|Jadrian, surfing in |
Tamarindo, Costa Rica 2013
But I also know that Avery is in an incredible place. There is no more hurt for her. She will never feel pain or cry or worry or ache or want. There is nothing more soothing to a Mama's heart than knowing your child is happy, healthy and in good hands. Although the hands she rests in are not mine, whose better to be in than God's?
It's strange, though, how my mind can split into three places at the same time: missing terribly Avery, trying to deal with whatever in-the-now thing is happening (make dinner, put on Brody's shoes, vacuum the rug) and praying for Jadrian. I pray for her every single second of every single day.
My heart does not rest. I believe that if I pray hard enough I can take away all her pain. Her tears will stop and the ache will lift. She will no longer want for peace because she'll have it. She will no longer want for love because she'll feel it. She will no longer want for happiness because she will be surrounded by it. If only I pray hard enough. If only I pray without ceasing.
Because my Mama heart aches not just for the loss of Avery, but it aches with every breath my sweet Jadrian takes, knowing that she will always, always, always have October 24, 2012, tragically seared into her heart and soul and mind. And nothing I do can ever take that away. And I know that she still exists in a world full of pain and hurt, and there is no guarantee that she will not be handed more. And nothing I do can ever ensure that she will never hurt again.
And so it just about killed me - killed me - as I scrolled through Facebook and saw this status update Jadrian had posted on her wall:
To the girl who stated that I "killed my own little sister" tonight, there are SO many things I would like to say to you. Instead, I pray that you will never have to go through any of pain that I or anyone else has had to go through when they lose someone so close to them in an event so traumatic. I also pray that you will never have to hear words so hurtful to you because I can honestly say they are words you will never forget for the rest of your life. I hope you realize how strong your words are and hope that in the future you think before you speak.
I wanted to run to Jadrian, pick her up and hurry out with her. Run away from whoever had done this to her, whoever had said such an awful thing. I was angry. I wanted to yell and scream at whoever spat these ugly words out to my undeserving daughter. I wanted revenge. I filled with rage. I filled with hate.
Dear God, I prayed. Please let her be okay.
What did that even mean? Be okay? How does one even begin to be okay with this?
Three days later I sat as still as I could across from her, watching as she folded towels. Inside I was so angry. Wound up tight. I looked at her... this beautiful young woman with dark eyes and the warmest smile. She seemed to be okay.
But that was on the outside. What about the inside? I have seen her hurt over and over and a person can only be beaten down so many times before they just give up.
I thought about the time she was nine and was so excited to finally be old enough to show horses at the fair. How her father went ballistic, something about thinking she was in the wrong age group, and he started yelling at her while she was in the process of showing her horse for the first time ever. How she had stood straight and tall and still as he stomped into the show ring, an attendant yelling, "Sir! Excuse me, sir, but you can't be in here!" How she held her head high, a smile plastered to her sweet, beautiful face as he yelled at her in front of everyone - the judges, the other contestants, and everyone sitting watching with their mouths open. I remembered how she stood so very proud of herself and of her horse as he railed on and on... and then, that second - that terrible, awful second when her shoulders slumped, her head fell, and she just gave up. Shuffled out of the show ring with her head down and tears sliding down her cheeks, the horse following behind her. She couldn't take it anymore and she had just given up. Completely given up.
She has been through so much in her life. And I just want her to feel happy. Why God? Why is her life so hard?
I watched her fold towel after towel. Listened to her chit chat. Sounding just fine. But I needed to know.
"Hey," I ventured. "What was the deal with that Facebook status?" I prepared myself for tears, for hatred, for anger.
She looked up at me.
I listened as she explained how she came to find out the feelings of a young lady who didn't know the details splashed all over a Twitter account. Accusations and hate composed within 140 characters.
I listened as she described how her breath left her and her head hurt and her eyes stung and her heart broke as she read post after post.
I clenched my fists as she repeated the words of hate.
And I took a breath as she explained what she did in response.
How she tapped out a message of kindness to this young lady. How she explained that words can hurt. How you can't take something like this back.
I listened as she described a dialogue that opened between her and this young lady, without anger, without hatred. One that included things like truth and awareness and forgiveness.
And I listened as my beautiful daughter of strength said to me, "you know, I'm glad she did this to me, because what if she did it to someone who couldn't handle it? What if she said something to someone that found out and then went home and killed themselves? I just hope she really learns that words can hurt people. You can't take them back."
And my heart spilled open with pride as I listened to her say, "I forgive her, Mom. She was hurting. What she did wasn't right, but I talked to her about it and I know she feels awful for saying those things. Some of my friends think I'm crazy for forgiving her," she said as she folded the last towel. "but forgiving her doesn't mean what she did was okay, it just means I don't have to think about it every single second of my life."
Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses.
Oh, do I have so much to learn from my child! It seems cliché but it is so very true: we learn more from them.
I think about how angry I was; how my first instinct was to fill with hate. What would I have done but simply hated? And what good would that have done? None. No good at all.
I sit here in complete amazement at how Jadrian could face that hurt head on, without raising it with hatred, anger and rage. It would have been so easy. No one would have blamed her. Yet she kept her heart steady as she sought out this young lady and invited needed dialogue. How she didn't slump her shoulders, drop her head, and shuffle away. Instead, Jadrian turned towards the hurt, towards the ugly, and held out her hand to it. Welcomed it into her lap and spoke calmly to it. We must learn from this.
Do you get how very proud I am of this girl?!
Do you get how incredibly blessed I am
to have been chosen to be her mother?
I have no doubt in my mind that God will bring blessing upon blessing to Jadrian in His time. I have no doubt of that. No doubt whatsoever. (It's just really hard sometimes during the period of waiting. I want to fast forward to where her life is full of nothing but love and goodness and people who never, ever hurt her.) God promises her blessings. And they will come.
1 Peter 3:8-9
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.