an anchoring spirit now drifts in the wind
My son is in his upper twenties now, but I look back on his childhood days with a grateful, yet sometimes guilty heart. There were tough days sprinkled in with the rambunctious adventures of my firstborn. His father, Danny, and I divorced when he was just a toddler.
Danny and I fought like cats and dogs, pardon the cliche, but it was rather terrible. A grand stress in a very difficult situation. We had very different ideas about what was “ok” for our son, and what was NOT.
Insert Beverly here.
Danny met Beverly when my son was just a toddler, still, and my first impressions were, well, they are odd. Danny had been dating a LOT and this woman was nothing remotely like the young, loud-mouthed, “street-wise” messes he’d been parading by in two-week long near-marital, then-crashing relationships.
Dragging my toddler right along with him to meet these “new mommies.”
She was much older than him, very quiet, and very present. Suddenly she was there. And my toddler boy, a raging ball of happiness and energy and mischief, had a motherly presence when he was at his father’s.
When the fights between Danny and I arose; it was Beverly that took the phone, spoke calmly, always had a loving response to my fury, and stood strong in difficult moments. When there was bad news, it was often Beverly that called me. When there were concerns about my son, Beverly and I often had these conversations.
Her peaceful presence was a blessing to us all.
Now, Beverly was not a perfect person; she had her flaws of gullibility, sometimes accepting things that were not healthy or good, because she saw and loved the good in everyone. Sometimes her passivity was too much, but I respected her for her kindness and her intention.
The diagnosis of cancer, very aggressive and progressed, came less than a month ago…and now she is gone.
Yesterday at noon, this kind, compassionate, ever-present woman in my son’s life, the wife of my ex-husband (we are now friends and get along beautifully–the difficulties of raising a child together now over), mother, grandmother, and quiet, sweet-spirited woman, took her last breath riddled with cancer cells and weakness.
And I have been weepy.
She treated me with kindness, love, and compliments–even when I was unlovable.
She changed my sons diapers, bathed him, worried over him, attended with me his graduation–and for her love for my son, I am grateful.
I wish I had been there
to see you reaching out
An empty casket arm
trying to bridge the space
Between your brokenness
and His glory.
I am glad He took your hand.
Your dust swept away…
may black-winged birds be light
and quick with your soul!
He’s been waiting for you.
–From In Memoriam, Christina Ward
My blessings, prayers, thoughts, tears are with my son today as he mourns his second mother, and for Danny, who very deeply mourns his wife and perfect partner today.
And I am weepy.
Hug your loved ones–and tell them what you love about them. Time is precious.
***UPDATE: Here is a poem I was asked to write for my son to read during his remarks at the funeral — Cottonwood Wings