I asked my mom if she would tell her story in remembering that day.
These are her words.
A telephone rings, breaking the silence of a peaceful morning.
Still in bed, reaching for the phone and hearing a son’s voice.
Cheerily say “hello” and hear the pain in his voice, trembling, as he asks if I am sitting.
I know in my heart it is news about his older brother, so I brace for the words but not the words I expected.
Maybe words of an accident or broken bones but never the words “suicide attempt.” Those words were not in my vocabulary. It happened to other people, and other people’s children. Mine were safe from that darkness.
Tears fell with an ebb and flow, trying to know what to do, who to call, how to end this pain and nightmare. Not knowing what lay at the other end in another state 10 hours away, I felt so helpless.”
Dear Lord, protect and bless my dear sons. Both need your strength and healing power.”
Praying gave me a new strength and I embarked on the darkest journey of a mother’s life.
Crying, praying, texting…that was the rhythm of my life as the car wheels turned and the distance shrank between questions and answers.
Distance that took so long to span when all I wanted to do was hold my broken son close.
Hospitals are cold and sterile and meeting my trembling voiced, bad news bearing son helped to bring me comfort at the entrance. Surrounded by caring people, nurses preparing me for what I would see, what lay behind closed doors and long curtains. Friends of my darkness-fighting son were waiting, praying. Soooo many friends, so many arms surrounding a sobbing mother fighting to be strong.
Then the long walk into a dim cave of machines and white robed angel nurses surrounding hurting people in the ICU. Kindly leading me onward to what I dreaded to face on my own, needing the arms of strangers as well as the strong arm of the Good Shepherd.
Is it time yet? Am I there? Do I have to do this? Are you sure I am the one that has to face this?
Yes, yes and yes.
“I have paved the way and am walking with you” were the words I could hear in my heart sent from the Shepherd.
The curtain pulled back gently by another angel nurse and there lay my darkness-fighting son. My heart broke for his pain, his fighting against this all swallowing enemy that had brought him so low.
My son who could make me laugh was now without laughter of his own.
What did he need from me. All I had to give was the mother love that I had for him and his brother and sister.
I took my seat next to him and gently rubbed his tethered hand which lay against the cold steel frame of the bed.
I reached over and gently kissed his brow saying, “Momma’s here now, son. I love you. I will always love you. Together we will fight the darkness. Together with the Shepherd.”