Friday, March 4, 2016
Many years ago, a mother I knew from our church ran away. She left her five beautiful children, ages two to sixteen. My oldest child at the time was two as well. I was appalled. I didn't really know her, but I remember being so upset. I looked at my beautiful little boy and couldn't even imagine being driver to the point of wanting to escape hundreds of miles away.
Fast forward to about twenty years later, I began to relate a little bit to this woman. Last year, my life as a mother crashed and burned. One day, I wanted to leave. I dreamed of moving to some little town on the Oregon coast. I wanted the crashing waves of the ocean to fill my head, to drown out the negative of everything happening. Instead, I went to the library. I didn't do anything but sit and pretend to write or read. After a couple of hours, I drug myself to the car. I drove home, dreading my life.
What kept me from not jumping on the interstate? I didn't think Jerry would take me back. I couldn't shirk my motherly responsibility. God might forgive me, but I wouldn't have been able to forgive myself. Instead, I called a therapist. I went for a ton of walks. I watched a lot of television to escape. I cried.
All people need a break, moms included. Due to the circumstances, I couldn't get away last year. This year though, I am making some plans. Last weekend, I run away on a small scale. I drove to a neighboring town and checked into a hotel. I took walks, read, slept, and watched television. The cat didn't scratch on the door. The dog didn't whine to come into my room. Doors didn't open and close to see if I was sleeping. I had the entire weekend to just be in the moment of me. It was beautiful.
At the being of April, I am running away to spend a weekend with my sister. We are going to plan more of our 2017 trip to England. Shopping will be our other form of entertainment and maybe a movie. She will work one day while I enjoy her quiet home and do a little writing. I haven't told her yet, but I might plan another weekend for the fall.
I still think about the runaway mom from long ago. I thought her so selfish at the time. Maybe she was, but maybe she wasn't. Did she ever get to take time for herself? Was one or more of her children making her life feel like a warzone? Did her and her husband have a horrible relationship? I can well imagine her life now that I have been through the fire.
I am so thankful I have a husband who loves me and I love him. If he and I struggled with each other last year along with all of our other trials, I might well live in Oregon today. I am thankful for all professional workers who kept working with all of us to get us through the storm. I am thankful for a special friend who listened to me every morning. I am thankful for all the prayers that kept us lifted up.
Running away can take many forms. I know that even if I run away for a weekend, I will never permanently run away from my children. They may run from me, but I will always be waiting for them to return.