Monday, January 18, 2010

Getting off the Swing

It drizzles outside, I walked home from my hair appointment in the rain and soggy snow underfoot.  My family has gone to bed and I remain, tortured of soul and deeply unsettled.  I sit down to write in an effort to create my own therapy, to soothe myself.

I like my hair stylist.  I enjoy her personality, her courage at looking at her mistakes and her efforts as a single mom to make things better for her family.  Currently, we live very different lives due to different choices.  The past year, she has been looking... searching for what her life is missing... trying to make the changes that will heal her broken life.  Tonight, I stayed in the chair for an hour after my apointment finished in an effort to offer whatever counsel and help I could.

She and her longtime boyfriend had been drinking heavily, a fight got out of hand, and the neighbors called the police.  Jail time is an option for him at the moment, their relationship is perhaps beyond repair, and their life is in shambles.  She takes responsibility for her poor choices...she is lost, without a rudder.   As we talk, I speak of true healing, and she cries.  We discuss the necessity of the 12 step addiction program for both of them.  She is supposed to call tonight for locations, times, and additional practical legal advice from my very smart husband.

Yet, I wait and she does not call.  I know that most people stuck in self defeating choices want a change, but sometimes when it comes right down to it ... they cannot bring themselves to do it.  I feel such personal sadness when this happens, such a loss.  I see such potential in both of them, Briz says I always see too much in people that don't deserve it, but I do... I see their capacity for good and the chance that tragedy always offers to choose a better path.   I long for their happiness.  I long to fix their hurts and fears that go into creating such an unhappy lifestyle for themselves. 

I also know that this is beyond my limited scope, that I can only offer a line to tools but oh, I wish they would grab on to that line.

We get on the swing set and go up and down and up and down, mostly enjoying the ride.  When we get motion sick, tired of the thrill, or loose our control, there is a moment, just past the lowest part of the arc when we have enough momentum to jump off, if we have the courage to take a new course.  The bottom of the ride offers us the chance to make a change.   If we don't jump off then, we wait another round of up, down and up before the next perfect opportunity comes.  I wish I could just push them right off the swing.  But if I push, they'll fall down and scrape their knees.  They must have the courage themselves to face what awaits and jump.

As I finished the above sentence and stood up to go to bed, the phone RANG!!!  She reached for the line!!!!!
 Briz and I bundled up and drove out in the rain to meet and advise in a coffee shop.  I sat back and observed my husband at work.  I was blown away.  He was kind, firm, wise, and helpful.  He offered every help she could have hoped for.  She was so lucky to have him to turn to.  An hour and a half later, we return home and I realize that really, he did that all for me.  He wanted an early bed, a good book and instead spent the late hours of the evening counseling a woman he'd never met.  I find that VERRRRRYYY attractive.  May God bless her in the coming days ahead.


  1. What a beautiful post. I count myself as blessed knowing both of you and receiving advice and counsel from you. Thanks for giving of yourself so freely.

  2. Hi! Thanks for your Christmas card and call last week. (We were in Florida--yay!)
    Great writing on your blog.
    Talk to you soon.