didn’t speak. He didn’t have verbalized thoughts and emotions. He didn’t know or care what I wrote here about him and about our lives together.
On Friday, my little five month old turned five years old.
A whole hand.
A jazz hand, as Jana’s boy said.
And at five, he cares entirely too much about what I write about him and say about him. He cares so much about what people think of him, how he is perceived, how he can make sure he isn’t embarrassed. And I wish I could say that I have no idea where he got all of that, but I know it was passed down to him in the blood we share.
You guys… it breaks me. It cuts and shatters my heart that he cares so very, very much about such silly, silly things.
For his birthday, one of my co-workers gave him a Batman costume and he LOVES it. He put it on yesterday afternoon and came running in to where Banks and I were sitting to show it off. Unfortunately, I was just about to head to the grocery store and he really didn’t want to take off the costume. So, I told him he could wear it.
Because OBVIOUSLY he could wear it.
It was awesome and adorable.
He happily climbed into the car and buckled in and we drove to Publix. When we got there, he happily got out of the car and proudly walked across the parking lot, dressed as Batman.
The first couple coming out of the store smiled at him and the guy said “Alright, yeah! Batman!”
And my son visibly crumbled.
The guy said nothing wrong but all of a sudden, J was fully aware of what he was wearing and that no one else was wearing it. It was like this stranger handed him the forbidden fruit and suddenly J believed there was something wrong with him… just the way he was.
We cut the trip short because he was on the verge of tears, asking me why I’d let him wear that out in public, why I’d let him be embarrassed like that.
And he’s five.
As I tucked him back into his carseat and we headed home, I realized that my son is not just mine, he is also his. And what I choose to write about MY son, is also and always about HIM, too.
I will often be a source of embarrassment for my child without meaning to be. I will probably be a source of embarrassment for him because I’m full on trying to be.
But I will never let this space become an embarrassment for my son.
He’s five…. not five months and from here on out, the words I say may be used against him, even when I don’t mean them to be. I want to be real and honest and tell you about what we struggle with in my house… but it’s also his house. And sometimes even when we wish it wouldn’t…
Sometimes the truth hurts.
So there will be bouts of silence here while we struggle to come to grips with our new reality of reading and school and life with each other and Banks. There will be bouts of silence when I long to write about how we are struggling… but his life is now more than just mine to share… and it’s up to him, not me, what face he chooses to show the world.
Posted on | August 14, 2014 | 4 Comments
This morning, my son made himself toast with butter for breakfast. He made it all by himself and my GOD I want to be thinking of that milestone and celebrating that milestone and being the mom who is so caught up in the amazing intricacies of my son’s life that I can’t be bothered with the world outside.
But I am bothered by the world outside.
And honestly, if you’re not? If you’re not bothered by the world outside the four walls of your space then maybe you and I should have a little talk.
Last week, the Leadership class that I’m a part of had a “Race Relations” day. We did a lot of listening about the history of racial tension in our own town and a lot of talking about things that maybe don’t get talked about enough. Things like “Driving While Black.” Things like the clash within the Black community over Rap and Hip Hop culture. Things like knowing people aren’t somehow thinking less of you because your skin pigment is different than theirs.
At one point, one of the young black men in my class stood and asked an honest question. He asked how many of us, how many of us on the other side of the room… the white side of the room, hear a joke with the “n” word in it and laugh. And how many of us say to the joke teller it is wrong.
My gut reaction was one of denial. I NEVER laugh at those jokes, I announced, horrified that someone would ever do so. But as the week has passed, I’ve thought of the times some of the older generation in my family have said that word. I thought of the times I’d held my tongue because of the “respect your elders” that has been drilled into me. I thought about the times I’d turned a blind eye and blind ear to the racial comments, racist undertones, and just plain wrong assumptions that are made around me on a daily basis.
And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me want to weep, not for myself… not for the Black community… but weep for the world I am handing to my son. A world where Ferguson, Missouri exists. A world where members of the White community immediately roll their eyes and say “We don’t know the WHOLE story, though do we?” Should the WHOLE story matter, at least in this case? In the grand scheme of things, does it matter if words were exchanged or even if violence was exchanged, when the end result is an 18 year old on his knees with his hands raised, and a police officer still shooting him? Am I handing my son a world where my Black friends are scared to pull over when a police officer is behind them because they just don’t know what he or she might do to them? Am I really sending him out into a world where White privilege is so prevalent, so overwhelming, that the White people don’t notice it and the Black and Hispanic communities can’t avoid it.
I want to focus on the fact that my son made himself toast this morning.
I want desperately to focus on the fact that he made that damn toast.
