There is this place that I know all too well. It’s a cold place so I always take gloves. There isn’t much light, so a lantern is a good idea. Some days it’s windy and cloudy and other days it’s best to carry an umbrella because of the unexpected rain. The sun’s warmth doesn’t touch much in this place anymore. I don’t like to visit this place but at the same time I can never leave. It’s sad and dreary and glum and bleak and quiet…
all of the time.
I try to avoid this place but sometimes something unknowingly grabs hold of me (without asking permission!) and drags me there. Some days it’s a song or a picture or a smell. Other days it’s a dream I had or a visit from a distant memory. And sometimes it’s a tiny glimpse of the things that I’m unfairly missing out on.
This place wasn’t always so sad you know. It used to be filled with sunshine and laughter and silliness and light. It used to feel safe and warm-no gloves necessary. I once loved this place and everything that it was.
It’s the spot that’s been left by the absence of my boys.
See, nobody can prepare a mother for the way it feels to have parts of your soul leave you and not want to come back. There is no practice drill or dress rehearsal for that sort of devastation.
I am crushed and heart-broken that they don’t seem to miss this place as much as I do. It was OUR place after all. This place doesn’t hold the same memories of happiness for them as it does for me. But I know that we used to come together in this place often. I remember being a single mom and meeting up in this place with them for a game of hide-and-seek, movie nights and popcorn and bedtime stories. I know that laughter used to echo off the walls there and silliness was had quite often. Yes there was the occasional sadness and rainstorm that all parents must walk with their children, but there was also love, understanding and forgiveness.
Then one day those things all disappeared and left behind this cold nothingness.
Luckily, that is just one place in my heart. I still have many places that are alive and beautiful and warm and thriving. I have the place where I meet up with my girls for barbies and tea parties. There is so much laughter here that sometimes it hurts my ears! There is gentleness and teaching and learning and growing being had in this place everyday. It’s a great place where I love to hang out.
I also have the place where I get to meet up with my husband. It’s like crawling into that spot of the couch that molds to you just perfectly. It’s comfy and inviting and constant. It’s also a place that I am thankful to have.
And then I have the place where I go to just be me. To read or write or create or paint or sketch or think or wish or cry or pray or sing. This place is pretty rad because nobody gets a say in what goes on here except for me. It’s bright and cheery and colorful and safe.
And I still return to that cold and bleak place to check in. I go there to visit with the memories, the thoughts, the sadness. I go there to attempt to pick up what’s broken and to put it back together, even if my attempts are made in vain.
But mostly I go there to keep that light, no matter how dim, burning. I keep that light going because if they ever decide to come back, to visit with me in that place again, I want them to be able to find their way. That place will always be there for them and no one else.
It is OUR place, after all.