i’m writing this one in a hospital E.R., where my dear son is lying on a bed being stitched up after a brutal attack from his own buddy, our dog. Rudy is a rescue who continues to hide so many dark and ugly secrets of unspeakable abuse. No amount of love can cover or heal them all, and though they happened so long ago, they rise up in his old old age, even when a person is trying to be helpful. Like my poor loving son.
Of all our life’s difficulties i don’t think there is anything worse than watching one’s own children suffer. What AGONY, what TORTURE this is to sit and watch. And it does not ever get easier, as this has been only one of many trips to this hospital for him, beginning on the day of his bloody entrance into the world right upstairs on the sixth floor. More stitches now to that sweet, sweet face!!! OMG!
ON THE OTHER HAND, when something like this happens, and it gives them the chance to really SHINE through their “GOOD SUFFERING,” the HEROES rise from our kids. Agony for him, agony for me, yes, but each time he receives so much support and praise and love from his family and his friends (who have been cheering him by his cellphone through this “long and winding road” of the ER – signs on the walls call the service “Fast Track,” but that has only provided us with much needed laughter!!!) Hard as it is for me, how can i deny my children the opportunity to UP THEIR SPIRITUAL WATTAGE, which suffering does to one’s INNER LIGHT, if we do it right! As much as i dread so much as a scratch on my “babies,” i must never rob them of the chances to be HEROES, by extra-protecting them from life’s blows.
NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH is the often untested STRENGTH of FORGIVING the Beasts that might wound them. My son will go home now, and after he says sternly to our dog, “LOOK what you did to me,” he will go down on his knees again and hug Rudy, whose own wounds are so so very deep that they can never be fully healed until he reaches doggy heaven. For us that translates into MERCY being tested to its limit. But it’s all about understanding, and loving Rudy is great exercise for loving our fellowmen. i will never forget one of the most profound sentences i ever happened upon. It was not printed in any Holy Book or told to me by any wise or holy man or woman. Rather, i found it on the Old Route One,the original “highway” that connected the colonies. Known in the Bronx as the Boston Post Road, there i was, just sitting at a red light. A once white box truck pulled up beside me with PROFOUNDEST GRAFFITI painted on the side. It read, “If only we could read the secret history of our enemies, we would find in each person’s life sorrow and pain enough to disarm all hostility and prejudice.” WHEW! BLEW ME AWAY!!!! i don’t know who said it or thunk it, but it sure says volumes.
Man, this life can be brutal! A long and windy road…with arrows coming in from even those we love the most. Because we’re all so wounded…
But what is needed most is not that we shield our children or each other, but that we just BE WITH one another – MERCIFULLY -along the way.