But what a disservice I would do to my heart, to my brothers and sisters in the Black community, to my brothers and sisters in Ferguson, Missouri and around the world who wake up every day knowing that THEY might be harmed for no reason… for being young… for being black… for being disrespectful or too respectful or maybe just for BEING. What a disservice I would be doing if I focused on toast, while the world around me weeps over or ignores another example of how far we still have to come.
Forty some years ago, a lone Black man stood at a podium and made a speech that should have changed the world. He stood and spoke words that should have stirred hearts for decades, for centuries even.
“But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.”
One hundred years. Will it be that long before another change comes? There is a shameful condition being dramatized right now… today… in Ferguson Missouri. In your town. Maybe even in your neighborhood. And it’s been forty years since that speech was made.
It will STILL be here in forty more years, if we turn our eyes away from Ferguson, Missouri, from Trayvon Martin, from the immigrants in Texas, from the poverty and the abject humiliation that so many of our brothers and sisters face every day. We are all one, are we not? One nation, indivisible.
Indivisible. Not Invisible.
Seeing. Not blind.
Open your eyes.
Posted on | August 13, 2014 | 1 Comment
I’ve been feeling sad lately… like there’s something hovering just outside my line of sight that I can’t put my finger on. Something haunting. Something overwhelming. Something that is too much to view all at once and so I find myself catching glimpses here and there of the all-consuming sadness of it.
Over the weekend, Banks and I talked about the sad, about my sad, and where it was coming from. I told him I didn’t know, couldn’t figure it out… and he smiled. Because it seems he knows me much better than I often know myself. I tried to tell him I had no idea what was going on with me, that I had no reason for the sad that weighed so heavy on me that each breath made me shudder with the sheer heaviness of breathing.
I tried to tell him I didn’t know why.
But he knew.
Because next week my baby turns five. And I am devastatingly happy about it. I am devastatingly devastated by it.
For the better part of two weeks, I’ve found myself looking at old videos and pictures and reminiscing about when he said “Minjan turtles” instead of “ninja turtles.” For the better part of two weeks, I’ve been knee deep in the sadness that comes with the realization that your last or only baby isn’t nearly as baby as you’d like to think.
I don’t know if there will be another child. I hope and pray there will be some day. I hope and pray that I will go through this sadness again, with another little boy or with a sweet-faced girl. I hope and pray… but I don’t know. And this is just five. This is still small. This is only the beginning of the moments that will pass by in blinks and wide-eyed stares. This is only the start of the life that I will live as he grows and changes and learns.
I have been sad for several weeks and I didn’t realize why until Banks laid a tender smile across my heart. I have been sad, I am sad… not because I do not want my son to grow up… but because I wonder what I will do, who I will care for, when he does.
Posted on | August 12, 2014 | 2 Comments
There was a day (one of many), back in 1998, when I found myself curled in a ball on the floor of my townhouse bedroom, crying. If you had asked me why, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you… though if you’d been there, I wouldn’t have been crying.
That’s the thing about depression, you know, it’s “private.” It’s “shameful.” It’s for the weak and broken.
If you’d run into me in public, I would have been vibrant. I would have smiled and laughed and told you all the things you wanted to hear. I would have made you laugh. I would have made you laugh a lot. Because the harder I made you laugh, the less likely you’d think there was anything wrong with me. The more I brought out your smiles, the less likely you were to realize that I wasn’t smiling. Even today, I prefer to make people laugh over being honest about what I’m feeling. I still prefer to deflect because it’s still not okay to be sad. It’s still only okay to be bright and cheerful and smiling.
And most people don’t notice that we’re only smiling on the outside, we, the people who entertain you.
When I heard the news about Robin Williams, I remembered that afternoon in 1998, when I found myself surrounded by tissues and bottles of pills and thoughts that it would all be so much easier if I could just stop pretending. It would be so much easier if I could admit that the past two years had been awful, had been beyond awful. I was so tired of making everyone laugh… so tired of entertaining and deflecting and putting on a show.
I just wanted to rest.
I just wanted to stop being everything everyone wanted me to be. I just wanted to stop being.
I just wanted to be sad.
But it’s not okay to be sad, not in this world. Not in this culture. Being sad gets you rolled eyes and “snap out of it!’ Being sad means people will tell you to “turn that smile upside down” and that “happiness is a choice.” You hear “you have so much to live for!” and “But look at how good you have it!” But you don’t hear the words you need… the “I understand, ” the “I’m so sorry.” Because happiness isn’t a choice, any more than sadness is a choice. It just is. It’s just something you are, deep in the bowels of your soul where you don’t allow the world.
