Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Accepting Comfort

My soul, give thanks to the Lord,
all my being, bless His holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
and never forget all His blessings.
It is He who forgives all your guilt,
who heals every one of your ills,
Who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love and compassion.

Psalm 102

I work toward wholeness, thinking I can achieve it through my own efforts. I talk and write and medicate and kneel in prayer and inhale chocolate everything. And I carry on, until the next wave of panic leaves me crying desperate tears. I try to choke them down, telling myself, "Focus on the good, today is a special day, a feast day in my house and I will celebrate!" (We have a custom in our family of celebrating the feast days of our Patron Saints for whom we are named. On the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul (1/25) we celebrate my husband and honor him and his Saint with a cake.)

I put on a brave smile and greet my family as they arrive home from their hectic days. I busy myself with preparing a grand supper. "Relax," I tell my husband, "tonight I will take care of everything." I light candles and play quiet music. I listen to Paul share stories about his day. Listening to him keeps me from focusing on myself, and that's good. Then he walks away to sit with a book and I turn to the task of meal preparation. The supper cooks, and I wash my pain down with a glass of wine. And the tears come back, strong. I stand in front of the stove, watching pasta cook, tears spilling fast, shoulders shaking.

Eleven year old Jack- sweet, gentle Jack -turns the corner and finds me there. "Are you crying mom? Can I help you?" He puts his hand on my back to offer me his physical comfort. Embarrassed to be found in my human state of self-indulgent sadness, I brush his hand away. "I'm alright," I lie. "I just want to be alone." He ignores my words and my gesture of rebuff and begins to set the table. I am grateful for him. My tears don't scare him off, he stands with me in my pain.

Soon supper is on the table, family is gathered together, having bowed our heads in prayer, boisterous talk ensues and my tears are forgotten for the moment. I look across the table to Jack, busy pouring too much salt on pasta and sauce, and I sigh with relief and contentment. He alone knew what I needed and he gave it to me, my little angel from God.

As the table is cleared, I finally reach out for him, tall, thin boy with the gigantic heart, and I hold him close in my arms. With my face buried in his hair, I whisper, "I love you Jack. Thank you for taking care of me." He whispers back "I love you too, Mom!" and then bounds upstairs to tackle his homework.

I close my eyes for a moment and pray. God always knows what I need. My efforts are all useless. All I have to do is stand still, and He will send me comfort in the form of my son, my precious boy. And I accept His gift of healing.


  1. What a blessing your son is! Beautiful.

  2. May God bless you, dear Anne, and all of your loved ones. What a beautiful post!

  3. You've brought tears to my eyes. How often have we comforted our children? And how hard can it be for us to accept the same from them? God has blessed us all, and especially you, Anne, in your moment of need. I'm so glad.