My hands are covered in paint and so are my pants and my feet and my freshly coated wall. I hear the clunk of the mail being delivered in the box. I peek out the window and wave generously at our postman, thankful to see his smile on days when my life is mostly full of little faces.
I set the brush on the pan of wet paint and sneak out the front door while no one notices I’m gone. The stack I take from the box is thin. I scan the envelopes quickly and when I see the one addressed to me I sit down outside, knowing the steps and the sunshine are the exact place I need to be.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day. And it was smiles and easy breezy moments of mimosas and picnics and laughter. Phoenix wasn’t here, though. And so once again the pictures that we take at the park hold only a portion of my heart. But now, in the sunshine on the steps, I get a piece of him. A piece of my heart, in the form of a letter addressed to me, from him.
“…I still remember when I first met you. I remember looking up at you and one of my first thoughts was ‘wow she’s tall’…you still wanted me to be your son, even if we were kinda different…You always forgive me, when I am rude or do not listen. You always forgive me no matter what and you still love me as much as you did when we first met at Burger King.”
And my eyes, they were blurry in the sunshine and I kept reading, knowing the gift I was holding was precious and rare and a treasure in my hands.
“…I love the artwork you do and how our whole house is like piece of art. I can’t wait until I see your book sitting on a shelf with your name on the bottom. My mom wrote that, that is what I will say…“
And my hands, you know the paint covered ones, were wiping my tears on those paint covered pants, and I just keep thinking about how I feel known and connected to my son who hasn’t lived at home for over a year now. My son who has caused me to rethink the beginning and the end and reason and worth- the boy who has undone me in ways I am still learning about. As I find the broken pieces of myself on the ground, I pick them up and try to put them back, but the pieces don’t fit together in the same way anymore.
I am changed because of him.
And I read his words and my heart is confused. Because so much of me wants to hold tight to what if’s and if only’s- the words that get me no where but empty. And I read his words again and see,
“…Thank you Mom. Thank you for all you have done, and all you are doing for me…”
And I know, God knows I know that everyday isn’t sunshine on the steps and Thank You’s- but somedays- this day, it is.
And it fills me up like little else could and will keep me going in ways little else will, because he has a portion of my heart. And on this day my heart fills more whole.
And I know that the pieces that don’t fit in the same way anymore are still finding the place that they belong. And it is scary, you know being remade, but it feels better then being undone and I am just gonna take a minute on the steps in the sunshine, letter in hand, holding a piece of my heart.