the monster and the miracle

I have never seen a greater monster or miracle than myself. - Montaigne

Her teenage son was trying to pour her booze down the kitchen sink's drain. She was drunk and desperate and she wrapped her arms around him to pull him away, to save herself from having none.

They both fell to the floor, wrestling and tugging and pushing and pulling.

He was stealing from her and she was stealing from him.

She had carried him and brought him to life and now she felt like she was killing him with herself. The arms that once held the soft weight of his infant body, the hands that gently ran over his newborn skin, had turned on her.

She was broken and he was breaking and then she got help. She is sober one and a half years and he is still angry. He sees the monster more than he sees the miracle.

Sometimes we try to make amends but our words cannot be heard and so all we can do is allow our continued sobriety to make the amends with time. It is what went down, falling through our arms with gravity that is remembered by those we love, sometimes. So we hope for healing while we keep our hands free of the monster's elixir, and we wait and try to believe that somehow, a miracle is what we are.

Later, she is talking to a man with the job to counsel, to instruct. She talks about her shame, the way the memories will not leave her and haunt her and she is so sorry. And he says well, how do you think he feels? In that moment she is only a monster, unforgiven and chastised. And even when people tell her that the monster is not all that she is and that she is more than her sickness and that perhaps this sickness is to blame, she cannot believe it. She can only hear the accusers and that makes her want to feed the monster because why not, she's so so so bad she may as well just be bad.

Don't tell me a mother who loves her children sets out to hurt them. This is not a choice. No one chooses this kind of pain. This monster has a way of defeating our good intentions, stealing them, cunning and baffling.

How does she think he feels? That, my friends, is all she thinks about. And yet, without the monster, she could not see the miracles. She could not wait for them, even the ones that are sure to reach the heart of her son, a boy who will come to know his mother in new ways that cover the monster and free her to live.

He will know a new freedom and his heart will lift with her eyes. He won't be able to fight loving her back because learning to trust will do that to a person. And maybe he'll fight it and anger will win most of the time for most of the time, but love is sneaky and I know he'll find his way to it by watching her.

That is how I think he feels.

Happy Birthday, my friend. You are a miracle.
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I hope your long weekend is good, friends.
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