#4 is having a rough time of it. We all are, but he is a 15 year old young man who looked up to his father as a role model and hero, and that is gone. His misses him terribly and right now he is in that place where he wants to go into his room, turn out the lights and hide from life. He also knows that isn’t the way to go about it and it won’t accomplish anything except to feed his sorrow. Bless him, though, he really is hurting and I can’t carry that for him. I want to, and would willingly take it all on myself but I can’t.
The last 2 days have been particularly rough. Even with help he isn’t sleeping very well, due to a broken collar bone that keeps him from getting comfortable. This morning he woke up with an eye bothering him. It looks and sounds like what I had recently.
School is starting to overwhelm him, with notes from teachers admonishing him for missed work. They have been gracious about it but up to a point something has to happen. I am trying not to put any pressure on him about it, and have told him I don’t except super grades this semester, I just want him to pass. He said the expectations from the other students, for him to smile and be cheerful, is more than he can deal with right now. It’s all he can do to not punch someone who asks “what’s wrong”, or they start making “heart attack” jokes. I told him to go to the sanctuary when stuff overwhelms, for quiet and a chance to catch his composure. He is also to inform his teachers at the beginning of the class that he is having troubles, and might need to step out for a minute. I know they will allow that, particularly if he is making the effort to be there and do his work.
It hurts me more to see my kids like this, than my own sorrow does. Once again I feel like getting angry at Himself, for doing this to us. I want to get angry at God for doing this, but I am not so special that I should get a pass on pain. I also know that this will all come to something good in the end, as much as I hate it right now. Someday, #4 will know a 15 year old who’s father dies, and will be in a position to really help Somehow, this whole thing, all the bits and pieces that are piling on him right now and feel so unmanageable, will work to make him stronger in his faith and in his life. They will for me as well.
It is just so hard to see your own kid hurting so much. All his life, as a mom, I have been with him, helping him figure things out and do the hard stuff, encouraging and cheering and sometimes dragging him and yelling, but always with the goal of growing him up to be a good man who knows how to serve and love. I always had Himself with me doing this. We each had our roles and now…now what do I do? How am I supposed to be father and mother to a teenaged boy? Sure, there are men in the church, but they aren’t here in the mornings when we talk, or the evenings when we discuss the day and figure out a better way of solving a certain problem. I don’t have Himself’s masculine perspective on stuff, just my own feminine one. #4’s brothers have their own things to work through, and lack the experience to be a father type. I know they want to help, but they can be so hamfisted in their approach, where Himself was thoughtful, careful, and diplomatic.
I can see that I don’t get the role as Grieving Widow. I have to be administrator, counselor, Quiet Port in the Storm for other people. And that’s ok. If that is what it takes for us all to get through this, then that is what it takes. I am the head of this household now. Thankfully Christ is the Head of me now, and keeps me solid so I can do my job.