This nine-year-old photo which today appeared in my Facebook memory feed both warms and breaks my heart simultaneously. It touches me because I see such complete love and concern for me in the eyes of my eleven-year-old son. Conversely, is a gut punch that he ever had to wear such a weighty mantle on his tiny little shoulders.
I do believe you can teach and encourage a child to have empathy but reflected there in his little green eyes are a love from an entirely different place. From an eternal place. I have no doubt that he would have moved heaven and earth to bring joy and laughter into my life.
So often in our first year of life without ML, I prayed for strength not to cry around Jack. Often God blew upon me with fresh deliverance and helped me to keep a stiff upper lip. Not that he would think I was some pillar of strength but that he could believe that his life would still be good.
At other times the tears would fall. He would stare at me with that kindness and ask me if I was ok. He would tell me I could tell him what was wrong. And through those teaming tears I would tell him that I loved him for asking but that it wasn’t his job to take care of me, that I was his mom and it was my job to take care of him.
I did concede this,
“When I’m 90, though, you can change my Pull Ups.” That never failed to send him to another room.
I feel so honored that God granted me such an amazing daughter for a short twelve years. And unbelievably blessed that The Lord has given me such an incredible son for these twenty-plus years. It is no mystery why I love him so.
*Jack is a sophomore at Texas Tech University, 9 hours from home. I am so proud. He is studying Natural Resource Management / Ranch Management, playing intra-murals, writing songs on his guitar, dating a sweet & beautiful girl and sharing a dude house with 2 fellas and his dog. And going to church. No, really. He sends me proof. (Not that I ask or anything)