A Mother’s Fear Equals Her Love

A few days ago a beautiful little girl, only five years old, was tragically shot and killed in a home invasion in the Charleston area.  I’m certain my heart is one of many grieving this innocent child’s loss and I didn’t even have the privilege of knowing her.  Little Allison is surely in heaven and her family is amazingly enough bearing no hatred and anger towards her killers, yet this is a parent’s worst fear and nightmare come true. 

 May God surround them with His Love and comfort and help them through the days of grief ahead.  Prior to the news coverage of this event I had been told by friends to read Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo.  In the midst of heartache widespread in our community the day after she died, I did get the book and read it cover to cover thinking of this beautiful child.  If you haven’t read it, do so!  Life is too hard sometimes and my only hope is in Jesus Christ.  I have questions as many must and I feel angry that such evil can have its way in this world but I trust in God that while I don’t know the answers He does.

 Many years ago, after my first son was born and my mind was gripped by various fears for his safety and the  immense responsiblity I felt for guiding and protecting him, I wrote this prose poem:

A Mother’s Fear Equals Her Love

A mother fears for her child with an intensity that equals her love.  She fears the unknown and the unlikely.  She fears the pain of rejection he will feel.  She fears the physical pain that could befall him.  She fears the harm that could come from others.  She knows for him to grow he must feel pain but…his hurt is her own.  Her instincts are to protect her child, innocent, defenseless in the face of danger, from a world that can be cruel.  She lets him grow his way, independent and free, while struggling with her urge to draw him to her, safe from the dangers he might encounter.

She loves him and fights her fear.  She feeds him, bathes him, and holds him through sleepless nights of illness.  She plays silly games and sings sweet lullabys.  She reads countless stories and fixes broken toys.  She respects his desire to do for himself, even if it means taking longer to get done.  She praises his successes and eases his frustrations if he fails with her encouraging words.  She treasures the brief moments when he needs her hugs and kisses.  Her desire for him to grow healthy and happy, on his own, is as strong as her need to hold him close to her, where she is certain of his safety.

The bond that connects them as one began in the cushion of her womb, where the babe is encircled in a haven of security and love.  Birth marks the beginning of separation, the child learning to be apart from his mother.  With each milestone, symbolic of first success, the mother rejoices at her child’s incredible ability.  Yet deep within her amidst her joy is sorrow…that his triumph means letting go.  She knows the miraculous process of life is for her to guide and prepare her child to be strong and confident.  Still, there is sorrow that this precious baby, who once needed her for his survival, will one day need her no more.

I don’t know by what mercies we were spared the tragedy Allison’s family now faces but I know that what happened to them can only be lived through with faith.  They have to let go of their precious baby far too soon and I pray they have faith to lean on and love to comfort them.  May God bless Allison and her family.  Lord, have mercy…


My View of the World…from Turkey Creek

My View of the World...from Turkey Creek

…my favorite writing and thinking spot.


New Beginnings…

Hello.  A writer friend told me I’d be much happier posting my writings and art on WordPress,  so here I am trying to figure this out and wondering if a year’s worth of blogs will ever find their way here.  Oh well, until I figure it out my other blog is: Snippets at  nancyrodriguez8.tumblr.com.  And, now to signify a new start I’ve added Snatches to the Snippets, which is really just allowing me more freedom to write about anything and everything, randomly and, hopefully, spontaneously, yet not so scattered that one might think my mind is a chaotic wasteland!  Some days that may be true but I will try to be patient with myself and not inflict on others my confusion that I will blame on being middle aged.

Hydrangeas, pencil drawing…One of my favorite flowers is the hydrangea.  It is a hearty shrub that survives well in the south and I love the colorful blue and purple bouquet clusters that grow in spite of nasty climate conditions.  In our old house, the first home we owned that was quite small and had a huge yard, hydrangea bushes were one of the few flowers I could count on to grow in spite of my ungreen thumb, small children, and the many dogs we had through the nine years we lived there.  They have become a symbol of a very happy time in our lives when our family had endless adventures in that wondrous yard and humble home.  Occasionally, I drive by the old house and I think how little we had materially in those early years of our family life, but my memories are filled with the joy of small children, now grown and married!  We had what mattered which was a lot of love and though we struggled financially on one income, so I could be at home with the kids, we lived more simply then on far less.

So, when my son Corey and his fiancee’ Sarah gave me hydrangeas for Mother’s Day this year I placed them on the coffee table in the livingroom.  In the morning sunlight they looked so beautiful I had to draw them.  I drew them in several sittings and each time memories of life in the old house would fill my mind.  There wasn’t a single hydrangea bush growing in our yard at our house we have lived in now for thirteen years.  I did have some in pots on the porch that we had bought for Sophia’s bridal shower over a year ago but I never got around to planting them in the yard as I intended.

Corey rectified this situation earlier this summer when the bigger part of his Mother’s Day present was the promise to plant all of them for me in the yard.  He did it right, too!  He weeded and replaced soil with a liner underneath and made this neglected flowerbed in the front yard beautiful with the hydrangeas and a rosebush.  I was so grateful!  But I admit the unbearably hot summer kept me from staying on top of weeding the garden and the poor hydrangeas became overcome with choking weeds and grass.  I just want my newly married son to know that a few weeks ago I finally got to it and found the hydrangeas still surviving.  Wishing those weeds away just wouldn’t get the job done!  As I pulled the weeds I was struck by the metaphor that this is also true of relationships and my spiritual life.  Wishing away the weeds (sin and negative thoughts) choking me just won’t help my garden (my life) grow and sometimes while I sit back and wait through dry periods for the rain to water the flowers and the sunlight to make them grow sometimes I have to take responsibility and help things along by doing the unpleasant work of weeding and watering.  The drawing reminds me to tend to my garden and do the work.

I am grateful for beautiful flowers and the lessons I continually need to learn and relearn!