I hardly know where to begin…there has been so much to talk about after 12 years of not seeing each other.  My stomach was in knots and I fought off tears all day before arriving at the airport Wednesday.  My mind raced…”She’s really coming!”  “What will it be like?”  “How will this go?”  I hoped for the best (fairy tale) and feared the worst (she still won’t believe me).  I felt woefully unprepared and it was hard to believe it was actually happening!

Tears of Healing…

As soon as I spotted her being wheeled down the Jetway, the tears welled up again.  Mom doesn’t really do tears, so I tried to fight them off.  (I was only moderately successful.)  I hugged her in the wheelchair and held on tight.  She hugged me back and it felt incredible.  Doug gave her a hug, too, and the attendant stood there awkwardly before motioning me toward the elevators.  It didn’t take long to get her suitcase and we headed for the curb to wait for Doug, who’d gone to retrieve the car.  While waiting, we talked about the weather, the flight, and all things superficial.  It was obvious we didn’t know where we stood yet.  Finally I said “I can’t believe you’re really here!”  Just saying those words brought the tears racing back.  She replied “Me either!”  I hugged her again and began to really cry.  When she hugged me back, I could feel her start to cry, too.  We stood there hugging and crying for several moments and I could feel the healing beginning.

 

Taking it in…

She sat up front with Doug on the ride home and they talked up a storm.  I sat in the back just contemplating the fact Mom was coming to our house.  So much has happened since her last visit.  Our kids grew up, all our dogs have died, Doug and I nearly divorced…and all along I’ve been alternating between grief, anger, hope and stretches of joy.  My faith took hard hits now and again as I questioned why God would allow such pain in my life.  But today, I knew He was smiling as Mom and I put our toes in the water and prepared to face truth together.

She gave me four framed baby pictures, two of which I’d never seen and I fell in love with that sweet baby girl.  Me!

Something in Common…

She also brought current family pictures and it was surreal seeing everyone.  Mixed emotions bubbled up.  I had missed out on so much, yet estranging myself was the only way I could find a path to healing.  Mom was eager to tell stories and get us caught up on weddings, babies, jobs and moves.  She loves a good story.  Loves it so well, it turns out, she handed me a paperback book and said “Here you go!  I’m published!”  She has two short stories included in a book of compilations Alaskan women have written about their fun and adventures.  I thought it ironic because of my own desire to be published someday.  It wasn’t the right time to say so, though, because my story isn’t a fun adventure and this was her moment.  The three of us were having a good time reconnecting and the timing wasn’t right.

We ate dinner outside on the deck and had the privilege of being entertained by a herd of elk trying to nibble our neighbor’s apple trees.  Mom used her binocular glasses and was thrilled to be able to see them, too.

Conversation that evening was about anything and everything except why she was here.  This was a good start, though, because we needed a new foundation to work from.  When she mentioned she wanted to shop thrift stores and garage sales while visiting, I knew we were definitely getting back on familiar ground!

I hope you’ll come back to read about the next day…I’m eager to share what happened when we faced truth together!

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