I’m lonely tonight dear readers.
I don’t know how she feels today as I haven’t spoken to her, except once when she called me at work to tell me someone from Suite 3 found my cell phone. I didn’t know it was lost.
But she was feeling lonely. And I understand that. Here she is, 23 years old in among a large group of people all of whom have no clue what she’s been through these past 14 months. She’s had people abandon her. She’s had people tell her to “grow up”. That’s pathetic really given what she’s seen, where she’s been in her short years. She is more grown up than some 40 year olds I know. But she feels that pressure I know this. She feels the pressure to go out, to laugh, to have fun like other 23 year olds. To have a boyfriend with the plan of getting married next year with all the other people her age. What 23 or so year old can be strong enough for her? To carry her weight?
Yet she knows the true meaning of life now. It isn’t how much beer you can drink without throwing up, it isn’t about the designer jeans you wear, it isn’t about being seen at the right place…no, it’s about love. It’s about integrity, it’s about character. It’s about doing the right thing when no one is there to help you do the right thing…and no one is there to see that you are sacrificing everything that others in your peer group don’t even know exists…..to do the right thing. For the right reasons.
My son Austin also knows the cold dark loneliness of aloneness. He was 19 years old when I had to send him an email telling him his dad was sick. Diagnosed with cancer. Austin was serving this country in Iraq when he first learned his dad was sick. What loneliness he must have felt then! Oh he came home. He did. Because Mike called me up after I had just left him in the hospital. Mike was crying. He told me that the doctors just came in saying I understand you have a son in the military. Yes? Bring him home now! the doctors told Mike.
Mike called me to tell me that. I felt the true grip of terror then. Utter terror at the loss of Mike. Never before or since have I felt terror like that. But I contacted the Red Cross and got a hold of Austin who said to me “mom, I’m coming now. I’ll be there as soon as I can. I’m coming now!” What a sorry lonely flight that must have been for him. I picked him up at the airport and took him directly to Mike’s hospital bed. I didn’t prepare Austin enough about Mike and what he looked liked…because Austin stopped at the foot of the bed in shock. He is his mother’s son and showed no expression, but I knew what he was feeling. Everyone was paralyzed. For a moment, Until Mike, seeing his son, his boy, Austin, home. Mike knew that because Austin was suddenly there that it meant he didn’t have much time left….but that didn’t matter to Mike. What mattered only was that HERE IS AUSTIN!!! Mike’s pride, his joy… his family all together again. This time because of him.
The loneliness I feel is not something that a friend can abate. Nor is it something than words in my computer can ease.
It’s a loneliness that comes from trying to figure out who I am. What I am. Now. In this cold unfeeling world we all live in. It’s a loneliness of being strong when I want to be weak. My rock on this earth is gone. My anchor got uplifted. It’s a loneliness of being the one who has the answers. But having questions that no one can answer for me.
It’s a loneliness that is caused by not being able to weep. To feel the sorrow. To be what everyone else would have been in the dark hour of their lives. Because if I do then people get scared. And I’m not in the business of scaring people. So I won’t.
A very close and dear friend of mine, and the only one by the way, asked me that really tell tale important nut of the issue question “what triggered it?” that’s all. What triggered my meltdown today? What triggered my acknowledgement of what life is for me now?
My answer? Nothing. Everything, Life. The fence needs to be fixed after this last storm. Death. The mortgage needs to be paid. Love. There is literally no food in the refrigerator.. Loss. My little boy, my American Soldier sends me a message in response to my bulletin.”I miss him too mom……”