When you were in high school, you probably dreamt about your future: college, an amazing job that pays well, marriage and a few kids. You probably never planned for curveballs: arguments, a break-up or divorce.
I would have never guessed that at the age of 24, I would be a divorced mom with a 1-year old little boy. I was alone, scared and had never lived on my own. I didn’t know how to balance my checkbook. I used my credit card for every purchase, and felt like the world was going to swallow me up. I felt so invisible. I made so many mistakes in my marriage that I wasn’t able to convince myself that I was worthy of love. At the time, I felt the only person that loved me was the little boy with the beautiful curly hair, my son Nic.
At one time, my son and I had moved into an apartment. I hated that place so much that I never unpacked. I’ve never admitted this until now, but there were even gnats flying around because I didn’t want to take care of anything except the little boy who loved me unconditionally.
As my son grew, we met my current husband. Things became a little bit easier, but times were still tough financially. I had begun a relationship with God, and even took a parenting class. I was finally beginning to get my life together, both physically and mentally.
My son had many moments in his life where his behavior was difficult. He “pressed my buttons” and those of our family, too. There were arguments and a lot of tears shed. At times, I wondered if I was a good parent. I feared that maybe he would head down the same path I did, and make some of the bad choices that I had. I tried to control the things he did, hoping that he would do what was right. I never considered that God was in control.
If you have followed my writings in the past year, you may remember that I have spoken about arguments with my son this year. I’ve heard that the senior year can be very trying on parents and the students. There were turbulent times where I wondered if we were going to be able to make it. I confided in some close friends, but never even shared the trials I had with our pastors or church leaders. I chose to seek help from a doctor and was prescribed medication. Unfortunately, the medicine made me overly drowsy and often I couldn’t stay awake, thus causing me to fall into a deeper depression. I prayed for healing in my heart and mind.
At the beginning of 2014, things seemed to take a turn for the better. I was so thankful that the arguing was done. We began getting Nic ready for college, registering for classes and buying him the things he would need. He turned 18 in May, and his freedom increased. With this freedom came more responsibility and a better relationship with his family.
The summer began and flew by, and on August 21st, Nic said “see you later” to his sisters. There were many tears shed by our girls, but I held it together. My husband Scott, Nic’s dad and I brought Nic to college. We helped him unpack, get settled in and then said our goodbyes. As Nic walked Scott and me to the elevator, he hugged us and told us he loved us. I left that day not shedding a tear. I am still in shock that I didn’t break down.
As we returned to our home, each of us had a letter waiting, written by Nic. Without giving away too many personal details, he said some things to us that we had begged for years to hear. I always wanted to know my son’s feelings, but he never really told us how he felt. After all of the hurt and pain that we had been through, Nic went to college in the most peaceful way. Our hurts had been mended, and we felt like we did our job as parents the best we could.
God does amazing things through our relationships, doesn’t He? Nic not only left his parents, but gave them the best gift ever—a letter of gratitude.
As I sat at the breakfast table this morning, I decided to watch his show choir group from his senior year perform. Their ballad, “Here I am” began to play, and I finally did it, I cried—not because he is gone, but because he is just beginning a life full of amazing things. There will be friendships, music, fun and most importantly—an opportunity to be the person God has destined him to be.
Through the curveballs, heartaches and pain I endured, I am able to share with you that being a single parent was really difficult. But in the end, God created a peace in my heart as I said “see you later” to my son, and then let him “fly.” God gave me the ability to swing at the pitches and hit a homerun!
I would love for you to watch the video that touched my heart today. With my son’s permission, here is Papillion-La Vista South’s Titanium Show Choir, 2013-2014. In the first song, he is in the first row, 4th boy from the right. The ballad is at minute 6:05.
With my struggles and all…..