Wednesday, February 22, 2012

As a Family

Do you know how much a mother loves her child?

I was fifteen when my oldest brother was killed and I watched what it did to my mother. My other brothers and I lived with what it did to my mother. It hurt my dad terribly also, but the day Dewane was killed altered my mother from that day forward. She was never the same - and the day, many years later, when we had to decide to take her off life support, my brothers and I knew she would be relieved, at that point, to be able to let go and move on. She loved all her children, but losing one of them destroyed something in her. Part of my mother died with Dewane.

I loved my brother so much. He was my hero growing up.  The oldest boy who teased me, picked out my favorite dress for me when I was in the third grade, who stayed home the night of my first date and took pictures with me - and then came and opened the car door and made me get out when that boyfriend brought me home and decided to kiss me in the car before walking me to the door. I loved him so and I mourned him deeply. I still think of him daily (and it's been 35 years since he died) but I never truly grasped the pain my mom must have felt until I had my first son. I talked to her one day after Trevor was born. I told her I didn't understand how deeply it was possible to love until I had my son and that I was sorry for not understanding how much Dewane's death hurt her. I expressed to her that I didn't think that I would ever be able to love someone as much as I loved Trevor. She told me that I would. She told me that if I ever had another child, I would love him as much as my first son. She told me she was sorry for ever making me doubt her love and that she loved all of her children equally.  Losing any one of us would have hurt her to the same degree as losing Dewane.

As usual, my mother was right. Tanner was born and I loved him immediately with the same mother's love I feel for Trevor. So, how much does a mother love her child? Equally and overwhelmingly...

The day Trevor was sent to a locked down drug treatment facility at the young age of 17, I thought the pain would destroy me... But we survived. As a family we all survived.

The day Tanner was diagnosed with cancer at the young age of 17, I thought the pain would destroy me... But it's been two years - seven months... and we are surviving. As a family we are surviving.

I love my sons.  I want them to feel joy, love, happiness... I want them to experience all the best life has to offer. I can't live their lives for them. I can only let them go to live their own lives always confident in their mother's love.

Families are about love overcoming emotional torture... Matt Groening (The Simpsons)

1 comment:

  1. Loss of a loved one so profoundly alters our life's experience and feeling of safety. I lost my Dad when I was just shy of my 13th birthday. Years and years later when a friend of mine lost her 15 year old son, she asked me, "How does your Grandfather do this?" He lived well into his 90s so I asked him on her behalf. His response was not very profound but very honest. He said, "I don't know. I just get up every day and get through it." Thank goodness for me and perhaps my grandparents, we had each other to continue to feel engaged in the important things of LIFE. I loved that he walked me down the isle when I got married. He was always there for me in the moments when I felt ripped off.