Life has gotten busy despite your absence. My social media accounts reflect simple moments in which I try to find joy. In those moments, I don’t feel it or at least I try not to. I try not to feel the sadness or pay attention to the grey dark cloud following me or the feeling of reaching for something that isn’t there. I feel stuck under that cloud and the rain that comes and goes.
Lately, I am more ok than not. But sometimes, however, I am triggered by a word someone said or a fleeting memory, and then like a flood it all rushes back to me. Crashing over me like a monsoon over a beach. Wiping out everything in front of it and I become paralyzed in memory of you. All of the feelings overtaking me and I relive every moment. I relive every moment of you! The good, the bad, the in-between. The tears, the laughter, what we once were, what we never were, especially what we are and what we could be.
There isn’t an hour that goes by where I don’t think about you. I wonder where you are, what you’re doing, what you’re eating and I hope it’s all enough. I can’t help but look around see that you are not here. You are not here for the lazy Sundays, for family Saturdays or even to watch our favorite tv shows. You are not here for our crazy target runs or dollar tree finds. Yet, I am still waiting. I am still waiting for you. I’m still trying to understand how you can walk away from everyone you love and be ok with it.
Things may not have been perfect, I am not perfect, but you were loved and you still are.
Tonight my heart just wants to hear your voice. I just want to know your ok. I’ve been pretty silent because I’m trying to give you space. But I miss you baby girl. More than words, more than anything else. Just a five minute phone call is all I need from you. It’s all we want. No one is mad we all just want to hear from you.
I know its been a while since I’ve written. I’m still trying to process life without you here. It’s very quiet in our home. Yet, I never knew how loud silence could be until now. I think I am finally hearing sounds as you do. I am understanding how you hear them all at once and how overwhelming they can become.
As I sit quietly to breathe and contemplate, all I can hear is the roaring of the things around me. I hear the air conditioner as it hums, turning off and on. Simultaneously, I hear the light as it flickers and sparks. At the same time I can hear the sound of the birds chirping outside of the sunroom. It’s a song that reminds me of the summer that is drawing near. I can hear the water drip from the spout from the bathroom sink and the toilet running. Breaking past the front door, right to where I sit, I hear the laughter of the children running in the neighborhood.
I suddenly become aware of my breathing, and I take deeper longer breaths, I do that often now. It is as if my auditory system is scanning my environment in search of the sound of comfort.
The comfort that comes from hearing your piano chiming from your room. The comfort from the familiar sound of your voice echoing melodies. The sound you make when you walk into a room and announce your presence. The pitch of your laughter. The way your voice rises and falls when you call me “Mother”.
The sound of you.
I continue to sit in the loud silence and I take another breath. This time I then hear my heartbeat, and it echos so loudly it almost tunes out everything around me. Then, I am reminded of my own words to you.
You see you and I are connected by sound. I have always told you that the first sound you ever heard was the beating of my heart. Even before you spoke words, you knew the sound of my heart. You are the only other person in this world that knows what my heartbeat sounds like from the inside. For that very reason, I know you carry the sound of me with you.
I’ve often wondered about your beautiful gift to hear sound in a way that no one else can. How you are able to hear the most minut sounds and create music from them. It’s always been your super power. I also saw how too much sound overwhelmed you. Now I know that if silence is loud, adding the world to that equation, makes it must be so much louder.
So, as I sit here I begin to pray through that loud silence. I pray that the noise from the world quiets and that the sound of the Lord’s heartbeat fills us. So much so, that you and I overflow in praise and worship.
I pray that somewhere over the rainbow, you will remember the sound of my heartbeat and find comfort in knowing there is no place like home.
There is a spacethat waits for you. A space that sings songs, writes words, and creates Beautiful.
Wherever you are, however you are I pray you are ok. I pray the space you are in is giving you a chance to breathe. I pray that you have a chance to reflect and discover some truths. In the space of your absence, I’m discovering those truths as well.
The biggest realization I’ve had is that you aren’t running from me, from your dad, your brother, your family, or your friends. I realized that perhaps the things we run from are truths that we aren’t ready to face.
You see I ran too.
I still run sometimes.
Not in the physical sense but mostly by avoiding, by withholding, in sleeping, and my biggest vice “self-isolation”! These are the habits I default to when, I can’t make sense of the space I’m in. This is why we are more alike than different. It’s ironic that “self-Isolation” is what I run to, but quality time is my love language. I know it’s yours too.
