April 14, 2016
” Ladybug ladybug fly away home,
Your house in on fire and your children are gone,
All except one and that’s little Ann,
For she crept under the frying pan.”
Remember that cute rhyme said when we were little? I do, but we used to say it all wrong. We’d say, “Lady bug, Lady bug fly away home, your house is on fire, and your children will burn!” Then, once I said it, I would quickly shake ‘her’ off of my hand, insisting she fly home as fast as she could! The idea behind the rhyme made no real sense to me back then, and it still makes no real sense to me now. But, I do know this, that, to this day, Lady bugs are the ONLY bugs I’ve ever liked in my life, and the only ones I’m genuinely not afraid to let crawl on my hands. All others I cringe at, or scream over, then shake them off as quickly as possible!
Remembering that rhyme reminds me of how horrified I was when, shortly after we moved back in to this house at the very end of March, 2001, after being away for about 2 1/2 years, I was cleaning out by the stove and a little Lady bug fell onto the hot stove, and began to ignite! I try never to allow superstitions to rule my thoughts, since my faith in God precludes that. However, remembering that some people believe Lady bugs to be innocence ‘personified’, therefore, “Good luck”, made me cringe, and not just in horror of seeing the poor little bug nearly on fire! I’m not certain I believe in portents any more than I believe in superstitions, but I do believe our heavenly Father will, at times, send us ‘things’ that help to warn us of something that’s approaching, so we can prepare. A word or comment by someone else, that we realize is linked back to a verse from His word, that we find is traveling through our minds, or He might use dreams that clearly depict some situation of direct import to us. Things like that, that stay on our minds, helping us to at least subconsciously begin preparing ourselves for ‘it’, or against ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ might turn out to be.
I suppose it might be for that reason that I’ve never completely forgot about the poor, little burnt Lady bug. I couldn’t completely forget ‘her’, because her death seemed to alarm me deep inside. That alone made it stick in my mind, even if I didn’t think about it very often. It was still there like some silent alarm bell. However, so many things have happened in my life that might be linked back to such a ‘sign’, or portent, if indeed it was that at all, that it’s very hard for me to understand to which one it might have pointed. Moving forward from the date of ‘her’ demise, could it have been my nearly bleeding to death due to a tumor I didn’t know I had? Or, could it have been pointing towards my late son’s death in 2006? Or, to my second son’s willful estrangement from us beginning in 2001, not long before the towers were turned to dust on the streets of Manhattan? Or, perhaps to all of them, because they are all still crushing me to death inside, burning my heart like fire?
I feel as helpless as that poor, little Lady bug was that night, as she ended up laying on my hot stove. I completely believe God never allows any situation to come into our lives, if we are truly trusting in Him, that will be too tough for us to handle WITH His help. Always with His help, since one reason He allows certain situations into our lives is to teach us to turn to Him for His help, strength and guidance. “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth is a thankless child!” That particular lament that I’ve chosen for the title of this entry is from Shakespeare’s “King Lear”, Act I, Scene IV, in which the King is extremely distressed over the heartlessness of one of his daughters. I now could repeat that very same lament, since it seems to apply to my own life. I want to speak about it only because it illicited a blessing and not a curse, from our heavenly Father, and I was even able to tell my son about it not long before he estranged himself from us once again, about a year after his brother’s death.
For quite some time my second’s son’s ability to cause our hearts to feel a not-so-small amount of grief dogged us, yet we could never understand it’s source. Oh, it might have been ‘this’, or perhaps we didn’t do ‘that’, or we probably missed seeing ‘whatever’. It could have been a million little things, or maybe one or two ‘biggies’, that were only big to him, which is why we never thought of them as being as important as he apparently did. I know that, for me, when I was a very small girl, my resentment towards my own mother had been growing and growing over time, because she had stopped seeming to care about me in the way she had right after she’d divorced my dad. She never seemed to have time for me anymore, and didn’t seem to care about anything I was involved in at school. Until, finally, one day when she once again told me “No, I can’t…”, I was so totally crushed by her saying that, that I actually began to believe I actually hated her–or, at least I hated certain things about her–because, I loved my mother more than my own life, and I always did. So, as I laid crying on the living room floor, I looked over at her as she was still happily talking to my grandmother, and I found myself thinking, “I hate you! I hate you!”. From that day onward a struggle began inside of me. Call it a “love-hate” struggle that I fought all of my life until my mother’s death in 1981. So, I know that type of thing can happen. Fortunately, love very often is the victor, thanks be to God!
