Just like that, I was closing the doors to an ambulance and taking that long walk down the driveway. I stopped for a minute halfway down. The wind was really strong that day; it blew every hair on my head around like a weird Disney’s Pocahontas moment, and I could feel the tears welling up. I started to deeply rub my eyes, and I remember thinking, “Well that didn’t help.” I let one tear fall. Just one! It rolled down my cheek as the others fearfully stayed puddled inside my lids, too afraid to jump out.
As my husband Elliot walked up behind me, he asked, “Are you okay, Babe?” I stopped. He stopped. We stopped, we hugged. Then he quickly filled the awkward after-hug air with a good ol’ fashioned, “F#*! this, let’s go out back with our kids. It’s Saturday, it’s my day off…..”
Then everything started to blur as we inched closer towards the front door. I took a deep breath and wrapped my hair up in a tight bun atop my head. I disappeared any looks of sadness and lightly joined in the childlike wonder of a frog trapped inside of a strainer I was being shown. Five innocently playing children flooded around me to tell me of the frog and its capture. Each one talking and trying to gain every ounce of my attention as if I was listening at all. I nodded and smiled a lot as they spoke of some challenge they’d designed. Smile. Nod. Repeat. Don’t cry, breathe, repeat. I looked around at the people surrounding me. I took a deep inhale before I let the entire gravity of the situation land firmly on my chest.
I closed my eyes and silently listened as Elliot quietly relayed the news to Grandpa and my eldest Oriana tried to eavesdrop. I was now a distraction. Moments ago, I had become the worst person on earth. I wasn’t sure when people would stop being upset that I made the call that day. The call that changed it all, or we hoped it did. It was the beginning of the end of a lifetime of sadness. It was the moment I had to do the thing I hated to do for the good of everyone else but me. It was that pivotal moment in the movie where there’s always some sort of montage showing the successful buildup of the main character, the one that always ends at just the right time with conflict resolution and happiness and maybe a good song that wins a Grammy.
Except this was me, Baker Acting my drug-addicted mother as neighbors rubbernecked down my street at the two police trucks and the ambulance flashing lights at the end of our long driveway. This was the slowest moment of my entire life. Every minute longer than its prior. Each sigh deeper than the one before. I didn’t think we would be here either, and somehow I always knew this day would come. What followed would be healing and building, but, in the midst of this storm, I couldn’t help but feel at my absolute lowest thus far. I knew this was her last chance; this was the only way that I could help her, and it had to be the last. I had to put the boundaries up, and it was going to hurt so bad. But sometimes we have to give a little blood to the blood gods.
Wouldn’t it be so cool if you had a warning sign on your journey through life that it was about to pop up and smack face? A sweet text from the Lord that said, “Oh, by the way, your mom has been abusing her meds and now you need to get her committed.” #mommyissues
Life is no joke. It’s full of bumps and pot holes. But check this out. It’s just a day. It’s just a season. It’s not forever. Everything is temporary, and so, when you’re presented with a situation that seems impossible…pull up your big-kid pants and deal with it. Watching an ambulance take off with my mother in the back was both liberating and terrifying.
It took at least three months for me to feel comfortable letting it be something that happened and deal with it. I started therapy. I am healing. I am dealing and still REELING with this. But it’s just a day. It’s just this situation. I can see what God wants me to do.
So here goes. Bumps ahead. But that’s aight. I like rollercoasters!
Reality Changing Observations:
1. How does making hard decisions about tough things make you feel?
2. In those difficult moments, do you see good or evil?
3. Have you ever had to build a hedge around your heart? Did it help?