I need to call my son. I didn’t call him on his birthday last weekend due to being in the hospital. I know, that’s really no excuse. There is no excuse that forgives my lack of involvement in his life. Even though my rational mind knows the hospital was where I needed to be, a part of me struggles with the shame of my perceived weaknesses. And when it comes to being a mother, weaknesses are all I see. Ours is a very complicated history. I haven’t been involved in his life since he was 4 years old, at the time of the break-up of my marriage. It’s only been within the last two years that we began talking again and attempting to bridge the gap. From age 4 until 18, my best guess is that we only saw each other a half a dozen times, spoke on the phone even fewer. Those first 4 years of his life filled me with doubts of being a capable parent, but they are also my most treasured memories. In moments of complete despair, thoughts of him kept me alive. One day, I must thank my child for saving my life on so many occasions. Something, I’m certain, he’s completely unaware of.
I tried calling my son once since my release from the hospital, but he didn’t answer. His training schedule is pretty varied right now, so that doesn’t really surprise me. I also missed congratulating him on getting married to his high school sweetheart last week. They chose to marry at the courthouse on the 3rd and plan to have a ceremony for friends and family in our hometown later in the year. Why do I feel this sense of loss? I don’t understand this. I should be nothing but happy for them, and I am. I’m thankful to be gaining a daughter-in-law. She’s such a sweet and kind person. I just didn’t expect to feel this sense of loss, as well.
Maybe, I’m finally grieving the loss of the relationship with my son that could have been. More than any other trauma in my life, this one is the one that causes me the most distress: not being a part of my son’s life. Granted it wasn’t all my fault. His father played a large part in keeping him from me, but I am as much responsible. Placing blame does no good now, anyway. The damage is done. I missed so many birthdays. I missed his first day of school. I missed seeing him grow up into the fine, young man that he is. I missed so much of his life, and I just don’t know how to forgive myself for that.