Deep inside me, there is a sadness. It’s always been there.
And sometimes it rears it’s head and I do not CHOOSE to acknowledge it. I do not CHOOSE to wallow in the sadness. I just am. Sad.
But I have learned that sadness is best borne with company. It is best kept manageable by expressing it and acknowledging it and saying “Today I am sad but that is today and maybe tomorrow will be better. Maybe.” Sadness can not be borne alone. I learned in 1998 that I needed help, that I had to acknowledge to myself that I was struggling and then acknowledge it to those around me. Because sadness can’t be pushed down for long. It will explode if you do not let yourself feel it and share the burden of your sad with someone you trust.
I imagine Robin Williams was sad sometimes, too.
I imagine Robin Williams got tired of always being funny, always being told to smile, always being asked to tell a joke.
I imagine that his sadness became too much to bear alone and I wish I could have known him, could have sat beside him and looked in his eyes and told him that I understood. I wish I could have told him that he didn’t have to be funny or anything other than just Robin. Just Mr. Williams. Just sad.
Because it’s okay to be sad.
It’s not wrong.
It’s not bad.
It’s not something to be ashamed of.
It’s just sad.
And we have to make it okay for people to acknowledge their sad or we will lose many more of our brightest “entertainers.”
Posted on | August 6, 2014 | 1 Comment
I have been fortunate in my life thus far, to be able to still pick up the phone and speak with mostly coherent grandmothers, both in their 90s. And I wish I could say that I do, in fact, pick up the phone and speak with them on a regular basis.
Because I should, you know?
But life starts spiraling and swirling around me and before I know it, weeks have gone by in a flash and I find I haven’t spoken to either in so long that I barely remember the last time we talked. Weeks go by in a flash for me because I’m busy with work and J and, well… life. Weeks just go by so fast.
I remember the eight weeks I spent at home with my new son; those slow, aching weeks of exhaustion and quiet and the almost mindless ticking of the wall clock against the roar of my head. Those days went by so slowly… each minute an agonizing wait for sleep or company or anything to break the monotony of my zombie-like state. And when I remember those days, alone in my house with no one to speak to me about the person I was, the woman I was before the gurgling and kicking baby in my arms… I remember how breathtakingly sad it often felt.
I felt so very alone, there in my house without a reminder of the life I once lived.
And for me, I knew my lonely was short-lived. I knew that at any moment my break from my life would expire and I would tearfully leave my son with someone else as I walked back into my life and the moments of the day would resume their whirl and tumble. I knew my lonely was short-lived.
When I think of my grandmothers, slowly rising from their beds to make their way to the chair where they will spend their day, I ache with shared loneliness. How do they spend their moments? How do their minutes pass? How often do they jump when the phone rings, hoping beyond hope that it’s a familiar voice and not a telemarketer or a political ad? I imagine their days move slowly, with little to do but wait for the phone calls… the ones I haven’t made in far too long. I imagine they wonder if they’ll ever recover from this… if they’ll wake up one morning with a spring in their step and find that they are just Doris, just Audrey… no longer Grandma or Granny or Great anything.
Today I talked to my mother for a long while about the decline of my grandmother. I talked to my mother about my Granny… or was it Audrey? I wonder if they’re the same person or if deep down my granny knows she’s someone else… maybe someone better; maybe just someone different. I wonder who she is in her mind… if it’s the same person she sees in her mirror. I talked to my mother, feeling the shame roll over me as I realized how long it’s been since I spoke with my grandmother. With either of my grandmothers.
Because my life goes on, you know. My life whirls by in made memories and laughter. But her life is paused… waiting for me to call. Waiting for me to share mine with her, to bring laughter or smiles or anything other than the slow tick of the wall clock, marking the minutes of this day she now calls life, these minutes that painstakingly, slowly pass her by.
Posted on | August 4, 2014 | 1 Comment
In a cyclical turn of events, one of my co-workers has just returned from maternity leave this morning. As I watched her hold back tears as she unpacked a box of framed pictures, I couldn’t help but remember when my own maternity leave was over and I found myself robotically re-entering the work force while my child spent time away from me for the first time.
I say cyclical, because just this weekend it occurred to me how old my son is now, with his lanky legs and messy hair. He spends much of his time away from me now, learning math and science and English and… well… life. He is tall and gangly and full of attitude and honestly, he is as far removed from the baby he once was as I ever thought he’d be… though hopefully not as far as he will one day be.
As my co-worker muddled through her last weekend at home with her sweet baby boy, I muddled through a weekend of my own, entering into uncharted territory with J. At nearly five, he is desperate to read, spending every waking minute (that he isn’t watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) staring longingly at words on a page. He is so desperate to read.
