Making the decision to support Cameron has introduced some unexpected emotions. I have literally grieved over the loss of my son. I have crumbled into tears over every little incident and spent hours consumed by sadness. There have been days when I didn't want to get out of bed, days went I didn't want to face anybody...face family, even friends... or face the world. I have been emotionally and spiritually exhausted... and overwhelmed by trying to explain ten years worth of experience in ten minutes, through a blog archive, or e-mail - just to have people look my direction with raised eyebrows, doubts, or reservations... as if I have lost my mind. It's been difficult to witness Caleb's sadness as his friends - one by one - have quit coming around... dissolving their friendship due to a lack of understanding. My own family has walked away, turning their back on me. I haven't received a single telephone call from any of my siblings or extended family members... but I have been told of their disapproval. All of this has culminated in a great deal of distress as I struggle to "keep it together", manage my own emotions, support the children, teach Christlike principles in our home, and maintain my sanity.
Through it all, the Lord has continued to bless my life with promptings of guidance and spiritual peace. I feel like I am walking through the "refiner's fire" and he is guiding each and every footstep. One of the most sacred, spiritual experiences came during a lonely moment of grief. The answers were provided through a simple chat session with a close friend.
I met Heather ten years ago while attending college in Germany shortly after Cameron was born. She and I became close friends and we were there for one another through some difficult times. We lost touch over the years and recently reconnected online. She had been following the blog but was completely unaware of what I was going through "behind the scenes"... regarding my feelings of loss and grief. I had been praying for peace and comfort when Heather's message popped up and we began to chat. Through the simple thoughts shared by a close friend, the spirit spoke to my heart and I was blessed with the peace and comfort that I desperately needed during an extremely difficult time. I wanted to share this spiritual experience, so I have copied and pasted our chat session.into the blog..
hi how are u
Okay... been discouraged lately
i'm sorry :(
i read the blog and have been praying for your family
It's been so hard... it'll get better.
it's so awesome that you support cam
I love my child... I just want to see her happy
that's what is important, you are a special person and so is your child
We need to get together soon. I'll add you to the blog. I had to take it down because my family was posting "hate mail".
no way...i can't believe they would do that don't let it get to you, u are doing what is best...
we do have to get together
I really appreciate your friendship since I have lost the support of my family...
Oh well, live and learn.
hey i'm here :)
u were there for me u know
i'll always be here for u
We all have our "cross to bear" from time to time in life. Chad is a great guy... always was, and I'm so glad that your family has grown. Your family is beautiful.
thank u, it looks like u have found a wonderful guy that loves ur kids
are u busy? cause if not i have to tell u about something
Not at the moment...
okay...ur family has been on my mind a lot lately......anyway i had this dream that jakob and i were climbing some rock and were way up high...
i was having issues climbing and wasn't watching him
when i looked over he was about to fall
i watched him fall all the way to the bottom....it seemed like forever.....i got to him as fast as i could and called 911
he was still alive, knew his name, but didn't know me
long story short...he wasn't the same
no memory.....he was different than i was use to
i told him i loved him and he just looked at me.....broke my heart...cause he always says he loves me
i thought i had lost him
and even tho he was alive....i thought he was gone
it really bothered me after i woke up
and for several days later
then i realized.....just because he wasn't how i wanted him...didn't mean that i lost him
i just had to be thankful for the new him and get to know him
Thank you so much, Heather... you don't know what an answer that is to my prayers.
that's when i thought of you....just because things aren't the way you thought they'd be doesn't mean that you don't have a wonderful chance to enjoy your child
This has been the hardest thing in the world for me. I feel like I have lost my family over this...
Some of my friends...
And nearly all of my sanity...
But, I love my child, boy or girl - son or daughter - and I want her to be happy.
i'm sorry that they don't understand....but god can help them :)
If they will let him.
I didn't get to this point without God.
of course u love her and she is very lucky
God is who has inspired me to have the courage to see my child from the inside...out.
