We stood in the kitchen, open refrigerator door separating us. Quickly stirring my coffee, I gathered words along with my purse and car keys – the push to get out morning’s door bearing down.
“This…it’s what always scared me about motherhood. This stage.”
Voice cracking, I pause. He closes the door between us- removing my stainless steel shield- I turn away before completing the thought. His few words offering reassurance as we move pass one another, schedules taking us down different roads.
The drive is peaceful, earlier attitudes and hardness melting with the light rain sprinkling our windows. Another wave goodbye, and one more pair of feet walks away from mine…even but for a few hours. The simple act of steps leading her further from reach- when something in me knows she needs to be pulled close, held tight- stabs quickly as I slowly drive on.
In the calm of our commute, I had missed several text messages. Pulling the car over, I begin to read the thread amidst tiny protests from the backseat over our ceasing of motion; my stomach sinks. Another mama navigating heart-breaking terrain this morning. The experiential ache from knowing that place she finds herself in, from knowing all too well where her hurting child is, unites us. I keep reading, empathy and encouragement fill the words written back to her from the others. “I love my friends,” I think as I reply. Putting car back in drive, I begin to pray for these mamas I have grown to love. Before I could barely say His name, tears were hot on my cheeks. In a moment seeing how my affection and appreciation of the women I was taking before our Father, is but one of those raindrops on my windshield compared to His feelings for them.
With late evening, body and soul collapse onto the bed. Exhale. My mind retraces day’s events and with each recollection of the seemingly ordinary, another gorgeous brush stroke paints across soul’s canvas. Schlepping myself to the gym became less about planks and more about the women flanking my mat. The expectant mama, the grieving mama, the mama fighting against life’s swelling waves- the eye contact and hugs shared with each now flashing through memory. Strokes of painter’s brush. And so it went – a sweet friend’s email asking for prayer; coming across a greeting card that made me shake with laughter and dropping it in the mail to a mama who would laugh with me. With moon shining down, Artist’s portrait revealing a masterpiece of the sisterhood He has painted across my day, across my life…all for a girl who always wanted a sister. My mind goes back to the bite and tears of the morning, the scowling tween, my fearful maternal heart, the shields we placed between us. Day’s end arriving without major resolution, and yet infused with a little more hope. Enough Hope.
Inspired by the strength and beauty of each interaction placed in my path, I fall asleep aching less for an answer and praising more for the empathy, the experience, the sisterhood.