Till Then…

Well, I didn’t get nearly as much accomplished this weekend as I’d hoped. I had every intention of getting my shit on Craigslist, but my heart just wasn’t into it. I was good at the gate, but couldn’t finish the race. I made the mistake of cracking my first beer to ease the frustration from being stuck home on yet another beautiful day, and well…one led to another. Called Pandora Patty to ease this loneliness, and probably yakked her ear off. The hubby came home, his friend showed up with his two dogs to spend the night, and as I suspected they packed gear quickly and went fishing. It was a toss up between my taking care of his two dogs (a Puggle and Lab), or fighting with the Pitbull after daddy left, so I opted to hang with the friends’ dogs (at least they were well-behaved). Drank some more and made a ‘drunk-call’ to my cousin, and I suspect probably yakked her ear off too. Overall a thrilling Saturday for me. The first of many this summer, I suspect. ((Sigh))

Today is even more beautiful than yesterday. Nice weather may finally be here to stay. We went to breakfast this morning. The high-light of my day, no doubt. The friend has since packed up dogs and gear, and left. The husband is headed for the city to grab the kid and a few groceries. I’m alone with a pile of laundry and my thoughts. I wonder what everyone I know is doing. Are they stuck like me?

I got a letter from my oldest yesterday. They finally found residence for him in the Clarinda Penitentiary. He told me that the accommodations are not bad, they set a possible release date for May of next year, and he says he’s just trying to bunk down and get comfortable. He wouldn’t of course tell me if things were bad. He’s always trying to spare me pain. It makes little difference though. His being there is pain in itself. I want him here with me. I want one of his bear hugs, hear him call me ‘Ma’, and have one of those wonderful, long conversations that we always shared. I want to see his eyes light up when he arrives at my home and sees that I’ve cooked his favorite meal. I want him back: My firstborn, the boy I cradled and breastfed, read stories too, and loved from the moment I realized he’d been conceived. The young man whose life once had so much promise before drugs stole his joy and mine.

I’m thankful today though that they placed him close enough to home that it won’t be as much of a burden to go see him. We feared they might place him clear across the state, which would make it difficult, if not nearly impossible to see him as much as I’d like. In Clarinda, at least, he’s close enough that our family can make the trek often and he won’t be alone. Others might call my son many different things, but to me he’s still Momma’s boy. I haven’t and won’t give up on him as long as there is still a breath left in me. I know his heart. His beautiful heart still makes me proud to call him my son. I dare anyone say different in my presence. Just typing that makes me laugh. I’m reminded of a shirt he once wanted to get “My mom can beat your dad up!” Crazy kid. He always thought I was so much more than I could ever possibly be. I never had the heart to disappoint him with the truth.

Moments like this I question all my actions and the choices I’ve made. I wonder whether there was something I missed, something I could’ve done different, that might’ve prevented where he is today. I thought I was a good mother. Perhaps not perfect, but I never faltered in letting my children know I love them, was/am their biggest advocate, and would always be there when they needed me. At least I hope they always knew. I look at my bright, beautiful daughter, who never dealt me an ounce of trouble compared to other daughters I’ve seen, and wonder if perhaps I did something different with her, and failed him somehow. I look at my youngest son who is eeking into adulthood, and worry that the foundation I’m laying might cause him to eventually go astray too. I don’t know. How do any of us know till it happens? How do we really know when we’re doing too much or too little? How do I know that the empty life I’m forced to endure right now isn’t punishment for all those selfish, stolen moments I enjoyed when they were growing up that I could’ve spent parenting them. Did my love for an unconventional life put theirs at risk?

I probably ought not dwell too much on the past and things I have no control to change. Life happened the way it did, we are all where we are now, and the best any of us can hope for is a brighter future. I still have dreams that one day we’ll all be able to sit together, laugh about the good old days, sigh over the hard times, and be able to exclaim how content and happy we finally are in our lives. Till then my son will sit in his prison, and I will bide time in mine. My daughter will raise my beautiful, grandchildren miles away and I will seldom see them; I’ll do the best I can to prevent failing my youngest who’s still at home. Till then….

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