Yet, was something like that behind why our son seemed so distant, so contrary, even hostile at times, beginning before he was out of high school? Was it about me, or was it about his father? Or, was it about both of us, and if so, why, what had caused it? Until those questions are answered to my satisfaction, what has been done by him will remain a heart-wrenching, heart-breaking mystery that has no answer. Therefore, it will never make a bit of sense to either of us, as his parents. In God’s creation, parents are never to be unkindly thrown away, or ruthlessly treated by their own children. God included, “Honor thy father and thy mother…” in the 10 Commandments for a very good reason. Attached to that particular Command of God are the words, “…that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. “[Exodus 20:12 KJV] Which points to a happier life, given to each of us by God, if obeyed. We are told simply to “honor” them. That doesn’t mean lie about them, lock them out of your life without good cause, deny them the chance to know their grandchildren, neglect to help take care of them should they need to be cared for, etc.
When we first bought this house over 20 years ago, I made the terrible mistake of giving in to my son’s attempted ‘blackmail’, by telling him that he and his fiancee-now-wife could go ahead and stay on our spare bedroom together, even though they were not married as yet. I should never have said yes to that, even though I did so because I feared losing him, since our relationship had been so mysteriously-to-me rocky for quite some time before that. I never knew why, but something was not quite right between all 3 of us. Since is father and I never understood his animosity towards us, we didn’t understand it’s deep-dark seriousness, until it was too late to try and do anything to help fix it. That’s why it remains “sharper than a serpent’s tooth” to us, and always will. So far as we are concerned there was never a good reason for his attitude towards us. I’d definitely enjoy hearing any reason he might come up with to try and explain it, or justify it, though. That ought to be extremely interesting.
Finally, after putting up with the mild-to-moderate hostility for quite awhile, one evening, after having my feelings hurt so badly for the umpteenth time by my son, I was so distraught as he turned his back and left the room, that I lost my ‘cool’, inside. As I reached out to pull the chains on the beautiful German cuckoo clock my husband had bought me years earlier, my anger had finally become so unbearable to me, that I wanted to scream out to God for Him to do something–anything–to help end the terrible pain I felt inside. Instead of asking Him for His help, though, and to my everlasting shame, my anger dictated something altogether different that I had been about to shout out to Him! So, as I pulled down on those clock chains, I was about to ask God to do something drastic–but, God had other ideas! Instead of a rush of angry words coming out of my mouth, what came out from within my heart were the words, “God, have MERCY on my son!” Those had NOT been the words I was about to say to Him, either! I was completely stunned at what God had so obviously done to replace words filled with anger due to sadness, and reproach on my part, into words that let me know just how seriously HE took what was going on with my son. He viewed it even more seriously than I did! He’d, also, just had ME ask HIM to have His MERCY on my son, which meant something far more ominous was taking place than I’d ever suspected!
However, I had pulled those clock chains with such force that it broke the mechanism inside, and the clock stopped, never to run again! But, when I realize that the clock had stopped at 11:58–just ‘in the nick of time’–during the ’11th Hour’, I am so grateful to God, I can’t stop thanking Him! Once I said those completely unexpected words, though, I immediately told God just how sorry I was for being so angry at my son, and told Him how utterly grateful to Him I was that He had wanted me to ask Him to have His Mercy on my son, the way He did, instead! That’s when peace was able to settle into my heart about my son, because I knew that, no matter what might happen, God would have mercy on him, in spite of himself, so he would be alright in the end, come-what-may. That meant EVERYTHING to me, as his mother. I could not have asked for a better blessing for my son than that! To this day, even though I feel as though I am dying of a broken heart, and a broken spirit, due to what’s happened with both of my sons not being a part of my life anymore, I am completely confident that, some day, thanks be to God and Christ, I will see them again, and we will be together some day with Him, and His Son, Jesus, in heaven. So, if I am never able to see my second son again in this life time, I know he is in the best hands possible, and always will be, thanks be to God and Christ, amen.
Alright, time to dry my tears, and take my precious pup outside, now that the sun is up. God bless you all.