He left without asking for much.
Crazy but I didn’t fear him leaving, I feared what he’d look like next time I saw him.
The sins of “fun” ages us faster than suns’ rays ever could, and I knew he had a craving for that kind of “fun”.
The day I have always set aside for thanking my heavenly Father…now an anniversary of when my prodigal son left home.
One week. Two weeks. Three weeks. Four weeks. All seemed to drag on. Then, in between taking a breath and blinking an eye, one month turned into eight.
I’d talked to him. Once or twice…each time ending in an argument. I asked him why he hadn’t called, a question I knew he could handle. Not like the underlining question which was too direct, “Why didn’t he love me…us?” His answer, he was happy and I would just ruin that for him.
As a child he expected fairness. I wanted to cry to him, just like he had to me. I wanted to tell him he ruined my happy and I expected fairness.
And I would’ve, had it not been for the dial tone.
Why does loving you have to be so hard?
It is as if you think, since I am a parent I lose the ability to hurt. I have stood in your line of fire for longer than I have wanted, in hopes you would either tire or notice the gaping hole in my heart and seize fire.
…hasn’t happened yet.
I watch you as you share your day with me. You tell me about the fun you’ve had with friends. I struggle to hear through the noise jealously creates. As you continue with your story, I scroll through memories on a projector that has spontaneously formed in my mind, memories of when you spent time with us, your family. You know the ones that love you, believe in you, and need you. I look for the smile I see on your face, the excitement I hear in your voice, but there is only sarcasm, frustration, and boredom. I feel my heart heavy with anger as you continue with your story.
We haven’t been what you have wanted for a long time now.
I still love you even though you aren’t what I want. My dream for you was not one of drugs and a fast food job, nor of a heart that is unwilling to love the God that made you. You are my son, and although I have three other children, you are my only “you”. You are a permanent fixture in my life I need there. Some things you can’t trade in or throw away at will. Some things are deserving of a place in your life simply because of what they are.
Kinda like me, you know, your Mom, the one that birthed you, protected you, loved and cared for you.
I listen and muster up as much interest as I can to hide the disgust and pain I feel. I know that to explain how much it hurts that you want nothing to do with us, or how all we want is for you to love us and want to be a part of us, will only push you further away. At least you are sharing something with me, and so I shake my head, smile, chuckle, throw in a couple of “wows” and try my hardest to see this as a special moment between you and me.
Maturity and experiences have a way of putting things into perspective, and so I dig in and wait, much like a soldier would to prepare for battle. He knows what he’s fighting for. He accepts the inevitable for the sole purpose of winning the battle.
Bring all you got son, I’m not going anywhere.