My son told me, “You’re the only one who’s making any sense right now.”
“I’m just glad you’re listening to me,” was the response I chose.
“I know,” he said. “It only took 28 years.”
There was a whole year when my son was in his early 20’s, living in the mountains on the other side of the state, when he wouldn’t even talk to me, let alone listen. It nearly broke my heart.
Now my son is a parent. His unexpected visit from several states away came with his own relationship crisis and an opportunity- a wake up call- for change. He’s been calling me more lately. And that’s totally okay.
I remember a few years ago, my dad was talking about some crazy thing I did in my early 20s. “Well, I didn’t have my head screwed on right back then, Dad.” I said. Dad’s laugh was one of great relief. He was so glad I’d finally realized this and that I’d lived to tell about it.
The lesson here is that we continue to love, even from a distance, and maybe they will come around. And even if they don’t, send love anyway.
I think about some of the parents I work with who’ve lost custody of their children as a result of addiction. When their parental rights are terminated, they wonder, “What do I have to live for?” Of course they need to live for themselves, for the hope of a better future for themselves, but sometimes they aren’t ready to hear that. So, I tell them: Keep working on yourself. Be the best person you can be. Someday, maybe years from now, your daughter (or son) might come looking for you. You want to be ready. They might be angry, but they also might need your strength and your wisdom.
The seeds we plant sometimes take a long time to grow and God can write straight with crooked lines when we see God’s work from a distance.
Don’t give up. Keep sending love.