She sits alone in the dark at 40. Her fingers -sore from stitching, but she takes such pride in her beautiful creations. She can make anything beautiful with her hands as if the Creator himself worked through her. She feels a little older each day, but her heart – oh her heart – is young and so full sometimes that it becomes heavy with worry. How to raise these two boys without their father. How to make ends meet without her other half. She may have taken care of him as the Cancer grew. She may have tended to his every need, and gotten up with him through all hours of the night, pleading with him to just sleep. She may have prayed more than anyone ever knew, that he could just feel good again, that he could just be okay. But the day he died, a piece of her died along with him. And now she’s here with the weight of the world, with two loving boys. And they’re a couple of hands full, and she’s a big heart full of determination. She loves Christ, and that Son will see her through.
A half a lifetime later, another mother sits alone in the dark at 40. Her mind is strong and resilient. She’s made hard decisions along the way, but her young business is just beginning to blossom in the midst of her turbulent home life. Everything her mind and heart touches turns to gold, as if the Creator himself painted it that way Himself. She doesn’t just make it, she thrives. Her spirit is bold and courageous beyond measure. How to raise this daughter without her father. How to keep her safe and protected. How to nurture her in the same way her father once did when he was healthy – when they were two peas in a ripe old pod. She may have tended to his every need, and gotten up with him through all hours of the night, pleading with him to just sleep. Pleading with him that he didn’t really need to get dressed and get driven around the Smokies. She had a small company to run in the morning, afterall. She may have prayed more than anyone could have imagined, and journaled, and then prayed some more. She wanted him to watch their daughter grow, because it’s all he said he was staying alive to do. But she knew he didn’t have long without kidneys, with one leg, and with the Diabetis eating away at his organs – one by one. But the day he died, a piece of her died along with him. And now she’s here with the weight of the world squarely upon her shoulders, and one 11 year old daughter. But she loves Christ, and has always leaned upon Him. That Son will see her through.
Again, a half a lifetime later, and I’m the mother who sits alone in the dark at 40. My hands are busy typing, but nowhere as busy as my mind. I don’t have the sewing skill of my grandmother, or the business mindset of my mother, but I’ve also made some hard decisions along the way. I have tools, resources, legacies. I am equipped with the strength to carry on, because they did. And while I’ll never be able to create like my mamaw, or be as financially successful as my mother, I learned the best skill on earth from both of them – the superpower of being a solo mom. While my oldest son still has a wonderful Father and stepmom in his life, my youngest does not. I didn’t know at the time, but 40 would be the last we would hear from Ethan’s dad. At least so far, a year later. And while I am up for the challenge, I must admit that I am deeply saddened by the disease that has taken this amazing dad from our child. I know my mom and mamaw felt much the same way, and I understand both of them now more than ever because of my own journey. I know now, as they did. A piece of me died the day he made his hard choice. And now I’m here, with the weight of the world on my shoulders, and one son with an absent father. But I love Christ, and follow him.That Son will see us through.