"Parenthood... is like watching your heart walk around outside your body:permanently!"
~ a parent
At 4:15pm this past Monday, I felt a "pang" in my heart and I was suddenly anxious. I was overwhelmed with this feeling. Like someone had died or we had just had an earthquake. Something was wrong.
I went to pick up my 12-year-old son from his rehearsal in the school play at Santa Barbara Junior High. When I drove up to the front of the school, Mark, the TD for the Luke, was out in front of the school:not my son:not a good sign. I got out of the car and walked toward Mark and he said, "you better come inside:your son is Ok but he fell off the stage, backwards..."
My heart fell into a heap right there on the pavement.
He had walked backward off the stage and landed on his right hip and hit his Iliac Crest (his hip bone).
My heart sank,my stomach jumped into my throat and I felt sick. I walked quickly into the Marjorie Luke with Mark. He was re-assuring me. Saying the boy was ok but badly shaken up. And then it happened. I saw myself walking into the school:down the hall:and into the backstage area:my heart pounding and then I noticed my heart was outside of me.
My heart IS my son.
The clarity was riveting. This sense that these small humans are imbedded in our being. That I felt him fall. I felt him before I knew intellectually what happened. I felt he was in danger. My "Maternal Instinct" had engaged.
I love this kid so much it astonishes me.
And I almost didn't have him.
Now I am no "Pro Lifer" I am a "Pro Choicer".
I chose his life over mine almost 14 years ago.
I was a mess. I had had an affair with someone I had no business being with and the result was this boy. And this boy saved this woman, because I never cared about anything before the way I care for this boy, my son.
Today I got court docs about my pending appearance in Family Court. I dread this court stuff. But I have to do it for the sake of the child. I never stood up for sh** before and now I am a special advocate for kids with learning disabilities, like my son. An advocate for my parents, my sister:Gosh just about anything you put in front of me that I find important:I will advocate for.
I use my "gift/curse" as talker and I advocate.
So how did it happen? How did this change in my entire psyche occur? I was beyond hope, right?
Maybe none of us are.
I have a dear friend whose heart is breaking because her son cannot stay sober. There is the same story all around me right now. Lost kids, stolen kids:stolen by drugs and alcohol:lost to any connection to anything spiritual.
Cubby S. (a famous AA speaker) once said, "I was a scream looking for a mouth":and that was me.
When I heard his words I shuddered.
The intense energy that coursed through my veins had no portal.
I swore after my brother's death, that nothing would eclipse my heart again. That nothing would get to me and hurt me the way the loss of my brother did. I was 13:And 13 is probably the MOST influential year in the human cycle of life. I had no belief of my own and then suddenly this huge human tragedy happened and I had to find somewhere to hide:something to escape into.
For me it was alcohol.
And then I had my son. When he came out of me and into the world in November of 1999. I was as scared, and at the same time, as filled with grace as it was possible for me to feel.
I was asked how it felt just after my son was born and I said..
"It felt like GOD:like God had just passed through my body :that all of the black-dark-ick had been swept out of me and I was filled with light."
Funny how the word "spirit" is the word for alcohol, liquor:
And God:or a higher power:.our divinity:something greater than ourselves.
I was this woman with a huge "gap" :a huge whole in my being.
And that hole was filled with longing.
A longing so powerful it had to be "medicated":and I was obsessed with keeping that "gap":that "hole":filled with whatever:booze:men:food:whatever.
After 11 years of sobriety I still have an ongoing "food fight".
When the bottom falls out:I get hungry:and that is a really hard battle to negotiate:cause you gotta eat.
You can live your whole life without a drink:of alcohol.
But you have to eat.
So, for me:life is about awareness. I have to stay aware or I lose control over my ability to choose. Life is constantly presenting itself to me and demanding that I live it and be awake while "being" in it.
My son is my favorite human being.
And he is just that, a human "being":not "doing":he just lives his life. It amazes me how wise he is. How much his words "mean" to me.
He is home now with ..for all intensive purposes:"a very sore bum" and a fever (probably from the ER and not related to the fall):he is home with me:and I am so grateful.
We are snuggled at home.
Just us and our fever and his sore bum.
And I have so much gratitude:for big things and little things:
For my Sons precious life.
For friends who called and emailed great stories and jokes about falling off stage:of bikes:and in life.
For Dr.'s who scrape scared Mommies off the ceiling of the ER.
For ice packs and ice cream.
For a cozy fire.
For a nice home and family.
For the smell of fresh baked Panetone' and hot bubbling soup.
For good people at school with good ice packs and the ability think well on their feet.
But most of all for the chance to feel it all.
And to know:I won't die from feeling pain.
And to know:for sure:that this too shall pass.