I have been dying to write this post…
Imagine the house hobbit bouncing up and down with glee… and a Mum prouder than you can imagine… and a heart full to bursting.
You know my eldest’s son’s story…how, four years ago, he was stabbed through the brain and left for dead in an alley, in an unprovoked and senseless attack. You may have read of the coma, the brain surgery, the struggle for survival. Perhaps read of the journey, the horrendous problems he faced… his magnificent and courageous efforts to defy the odds and recover. You may even have joined me in joy when he and little Faith became engaged. You may even have read, as so many have, the piece he wrote for the blog…. Possum Ergo Facit.
It has not been an easy journey. No family expects to find themselves at the centre of a story that makes international news. No mother expects to see her child, whom she thought well established in home and career, lying helpless again, with sight, speech and movement no longer at his command, unable even to communicate enough to let her know he is still in there…. The prognosis was dire, the possibilities minimal, and his full-time, lifelong care… according to the medics…inevitable.
Speaking to a dear friend the other day of the way things have gone, I called his recovery ‘near miraculous’… my friend, quite rightly, simply answered, ‘Near?’
So the fact that my son called me this morning from Singapore, the best part of 7,000 miles away, where he is meeting his soon-to-be-bride’s family, is… to borrow a much abused, but totally accurate word here.. awesome.
To get the photographs …see their happiness… see the possibilities unfolding for him as he once again grasps life with both hands and Lives it… is the most beautiful and inspiring thing. I cry a lot. Wouldn’t you?
We talked this morning about their plans for the future… and about the journey we have shared. We spoke of the turning within that has shown him how little the material things matter in this world when placed in the scales against the deeper, truer qualities of life. We spoke a lot about those scales… and he said that were what he has lost, through his injury and permanent disabilities, to be weighed against what he has learned and gained, in joy and a truer understanding of life, there would be no question which way the scales would tip…’Big time..’
We spoke… and four years ago even that was impossible as he learned to communicate by spelling words laboriously on an alphabet board…of all the steps in the journey… unseen at the time, but each a necessary point on the way to the future that is now unfolding for him. It took courage to move into a home of his own, even with my daily and constant attendance. Leaving him that first night was terrifying… it was weeks before I could sleep … even if I did finally have a bed again instead of a floor to sleep on! It took courage the first time he attempted to walk down his hallway with the handrails… alone. So many fears to face and to look squarely in the eye before tackling them and moving forward. And I smiled and encouraged and inside was a gibbering wreck of complex terrors and hope.
There have been times of utter despair and heartache, when it has overwhelmed and seemed an impossible task to keep on going, like slogging uphill through a vat of treacle.
Yet it was also a time of revelations and joy… I will never forget opening his gates and finding him standing in the garden waiting for me. It sounds such a small thing… but the daring, the physical control, the difficulties… the immediate fear and joy and hope that moment contained… in many ways that moment holds everything we had worked for.
Nick will be home in a couple of weeks… and very soon I will, no doubt, cry some more as he and Faith become joined as husband and wife and a new chapter begins for them both.. you should hear the plans they are making! And for me too, as my role changes from carer back to just Mum… something I scarcely ever dared hope for.
Yes, I am mainly writing this post because I am so very proud and about as full to bursting as a small house-hobbit can get. But also because my son and my family have lived an extraordinary journey… one that is far from finished. It is a journey that is extreme… but it is one we all take, in greater or lesser degrees as we face the fears, difficulties and problems of each day on a journey to a wider life and awareness of possibility.
When you are stuck in your fears, when the pain hits, it is overwhelming and there is no comparing it to that of others…it just hurts, it is immediate, and it is your universe… as, for so long, this was ours. I look at my son and his story and find inspiration in what he has achieved… and what can be achieved by the human spirit. You could not have predicted where the journey would take him. Miracles happen, though they may be as much human as they are Divine. But, as I watch him preparing to marry his beautiful little Faith, as I look back on where we were and forward to where they will stand in a little while, I know there is only one thing behind the miracles… and that is Love.
“It’s awesome how just as life can take everything away in an instant, it can do completely the opposite and become everything you’d ever wanted.” Nick Verron – my son.