Little pains me more than to know one of my children is distressed, and while seeing them suffer physically torments me, I’ve come to think their suffering in other ways may cause as much agony as does knowing they are in physical pain. My children are grown, two are grandparents themselves, so I am not speaking of small children who live rather straight-forward lives and who have no adult responsibilities or challenges. In what I believe was a thoughtful and caring way, I swatted the tushes of all four of mine, and while it was unpleasant to do so, even causing me to secretly cry a few times after so disciplining them, the pain I’m speaking of today extends beyond what I ever experienced with my little ones.
I note a flash of anguish, a cast of spirit, a hint of desolation, and my heart tears. Although I am careful not to pry into their business, and while they are cautious about burdening me with their problems, I am their mom, we are a family, so there are times when the edge, the shadow of a grappling is revealed. The hammer of this faltering economy has knocked a couple of them about, and I sense their defensiveness, their pride and their fear. I grieve. The shadowy awfulness of reality has hounded some when they dealt with children defiantly taking wrong direction, and so there was double heartbreak as my now grown child with agony smeared over his face stared at his little one, and I stared at the gnawing agony of my child …and we ached together.
Everything okay? I ask, and the shuffle, the averted eye, the evasion is telling. The contention may be such that I press to know and to help, or it may be that instinctively I turn to silence, and perhaps later I will hear, or perhaps never will I know, except for the shadowed manner, the blue beneath the eye, the hint of a twitch. It tears at me.
Pain of the womb is inevitable, for there are none closer and more dear than these who came from my body. That torment will overtake every being is certain. None escape, and because of this, because my children are part of me, ever tightly draws the bittersweet cord of life and of love. The inevitable result is pain.
Every careful writer when composing such a piece as this considers the feelings of his loved ones, and I am no exception. I have proceeded because I feel this strongly, and because I believe there may be others who read here who will relate to my thoughts. Perhaps such reading may assuage to some degree your pain, for it is helpful to know that everyone suffers. Everyone. There are no perfect people. There is no perfect family. We all struggle as we wend our way through life. Sometimes we make right decisions; other times we do not. Sometimes we glow with pleasure and pride at our children; other times we weep. Everyone. Every family.