Over the last 8 months I’ve focused on just, you know, staying in the precise center of my boat. I get hit by the waves but I haven’t been thrown overboard. No thanks to any skill I have, frankly. I’m just trying to get there. Wherever there is.
My there is anywhere but here. Here is where despair creeps like fog over the edges of my boat. The tendrils curl around the lip of the boat like fingers, and I know that if I give it too much attention it will yank the sides of the boat apart. I’ve stayed afloat this long by giving it the side-eye, but despair is relentless.
I want to hope.
I want to believe that Jake’s out there somewhere, being Jake.
Fortunately–or unfortunately, depending how surly you feel–life is relentless, too.
Dawn comes whether you sleep or not.
I had an early morning meeting with people I value, in which we discussed issues and plans for the year. I came back and meditated on goals and lesson plans and syllabi and the dinner menu. I read the Word, which helps me maintain perspective. Last summer I worried that I would lose my faith over this ordeal. I’d just returned to the faith and had found peace; I didn’t want to lose that.
I haven’t lost my faith.
I’ve learned that I can feel despair and yet feel peace.
I can ache and yet be okay.
I can be in despair and not be depressed.
I can be present for my son, Josh, and be glad for who he is.
I can go on dates with my husband and enjoy him.
I can be in despair and yet laugh.
I can be a ghost mother and walk in the desert and find joy in the things that have always made me happy.
Everything does not exist in the context of my missing son.
I haven’t lost. I’m not lost.
I know this on some level most of the time.
What I’m missing is hope.
Which maybe sounds like I’m not okay, and maybe I’m not.
I have peace with not being okay for now.
Have we eyes to see
That love is gathering?
All the words that I’ve been reading
Have now started the act of bleeding
Into one, into oneSo I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
‘Cause it’s the world I know
Oh it’s the world I know