“…I know in my bones the ache to find the words, I know, as well, the ache of uncertainty about which words.” --Scott Cairns
Since my return from Ireland on October 26, I have been struggling with this “which” of words. On the heels of one of my most incredible life experiences, I was greeted only moments after arrival in Seattle with the news that my beloved beautiful boy was in jail, charged with a very serious offense. Needless to say, I was (and am) devastated.
In both events (Ireland & 'the news'), my world has been rocked. I sit and wait during this season of Advent to see where the ripples might land. Can that be enough? Yes – for me, for now – the waiting must be enough. Still…I ache to find the words, so today I share a few regarding “the crime.”
I am ever so grateful no one was physically harmed – no death – no hospitalizations – no rape. But, laws were broken. Stupid, careless, foolish mistakes were made and now a young life – my son’s – will be imprisoned for as many as four years. They say it could have been much worse – 15 years or more. Can I be grateful? Perhaps later.
No one was physically harmed… the words linger and I am struck with the ripple effect, because the emotional toll is high. I can’t begin to process the damage for myself, so how can I weigh the cost to the rest of my family or anyone else? The ripple is high. It is exhausting. Like the waves of the ocean, even the gentle ones leave me with a queasy feeling if I stand or float in them too long. And, then there are the rogue waves that come out of nowhere and pick you up and thrash you to the ocean floor where all equilibrium is lost. Which way is up? Where is the bottom?
I once danced with a rogue wave in Hawaii. Even after I was safely out of the water and had survived the experience, I could not accurately assess the damage. Removing my swimsuit, the sand came out of nooks and crannies I didn’t know existed – little grains of evidence that the wave had had its way with me. Later, I walked by a mirror after showering and caught sight of a giant bruise disguised as an enormous eggplant tattooed on my butt. I don’t remember how long it took before I could sit comfortably again or when the ugly mark finally faded away.
Today, I have more questions than answers – many of them surrounding this season of Advent, as well as the circumstances of my life. It’s odd, but there is a simple peace in knowing that today waiting can be enough. I am grateful for this space. I have struggled with the words and will continue to do so. Your loving witness alongside makes the waiting a little easier.
Blessings to you and yours.
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