Saturday was the "Celebration of Life" for our sweet friend who passed away suddenly in her sleep. I struggled a bit with whether or not to bring Ty, but recognizing that he and his friends also needed to be around each other, we went.
The celebration was truly a symbol of the lives this lovely woman touched. The music from her iPod played throughout, and each song told it's own story. There were many testimonials about the woman she was. She was a daughter, a friend, a boss, a mentor, a wife, and a mother. She was beautiful at being all of them at the same time.
As the afternoon wore on, Ty approached me with a look on his face I couldn't distinguish. I hadn't seen that fear in his face since Dad passed.
"Mom, I need to talk to you about something I heard," he said. His best friend looked just as serious standing next to him. I had been in the kitchen washing dishes (because I have to do SOMETHING) and took them both to the side.
"What is it?" I asked.
They leaned into each other and started to whisper. I could instantly tell it was a "should I say it / you do it" kind of discussion, which was making my gut sink lower and lower. What did they break? What did they do? Tell me...and we'll fix it.
"We heard there was an argument between H and her Mom the night before she died, and some things were said." Out of respect, I won't go into specifics about what was said, but as I saw the concern on these boys' faces, it broke my heart.
These boys, who I have watched grow for many years together, and who are going through every part of adolescence from the physical and emotional changes, are concerned about this young lady and the guilt she might feel in that last argument with her Mom. These boys stand taller than I do now, but in that instance I took them both in my arms and gave them a big hug as I explained the following...
As Moms we understand that things get said out of emotion or hurt feelings. We all say stupid things at the wrong time. With that being said, it is important to point out the power behind our words. It's alright to say I hate doing homework, or I hate Mondays, but to use hate towards someone is a heavy thing. Mom knows that H did not mean what she said. If and when H decides to talk to you about that, I hope that you will reassure her of this. She will need you two, and all her friends, at any time.
The looks on their faces was one of confusion. They knew what I said made sense, but they didn't exactly know how to process it. These sweet boys. They looked at each other as the walked off, and I watched them shake their heads with pride. They can't get over the guilt they would feel if something like that happened to one of them.
As parents, we hope and pray that we can be the one our children come to in just such times. We want to help them through the heaviness, and although we wish we could take pain away from them, recognize that we cannot remove it all as this is how they grow. We hope that what we say helps them, and that they don't have to carry the heaviness for long.
What I said must have made some sort of impact with them because they returned about 15 minutes later with a question most appropriate for the occasion. I want these boys to still be kids. It's important to celebrate life, appreciate what we have in our lives, and go with that. My reassurance was paid ten-fold when they came back with...
Mom, can we go to the movies tonight?
Music to my ears folks!!