My dear friend, one of the first people I met in Alanon, passed away on June 14. She was 81 years old. That first night that I walked into my very first meeting, I was so devastated, so heartbroken... and there she was, smiling and welcoming me in. She hugged me as I cried and told me to keep coming back. She is who asked me at that first meeting, "Just for tonight, can you put your girl into God's hands and let Him take care of her? Give yourself a rest for tonight. Tomorrow you can start fresh and do it again if it was helpful tonight." There was no pressure, no telling me what to do.....just loving suggestions of things that had worked for her as she came to a place of having to let go of her own son.
This kind gentle woman taught me to "wait for the question," to not assume I knew best and jump in to rescue and fix. To not slip a mattress under our kids to soften the landing, that loving is not condoning, that some things we do for ourselves.....like pay for cell phones or an occasional hotel room....and that is ok. She taught me to say, "Let me think about that. I will call you back in 20 minutes," before making a decision when called by my girl during a crisis. She was a living picture of detaching with love and kindness and preserving our kids dignity....just because it was the right thing to do. She taught me to let things play out, to see how things unfold, to wait, to be patient, to not force solutions. She taught me to dig in and find some courage I didn't know I had...because as a mom, when it looks like your child is heading over a cliff, it is very frightening to "wait" and to "let things unfold." However, in time, I experienced for myself the peace of the program that emanated from her.
This sweet woman changed my life. I, along with many many others, feel that God gave her to us each personally, as a gift, as someone who would share His love and acceptance with each of us on a personal level.
As I was leaving the memorial service today, I ran into an old friend who I haven't seen in several years. She has always had a tremendous faith and particular ideas on how things should be or not be. Today she told me that God had been speaking to her heart about not viewing her kids with her own eyes...."but instead you sit up here on my lap and look at them from my perspective, see what I see."
Its no accident that I would hear those words at this particular friends memorial service. It made me think of how God see's things in all of us that we aren't able to see in each other. He see's hearts and motivations, the broken places, and He loves us all right there. Just the thought of being a fly on the wall and watching my kids from afar, without having any agenda or identity associated to what I am watching, what would I see if I could drop all of my fears of "what will others think?" or "is this somehow my fault?" or "why won't they listen to me?"
What does God see when He looks at us?
I love you and will miss you beyond words my sweet well loved friend. Thank you for teaching me how to do this journey.