My shoulders and I lay together last night trying to hold back our tears. Like ping pong balls bouncing across the net, we volleyed our doubts and fears for this dear son of ours. My failure. His fear. My grief. His tears. My fear. His failure. My tears. Ours. Things we wanted to do and say, and didn't. Things we wanted to warn him about, and now we can't remember if we did or not. Things we're not sure he heard us say. And now it feels too late. Too fast. And this is so hard. Ping Pong Balls spoken from the marriage bed, the holy union that brought him life, ricocheting fear and doubt and failure off our bedroom walls. From the depth of our hearts, to the sacred spoken held in gentle honor, and then gradually.... just released to God. To His grace. His mercy. To knowing that our son knows that we love him.
I remember how we used to lay in bed and laugh at the things he would do. Like the time we bought him a forty dollar pair of cowboy boots for his birthday, and how he tossed them aside after opening some ten cent books I got at a garage sale. The way he would follow me all around the house...silently picking up his little toys to sit on the bathroom floor while I scrubbed the toilet, or tagging along while I cleaned my bedroom, made the bed, worked in the kitchen, whatever. My shadow. My little man. When I sat to read, he would sit space-less, next to me. So quiet. Just being together. But when his daddy got home, boys, look out! The stereo would blast, and those two boys would dance. Two wild, long legged men, stiff and flat and hilarious. No shake in the booty. No grease in the hips. Cowboys dancing to Fiddler on the Roof's "Tradition". Makes me laugh still, just thinking about them. Makes me cry.
We've had some lost years too. YEARS. Though I reach to correct and tame and reconcile, they are just gone. Makes me sick hollow. I can see it in the pictures of him, and I think, "Where the heck were you, lady? How could you not have seen all this?". So I walk that worn path to the cross, where Jesus is the glory and the lifter of my head. Of Joshua's head. I go there a thousand time a day. These days. Letting go and letting go...putting out nets of hope from this boat full of holes.
He is close to the broken hearted. Did you know that? I sense Him in every tear, and I am grateful that He doesn't seem to be in a rush. He's not in a hurry for me to pull it all together and be okay. I am at rest in His patient love. For my dear Shoulders. For me. For our Joshua. His. HIS! The paddles go down, and the balls are silent.