I dreamt of him again. The boy that was mine so long ago, who liked cuddles and thought I hung the moon. We laughed and cried, then went outside to shoot some hoops in the driveway.
I played catch and held onto bicycle seats as we sped down streets, scared and laughing. I was standing and watching as he took control and began to fly on his own. A phase, I thought to myself. How funny life is, just one phase after another.
It felt like a lifetime as I lay there dreaming of days long ago. Days I could never recapture and hold only in memories now, and a few faded photographs, the ones I could save from being torn and ripped apart at least.
My heart aches for those days once in a while. It longs to return to hugs, ‘I love you’, and morning cuddles when we were both still naive and innocent, unaware of what was to come—a time when mental health and addiction were not part of our reality. I thankfully still get the occasional hug and ‘I love you’, which fills my heart to overflowing.
Faith keeps me going. A deep connection with my maker and trust that only faith knows. I weep for the boy that could have been while loving the man that is. Life does not always go as planned. There are days I wish it would. In the end, he is still mine, and I love him as much, perhaps more than the day he was born.
It was the two of us against the world. A bond strong enough to survive the missing piece, or so I thought. The missing piece tore at him more than I, it seemed. It burrowed and festered, unseen, unknown.
Still, we find time now and then to have our movie marathon nights and occasionally, we still bake something together or for one another. I pray there will always be days for pancakes or waffles and cornmeal muffins with scrambled eggs and bacon.
I am amazed at the strength and endurance I see in my child. Others would have crumbled where he treads. Perhaps he is meant for something more, something more significant. Only time will tell. I surely could not have walked his path and endured.
On Sundays, I light candles and pray for his continued safety. Some days I simply pray that he makes another day or lets me know he is okay. There are days when my heart breaks, like a broken sidewalk, jagged and fractured. On those days, my faith holds me up. What more can I do but ask, trust, pray, and hope?
I’ve spent nights on my knees at his bedside in prayer. Nights he will never recall, but they pulled him through. I’ve wept tears that could fill an ocean. Tears he never saw, sobs he never heard, but they cleansed my aching heart, at least for a little while.
I’ve wandered streets searching but never finding. Returning to sit up until the break of dawn, and the creak of the door eased my furrowed brow. Days have gone by quicker than I would like, but that’s life. It keeps on going, one phase after another.
I wish this phase would end, but it is not up to me. So I rest my head at night and pray, hoping to dream of better days and find rest. Some nights I do. Others I toss and turn.
I know worrying is pointless, but explain that to my mother’s heart. I often apologize to God for worrying, as I know he is in his hands, not mine. On many nights that gives me peace and strength. On others, I am weak with worry.
The rushing wind and rain, blowing snow, and frigid temperatures bring images of a child huddled. Cold, hungry, lonely and alone, he sits. Those are the times I feel it the most. They are the days that bring me to my knees and wreak havoc on my heart.
Tonight I will pray as I always do, and when I close my eyes, I hope to dream of cuddles and hugs and a game of ‘go fish’ and the boy that was mine so long ago.
If you liked this faith story you can find others on the Faith Stories link of Leslie’s website.