Once upon a time I nearly had the life squeezed out of me.
By my Mom.
I had just hit the ripe old age of 18 and I remember only those few moments clearly out of that whole day.
The second child of my older sister was to be born within a few weeks. -We didn’t know at the time that the little sweetie was a girl, nor did we know that girl would makes us wait a whole lot of extra days past her due date!-Life had mushroom clouded in recent days for me and I had come home for a little while to pack up some things and head to live with my sister for a while just in case Baby happened to decide to some in the middle of the night and I was needed to watch over big brother while he finished his sleep. I know the stuff I threw in my bright green suitcase was just a smorgasbord of un-matching clothes and the bare necessities for hygienic survival; my brain was functioning on about 45% at the time. I remember that on the front porch I had just found a beautiful butterfly, dead, on a beautiful flower and snapped a picture of it. I remember I’d had little sleep and too much emotion and not enough food and definitely not enough Mom.
I should insert here that since we moved to our current home the stairs have become our surprise place for the mother-daughter talks that start as a simple comment and somehow move towards long hours of me pouring out everything that I have not yet learned to handle properly…What would I do without her?
Well, it was at the base of these stairs that I made a simple comment about trying to run by my friends house later to see her parents for a little bit and see what I could help with. Mom just stood there and looked at me and quietly said one thing, which I don’t even remember now. All I remember is it took me on a fast-track and suddenly I was admitting to her that I understood the trash truck drivers position, I ached for him in his pain and wanted him to know that me and all my friends and my friends parents would never, ever think him responsible for what had just happened. But sometimes, and not in a resentful way at all, a small, hurting part of me still wondered if he could have swerved a little harder. Or sooner. Or just enough to where he could have missed the passenger side door of that little car in front of him? My body was resonating with my questions of “what if…?” I fought my own tears out of sheer stubborness as I told Mom that I didn’t think my question was even really towards him, but directed probably more towards God because I had yet to settle down and fully grasp His sovereignty over all things. I was a young soul, wondering why another friend, equally as young as me had died and “Why” was still reverberated through my little universe in a humble and confused way. My mind was sliding towards becoming as blurry as my vision until, what I remember most vividly, Mom grabbed me while I tried to turn away and did not let me go even when I resister her. My vision got blurry and I thought it would stop there till she suddenly squeezed me so tight that I couldn’t keep the garbled noises from jumping up my throat and echoing to the ceiling and back again. I was cramming my mouth shut to stop it all but she just kept holding me tighter and tighter and I thought I was going to suffocate from the collision of my brain and my heart. In true Mom fashion she let me go when I stopped shaking and only long enough to fix me something to eat.
I wouldn’t have made it through the coming days or the future experience of watching my dear friend and Grandmother pass away had Mom not forced me to let some agony out that day and taught me about being strong only because I am weak-so weak-and Christ is my Savior.
I nearly had the life squeezed out of me. Thankfully she knew what she was doing.