I know when I run from things (self-isolate) I feel in control. The ones that run do so, even if our hearts are breaking every single step of the way. To the runner, leaving poses no real risk. We just feel the urge to go, to self-preserve especially when nothing makes sense. Isolation feels safe because, facing the people that love us means, they will ask the hard questions. The questions we aren’t prepared to answer.
There is a false sense of comfort in running away or self-isolating from whatever is tearing up the heart space. We become comfortable with this self-inflicted but not externally imposed change. We become comfortable within this physical bubble of emotional security. Inside the bubble we don’t have to answer to people, explain or even deal with it. That’s easy, that’s familiar.
What is hard, is actually staying. What is challenging is investing. What is scary is opening up yourself to a situation that’s not entirely within your control. Furthermore, doing so with no guarantee that it’s going to work out in your favor. What could be overwhelming is, building a life that you cannot escape from the second something goes wrong. Especially when every nerve inside your body flips into high alert.
Isolating when I’m in pain may feel comforting but, it doesn’t allow me to grow. The reality is when I step outside of my comfort zone the answers come. Peace comes in staying when impulses say to go. When I stop running and isolating something shifts. This is where my relationships deepen, healing happens, and I find people around me that hold me accountable. The people that make me reflect and look. The very same people that love you, that know us and that see you for all the incredible things you are. They see us! They see beyond our running and self-isolation and love us in-spite of it. They are waiting for you too.
Running away and isolating will only leave open wounds, create bitterness, and leave empty spaces. Empty space collect dust when unused. They sit and wait to be inhabited. They stand ready to be utilized. Quiet and unmoved. Your space awaits. The space you once sang songs, wrote words and created Beautiful!
Today makes 20 days that I haven’t seen or heard from you. You are missed by your brother, your father, your grandmother, your family and community. I want you to know, I miss you!
Yesterday while sitting alone in my thoughts I remembered something. I looked over to the picture sitting on our side coffee table. The picture of Mita, Wela, you and me. I look at the generations of women in that picture and I am reminded of each of our stories.
Mita’s story was of struggle, pain, heartache, love and so much inspiration. Wela’s story was one of sacrifice. She assumed the role of mother when I no longer had one. My story has also had many twist and turns and now your story is unraveling.
Behind that picture I hid a note. I wrote this note before you were even born. I guess I’ve been writing you notes your whole life. I’ve shared it with you once before. Today, I wanted to re-echo the words I wrote. I want it to be a reminder that, I loved you even before I even knew you.
Every piece of advice in this note is still true. The most important however, is the falling in love with Jesus. He is the reason Mita was able to overcome, that Wela became my mom, and that I became your mother. He is what will sustain you, guide you and bring you to a place of understanding.
I check our secret pillow-talk notebook where we would write to one another every-night. I check in hopes that you would write back. The pages where your response would be, I leave blank, but I still write, and hope.
It has 18 days since you left home, and it still feels like yesterday. At first my worry overtook me, and I was beside myself. I believe I am now going through the stages of grief. There have been days when I have been angry with you, with myself and then with God. I have spent so much time thinking of how or what I could have said to you. I am coming to terms with that the fact that there weren’t any words or actions to convince you otherwise. I am realizing this is part of your story and one day your testimony.
I don’t understand your hurt. Yet, I long to be the one to pick you up like I did when you were little. What I am realizing, is that although God gave you to me to protect and care for, it is now time to trust that God will do that. I may not understand your hurt but, He does.
I told you every night when I tucked you in that I loved you. For 18 days I have gone into your room and said the same thing in hopes that wherever you are you would feel my words.
You see I may not have always gotten it right over the years. I may not have always said the right thing or did the right thing, but one thing is true, I love you. I’ve done the best I knew how, and I pray that you will see that.
Right now wherever you are
If you are scared
even just confused
know that I still love you.
Maybe you think I’m angry with you. Maybe you think I won’t forgive you. I feel those things too. There is nothing you could do or say to make me love you less. There is nothing that love can’t fix. You see we know a savior that heals all things, that mends all things, that will full-fill his purpose in us. Let His spirit minister you. Remember you are my daughter, but you are also the daughter of a King in heaven. There is nothing He won’t do for you, for me and for us. I know right now He is protecting you and sustaining you.
I need to remind of something I’ve always told you………
I see how incredible you are. How capable you are. I see the amazingness in you. Often times you may have felt rejected by society because of your uniqueness but, Baby girl, it’s what makes your shine. Your light, the light that was gifted to you by the one who created you is breath taking. No one can take that from you because it was given by the one who made you.
I will be here waiting when you return.
And while I wait, I will write to you. So that when you return you will read these letters and understand my heart.