Chad and Combo kitten in Carlisle, PA November 2007

I watch my sis with her son with a mixture of awe and pride; sis is the baby in the family, ten years my junior. Her four year-old “little man”–my nephew–is, if I may be so bold, the cutest child on the planet. I used to change my sister’s diapers. Charged with baby-sitting duties almost from day one, I’d play tea party with her in the upstairs hallway of our Colorado home even before she was walking. Now she is raising a child of her own and, for the most part, doing rather marvelously all the way around. Maybe it’s too early to tell (though I think not)….but this child will break the arguably tragic “Wiggins” curse. Translation? He is going to turn out just fine and that is the silver lining in my blue state going into this holiday season.

As I watch mother-father-son interaction during our pre-Thanksgiving get-together, it doesn’t take long for that familiar black hole to threaten its beckoning call….its a force larger than me and I struggle to not let the blues overwhelm me…..I don’t have my running of miles and miles to temper the demons anymore which makes the journey all the more difficult….

…..in creeps waves of nostalgia, regret, and sadness. My children have been out of the house for years now. My son was asked to leave ten years ago before turning 21 (he simply did not want to follow the rules of the house and after one too many thoroughly disrespectful events I had to make the call that broke my heart into pieces) and my daughter has been on her own about eight years now. My relationship with my “little girl” is much better, thankfully, but not near where I’d hope it would be as I approach my golden years. And, the estrangement continues in full force with my son. If you ask me, my thirty year-old son remains trapped in a time-warp; he’s fourteen again and he has not evolved past that age. I have not seen him for two years now and I have not heard a positive word of correspondence for over a year. Point in fact, his last communication with me was on February 1, 2011 via text message. I still have that text message on my iPhone. I know….it seems pretty pathetic to keep a thoroughly hateful message from anyone, even the child I labored twenty hours to bring into this world. I read it every now and then. It’s my hope that one day my son will turn the corner. In my dreams he’ll email or text message me something much more positive….maybe he’ll even call. I’d cherish a simple “Hi mom,” as a gift and if it included those three little words…”I love you,” I’m certain that I’d feel that I’d died and gone to heaven. There doesn’t seem much hope in that happening. His last communication with his father shows that he still holds me in the lowest regard possible. I keep the hateful text message because it is a link to my son, albeit not a very positive one… but its a link. I keep it as a point of reference; I know he was alive on February 1st, 2011. I keep it because with every fiber of my being I need to remain hopeful that something will change for the better. I keep it as a remainder that I did the best that I could under the most challenging of circumstances all the way around….

Still….it brings no solace to the pain and failure that tugs at my soul every single day.

Every day I wake with my son uppermost in my thoughts; and the nights….they are filled with fear, worry, and pain for him…for all of us (I worry about my daughter for other reasons, its just the lot for us moms) making sleep almost impossible. My heart aches so deeply for his pain and suffering…on some days I feel it has literally physically broken. My entire being caves with the knowledge that there is nothing I can do. Nothing.

Well…almost nothing.

I have not given up, though mighty tempting it has been. I keep hoping and praying…lighting candles in my heart….

I keep sending the occasional email….a letter, a card,…a voicemail…..hoping that something gets through to him…I’m hoping against all hope that he knows how very much he is loved…

I’ve always told my both my children….”I love you to the moon, and back and beyond…” As Christmas approaches I pray that my son remembers that and that it lifts him to a better place. If that place still remains away from me, it’s OK…really. All I really want is for him to be happy wherever he may be.

OK….I lie. I do want him to be happy AND call his mom once in a blue moon to say ” I love you, mom.” There. That makes me feel better. 🙂