And you guys… he is getting there. Each sounded out syllable and carefully twisted sound is coming faster now, as he learns that sometimes the “a” is “ah” and sometimes the “a” is “ay.” I feel so proud even as each word moves him farther away from the safety of babyhood, from the safety of… well… me. Soon, he won’t want to snuggle up with me as I read to him. Soon, he won’t want to snuggle up with me at all, opting instead for a flashlight and book the way I did as a child. Soon, I hope, he will be whisked away into the wonderful world of books, where everything is magical and there is no need for me.
Parenting is such a power struggle between what you want for yourself and what you want for your child. Because, for me… I want my son. I want him to need me as much as I need him. But for my son, I want the opposite. For my son, I want freedom and a life well outside my arms. I want him to experience his own life, his own heart… and it feels like reading is just the first step on a long path of moving away.
So I hugged my co-worker this morning as she wiped away stray tears. I hugged her because I understand that longing… that overpowering need to be near the person you love most. I understand feeling that so much of your heart is somewhere else, experiencing something else… being someone else. And it is painful and beautiful all at the same time. I hugged her because she is suddenly the closest thing to my own experience, my own desire to keep my son small and with me, even as I yearn to watch him spread his wings and fly.
So though my heart longs to have him near, like my co-worker, I will satisfy myself with an office, a lifetime, full of pictures. Because more than anything, I want my son to be free. And reading has always been my own freedom… I hope it will one day be his as well.
Posted on | July 31, 2014 | No Comments
A week ago, a story hit the news here in Macon that sent me back to a place I’ll never forget.
If you’ve been here for a while, you know that when I was 18 I lost a 17 year old friend in a terrible accident. And you probably remember that I blamed myself for that loss for a very, very long time. That was many, many years ago but I can remember it like it was yesterday, although the pain now is less like knives and more of a dull, broken heart-song for the innocence I lost that night. Late last week a headline flashed across my phone that took my breath away… a 17 year old girl was killed in a one car automobile accident. The car was driven by her 18 year old boy friend.
Immediately, I felt my heart catch in my chest and my first instinct was to run full speed, not towards the parents of the girl who died, but towards the other parents; the parents of the boy who lived. Those parents who also lost their child in the accident. Those parents who, unlike hers, took their son home from the hospital only to probably find that he was not their son anymore… not the one they knew just last week.
It is for that family that my heart breaks because I have been a part of that family. I have lived in those walls, watched those minutes and hours tick by. I can not fathom the hurt of losing a child the way that young woman’s mother has. I can not bear to let myself feel that horror… but I have lived through horror, too. I have lived those moments when you wake in the morning and think for just one brief second that everything is okay… that everything is just as it was only to have the very breath of you ripped away when you realize it isn’t the same…. when you realize it will never be the same. I have lived that moment, at 18, when you go from being invincible to very, very small and inexplicably alive when you just know… you just 100% know that you aren’t supposed to be.
I have lived through knowing that the wrong person lived, that the wrong person died.
At eighteen, I believed the wrong person who lived was me.
At eighteen, I watched my parents struggle to mend a heart they couldn’t touch. I watched as my mother tried to stitch my heart back together with the weight of her worry and concern, watched as my father tried to glue my tattered soul with his harsh and rasping words of love. I know what it is like to be broken by all of the “what ifs.”
Eighteen is too young to die, yes.
But eighteen is also too young to feel responsible for death.
And so this morning, I said a silent prayer, not for the family of that young girl… though they need all the love and prayers anyone can muster. My prayers, instead, were for the eighteen year old who lived… prayers that he would own his life for what it is: a gift, even if it’s one he doesn’t think he wants. I prayed that he would know it wasn’t his responsibility… that not one single one of us holds the power of life and death in our hands. I prayed for his parents; that they can find the strength to sit beside their son as he grieves, to intertwine their hearts with his as he heals… even as he rebels against the healing… even as he rails against God and the universe and yes, of course, against them. I prayed they find the strength to let him be angry and sad and mortified by his life… by the sheer unworthiness he may feel in every breath he takes. I prayed he would remember that being broken is not the end, even when it feels like it… and that there is life after heartache, even when it seems unfair. I prayed he would find the courage to weep and strangle out words into the universe that THIS IS NOT FAIR… because those words just can’t be kept inside. Those words just shouldn’t be kept inside. Not when you’re broken. Not when you’re eighteen.
Mostly, though, I prayed for his parents, that they would find the strength to hold him together… the way my parents held me… even as he struggles to break apart.
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