I am trying to trust him... trust that it will all be okay...
I am so thankful that the Lord uses the hearts of our friends to let us know when we are on the right track.
I love you so much... and I miss you.
i do u too! i will always be thanful for having you as a friend
so cheer up :) u know u are doing what's right...u are loving ur child..and for the rest..don't let them get u down. pray for understanding for them. ur family needs u and can sense when you let things bother u.
u can't control how they feel, but u can have peace in knowing what is right for your family
and u'll be a blessing for other families that are looking for answers
Heather thank you so much. I'm going to save this chat and paste it into my blog.
I have been praying that the Lord would help me to know that I have been on the right track.
So often he answers our prayers through the love of others.
i wish that i was better at expressing myself in typing - lol
You are fine... you shared the message you were meant to get accross.
Thank you so much.
don't thank me....ur' my friend
I do love you.
do u too...keep that chin up
I gotta go minister to the bumps and bruises of the camper kiddos. I'll catch up with you later.
Watch for an invitation to the blog.
k take care
He stormed off in a huff. When his grandmother showed up, he refused to go while his brothers made their way out the door. Minutes later, after she had gone, I saw him diligently working on something in the kitchen. I didn't think too much about it, assuming it was his homework. Finally, he got up from the table and ran through the living room, slinging the letter across the room as he scampered past me. It fluttered to the ground and an "unsuspecting mother" picked it up and read...
"From Caleb 2003. mom ext awt i ollee (love) miy dad and miy bruthrs and mom you or a jrc i dot chrrust mom inneemr won mr theng i dont gv you inneemr hugs"
Translation: "From Caleb 2003. Mom X'd out. I only love my dad and my brothers, and mom you are a jerk. I don't trust mom anymore. One more thing... I don't give you anymore hugs"
At first I wasn't sure how to feel about the letter, but shortly after reading it my heart swelled with love, then a wave of laughter caught me by surprise. I recognized the moral of the story as I reflected on my own childhood. I could remember all the times, growing up, that I “hated” my parents for making me brush my teeth, wear a coat, take a nap, and the list goes on and on. As funny as it seems… it was one of those rare moments when I was sure that I was a good mom.
I was so excited! I picked up the phone, called mom and dad, and said, "Its official! I'm a good parent - Caleb hates me!" After laughing with them about the situation, I went to Caleb's room and, once again, explained why I wanted him to wear long sleeves. I told him that I loved him and didn't want him to get cold. I said, "I'm sorry if that makes you mad". Then I got up to leave the room and on my way out I stopped and turned around, "Caleb, I am so proud of you... I didn't know that you could write so well! You are learning so much in school, what a smart boy I have." Shortly thereafter, Caleb made his way into the living room, threw his arms around my neck, and with crocodile sized tears in his eyes - said, "I'm sorry I wrote that letter mom. I was just mad... I love you." I told him to quit crying and explained that his feelings were normal. We laughed together as I offered reassurance by sharing some similar experiences from my own childhood. Later that night, I found the note torn-up in the trash. I retrieved it, taped it back together, and filed it away... that's why the copy looks so disheveled. He was six then.
That experience taught me that there are many times in the lives of my children when being a good parent would require me to be a “jrk”, occasionally betray their perspective of “chrrust”, and even lose a hug or two. I realized then that sometimes it takes a “bad mom” to be a good parent. It isn’t a popularity contest, but rather a training camp for future success, peace, & happiness.
When I reflect on that experience, I am reminded of another parent/child relationship… the spiritual relationship between the Lord and ourselves. As a concerned and loving father, he is there to identify the dangers in our lives, guide, and protect us. Because our perspective is limited to our mortal experience and temporal understanding, we are often unable to appreciate the blessings in our lives. I have come to realize that the love of the Lord often results in “unanswered prayers”. Our expectations come from temporal understanding but our blessings are based on eternal truths. It’s important to remember, when searching for the answers, that at times we may be required to “wear long sleeves”…