Because we have busy schedules, we rarely see each other. This boy child who has become a man in such a short time — my only living child, my Caleb.
Yet each time we are together, the emotional umbilical cord feels as strong as if it had never experienced a physical separation.
We sit in the living room, watch the news or a rerun of Pit Bulls and Parolees. We switch to ESPN and cheer for our teams. One day, the Chiefs. Another day, the Jayhawks. During the summer season, the Royals.
Across those few feet in my living room, the cord stretches. We are content to merely sit and be.
A certain joy exists when the child becomes an adult, and the two of us share the same space without hormonal teenage conflict versus menopausal Mama.
This peace is indeed a blessing. The sitting merges into a sharing of hearts, even without the pleasure of words. We respect each other’s space and accept our obvious differences. Although only two of us, we connect as family.
A mirror image happens back in my home town. When I visit my mother in Memory Care, we share the same bond. Though the roles are reversed and I am the child — we find a peaceful co-existence in the moment.
We watch television or not. We read or not. We sit silently without conflict, knowing that being together is precious.
Until I sat with my adult child, I did not realize the pure value of sitting with a loved one. No need for conversation. No stress to finish a chore. No desire to fix a meal or hurry anywhere. Just the quiet assurance that we are together.
The ministry of presence.
Each of us is aware a time will come when we cannot share such a physical space. A sacred communion. An extraordinary gift.
On either side of this juncture, I cherish the bond. Knowing my Caleb will one day leave, certain my mother will one day graduate to heaven.
And I will be left, to savor this fragile breath we have shared and find hope that in the future — we will again sit together.
©2020 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
For more essays about Hope, check out Hope Shines.
Lovely post, RJ. I love the generational mirror – your son and you, you and your mother. It makes me think of my brother and I, who now live together and don’t see each other much. He sometimes asks me to watch Hallmark with him. We don’t talk but because of the request, I stop whatever I am doing to be with him. We feel comfortable together. I am touched my brother has latched on Hallmark, the channel I used to sit and watch with my own mother. I am also reminded my mother used to watch his baseball games with him for the same reason — connection. I love family and am comforted by your term for it – the blessing of presence.
So glad you and your brother have such a close connection. A blessing indeed !