For the Love of My Son, Samuel

Today is once again Mother's Day. I find myself this morning reflecting on the gift of mothering and each child that my loving Father blessed me with and refer to me as, "mama".

When my thoughts land on you, my youngest, Samuel, tears well up in my eyes and soon cascade down my face. I am aware once again of how much I miss you.

Why so today, on this overcast, windy, and unseasonably cold global pandemic slow re-associating Sunday in May 2020? Maybe because as a mother I feel entitled to this one day of the year to long for the little tinies that she once held to her breast, though they are all in their 30's now.

You were the last to find comfort and sustenance from my body, and you nursed the shortest duration of all your siblings. You nursed for 15 months, unlike your brothers and sister who nursed close to 2 years.

Maybe this was because your father and I took a long trip to Israel when you were 15 months old and left you with grandma and grandpa in Missouri for 11 days. How was that for you son? You didn't know my folks well as you had only been held by them for one of two times in your life as we lived in peanut country, lower Alabama. Did you miss me?

When divorce enveloped your tender heart of 11 years old and your little world turned upside down and inside out, maybe that is when you began to miss me. Though I was right there in your life, scrambling to rebuild a semblance of a nest for my little ones once again, I was not emotionally present as you needed me to be. How many times can one say, "I am sorry"? Sorry for the deep void I helped to create in your little soul.

Those days of you and I dancing in the kitchen before dinner, sitting together on the front pew of the church holding hands and you running your finger along the veins in my hand ended too early for both of us. I remember the day when you were 11 years old and you wanted to sleep in my room as we just moved, again. I offered you to sleep on the futon on the floor next to me. You asked me how long would you want to sleep with me, your mother. I remember answering, "not much longer, Sam, not much longer". I was right. That was the last time you asked to sleep in my room. I missed you.

Soon you were a new Freshman in a new town and a new high school. You summoned the courage to try new adventures, wrestling, tennis, band, and choir. I was so proud of your bravery, curiosity, and tenacity to grow. I never felt more joy and exhilaration as a mother than when I sat in the crowd listening to you play the tuba in the high school band at the football games and when you sang bass in the choir. But what I have the fondest memory of is you singing gleefully and unashamedly in the shower as a young man with nowhere to go and no one to impress except you and me.

You still impress me. You have the deepest, most vast soul of any young person I know. At times I am aware that you venture down into the dark and damp places of your soul and reside there alone for long episodes of time. I always miss you.

You are at an age now that I cannot demand anything of you except your thoughts of me. I hope I have this of you. I appreciate this and I choose today to believe that you are thinking of me, remembering good thoughts, forgive me where I fell short or fell long. I am thinking of you today, though my heart is heavy and my eyes are moist with tears. I look forward to the day when missing you turns into holding you in my arms once again.

There is and always will be a chair for you at my table son, always.

Thank you Father for every moment with my children. I have been blessed, and now blessed with many grandchildren. All is truly well with my soul. Bless Samuel today and may he know that he is missed by many. Amen

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