Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Getting Down to Business

So, I guess if I'm going to blog about my family and I, all our successes and failures, all our hurts and joys -- It's time to get down to business.
Let's start with today, and my oldest, Steven. He is nineteen, and we are as they say, estranged. I haven't spoken to him since January '08. It was mutual -- he took off, and I locked the door behind him. Call it "Tough Love" or whatever the catchy nametag of the day is, but we both had too much to lose; he was willing to lose it, I was not. He's been away for a while, but I know he's back in the area. "Private Name" phone calls have become frequent as late, and with each ring I wonder should I answer? Could it be him? Is this someplace I want to go? Can I face the disappointment when I answer and a telemarketer greets me with the standard "minute of your time" line that we both know is absolute nonsense?
Since he's been gone, so much has happened. I've remarried, been threatened by cervical cancer, and seriously examined what I want to be when I grow up (you are, hopefully, witness to that quest). My husband and I have transformed our house into a home; we adopted dear, dear Tinkerbell (our "delicate little flower") who is a constant source of entertainment and frustration -- sort of like a Rubik's Cube, but 45 pounds heavier and definitely not as quiet. The other children miss him desperately -- the younger ones not completely understanding where he went or when he's coming back, Christine not understanding why. They were close, he and Christine, she worshipped the ground he walked on -- and, maybe that is the "why". I've learned -- the hard way -- God has a way of removing those things that stand between us and Him, things that draw our attention and allegiance to anything or anyone more than Him. I believe God uses tragedy to teach -- sometimes to teach us as individuals, and sometimes to teach us all, and not necessarily the same lesson for each. Steven leaving was a tragedy, a painful one; so many lives were affected beyond that which you might think. But, now...
I look at his MySpace -- the only way I have to reach out to him with the assurance that I will find him and can stay with him as long as I like. My visit can't errupt into words later regretted, or a smirk that says he really doesn't care, but he'll humor me until I am of no use to him again. I see changes from who he was to who he is now, and they are positive. But, am I just setting myself up for more disappointment and pain. He hasn't even contacted me (for sure) yet, and maybe he doesn't want to. Am I getting too carried away? Putting too much stock in yesterday's toothless grins that would smile back at me, or those homemade cards with the larger-than-life lettering declaring "Mommy, I Love You!"
I want to show him what I have become. I had Steven at somewhat of an early age, and we grew up together. Sometimes I think he grew at a faster rate and that's why he left -- he just couldn't stand another mistake from me; he couldn't bear to watch me fall again. I want to show him I've made some good decisions; I've learned who I am and what I want. I'm taking care of myself and, finally, surrounding myself with people who are capable of taking care of me, too. I want to share my excitement with him; I want him to know I'm OK. I think he would care; I think he would be happy. I know he's on his own journey right now, and while I may not like where it has taken him, I want him to know I am here, I care, and I am always looking out for him -- checking in and trying to make sure he's OK, too.

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