I sat down in my corner of the couch, wrapped up with the knitted throw. My stomach was in turmoil and the back of my throat ached with the pressure that comes from holding back tears. The front door had been slammed hard enough to rattle the windows… again. After a few deep breaths to steady myself, I picked up pen and paper, curled my legs up under the throw and settled to finish a note I had started after our last argument.
I see you.
I see your anger, that comes from the depths of your pain.
I see your pain that comes from the deep, deep fear.
I see your fear from the years of abuse and turmoil.
But I also see your resilience that comes from the joy in your spirit.
I see your humor that comes from the love you have.
I see your determination that comes from your deep desire to survive.
It is normal to use the anger to shield yourself from more pain. But that shield also keeps you from the joy that is yours.
Perhaps an image will help. I want to see you grounded like one of the dandelions in our yard. Dandelions are not weeds. They are the first blooms of the year and the most picked flowers to make little bouquets for Mommies. They are the favorite food of the bees every spring which makes them critical to our world. They seed and propagate and flourish with abundance and they offer no apologies.
Dandelions are amazing!
I see right now, though, that you are like one of the fluffy dandelion seeds. You are blowing around with whatever wind comes by. The ride is initially exhilarating with each breeze that picks you up, but the wind can also drop you wherever and whenever it stops blowing. Sometimes you might smack into a tree or you may travel so far that nobody can see you. It’s like being a wish that is blown into the world, but never takes root.
It is ok to wander when that is what you intend to do. It is a hard way to live, though, when it’s random and you have no control over the next wayward wind.
My hope is that you plant just one fluffy seed and stay right where it is. Commit to seeing it flourish and flower and seed. If it hasn’t fallen on ground that is nourishing for you, that’s ok, but you won’t know that until you try to grow it. Don’t let the wind pick you up until you see how your intentional, determined little dandelion is doing. Growing can be hard; sometimes with brutal heat and sometimes with a damaging downpour. But a dandelion is one of the most stubborn and persistent plants that I’ve ever seen.
Be a dandelion! I love dandelions. And I love you!
Your mom and your most devoted gardener
I read over what I had written and folded the paper, closing my eyes with a silent prayer for what could be.