Friday, January 18, 2013

The Meadow and the Well

Even though on the surface, and in most of my inner thoughts, I am happy, satisfied, content with a majority of the way my life is, there is a small, deep, well-like part of me hidden away that is so terribly sad about certain things. It's like my life exists in a lush meadow of blessings... gorgeous, fragrant, pleasant flowers under a bright blue sky... yet hidden away deep in a darkened grove of trees at the edge of the meadow is a well. A narrow, black hole that is so deep you can't see the bottom of it. And like a black hole, there is a draw. If you get too close, you might not escape. When I'm dancing in my meadow, I don't see the well. I know it's there, though. I see the dark little forest and know the hole is there.

Part of me is so deeply, intensely sad and sorrowful about the struggles my children are going through. That part has seemed this week to get bigger, or closer, or more intense. I dance more slowly. I begin to walk, instead. I slowly edge closer to the trees and can almost feel the deepness of the well. I drop to my knees and command myself to be still, if only to keep myself from getting any closer.

It hurts, seeing your child hurt. It aches to the core to know you cannot fix it. The importance of a scale or a pants size melts into nothing and all that you can see and feel is this one thing. It takes everything in me to tear my mind away from that one thing and remember to take care of me, as well. But I do it. I tell myself to be strong, that I am no help to anybody if I am not okay, and that it would do me no good to crumple back into old, bad habits in order to cope.

From my quiet kneeling I can see the grove that holds the well. I can feel it; it has no end. But I can also choose to see the flowers and the sky. I can choose to rise and return to the sunlight. It is no crime not to live in sadness when sad things are around you. It doesn't have to consume you. You don't have to walk closer and fall into the well. It is okay to have some happiness, some success, some peace even when there is cause for grief. I can still walk in my meadow... even dance in it... while I hurt. I can let my tears water the meadow instead of wasting them in the well. And so I will.


Renee N. said...

Very eloquent. I feel your sorrow - and wish I could help you, too. But maybe just knowing another soul out there, with a well of her own, understands. Peace and comfort are heading your way.

Anonymous said...

I , too know the pain of having a child in pain and or not doing well. I have struggled for 23 years to get my daughter the help she has needed/ a diagnosis finally came in her 20th year. No matter how old they are you still want for them the best, not to feel pain or hurt in any way. There are a lot of us feeling your pain. I always say.."one minute at a time" thats all any of us can bare sometimes. :) Rose

MargieAnne said...

Lynn this is an amazing post. You describe the pain and the need to keep living so well, eloquently, as has been already written.

How identify with this. 'I tell myself to be strong, that I am no help to anybody if I am not okay, and that it would do me no good to crumple back into old, bad habits in order to cope.'

As mothers we don't have a choice if we really want to do the best for our family. Sometimes I wish I could vanish of the earth or disappear in a mess of alcohol and yet I don't even drink more than the occasional glass. I'm glad the days of desperation are not with me right now but there's always the background dread. We cannot control the future and stuff comes out to shock/surprise us at the least expected moments.

It's a conscious choice most days. Follow the inner dread/fears or look up and smile toward the sun/son.

You are a very talented writer. Did you know that?


Lori said...

You have such a masterful way of expressing feelings in words. So many times, I've read your blog and realized I felt the same way, but there was no way I could articulate it so well.

Thank you for sharing that gift with the rest of the world.

You and your children are in my heart and I hope to read good news about them soon.

Bonita Gordita said...

I, too, know that pain and am having a hard day with it. I choose to move on, put on a smile, look for the positive... but my head keeps going to my depressed, drug-abusing, messed up child.

LHA said...

An exceptional post, Lyn. All of us who have children suffering from something can relate to what you are saying. I have two children with chronic, incurable illnesses and I understand the anxiety, the sadness and the sense of loss you feel. Your determination to rise above the negative feelings is admirable.

I have found some help through support groups. One of these I found online by just googling the condition. Another I saw announced in the newspaper. I even participated in one support group via telephone because the meetings were being held out of state. There are even some support groups just for general parenting problems that I have seen. These are usually free. I just thought I would mention these in case it might help.

Keep fighting on. You are right that you cannot help your children if you are not in good shape yourself. We are all standing right there with you wishing you well.

Theresa said...

A big hug to you, Lyn for all your pain. I know that "hole" so well. I've lived through unspeakable tragidy and also have a very sick daughter.

Yes, you must take care of yourself. Don't punish yourself by going off plan. Take care and lose the weight. Stay strong.

Brandi Kennedy said...

This is beautifully written, and the imagery is spot-on. I could see your meadow, shining in the sun and warm and lovely, and off to the side this bit of wood hiding some deep darkness. Beautiful.

Shininggoober said...

This post thoroughly describes how I'm feeling at this point in my life. I am watching my son watch his son die from brain cancer. I go to that well and cry when I need to but I also dance in the meadow to escape the well. Sometimes you have to make yourself look into a mirror and smile. Hugs to you...very well written.

Lyn said...


I am so deeply sorry. Prayers for you, your son and grandson. Hugs.