I cried in front of the 2% milk at Walmart on Tuesday. I live a vegan lifestyle, but was trying to locate the evil buttermilk among shelves of other milks and milk-wannabes, when my phone rang and I it was she. She whose name I cannot say aloud without strange constrictions in my throat. She whose voice is changed with the passing of too much time since we last spoke. She who is now in the sixth grade and who I have not held since she was three. It was SHE.
There in the milk aisle, while looking for soured milk (which I only purchase at holiday time because my once-a-year Texas Pecan Praline recipe calls for it) my heart did that funny little skip thing that it does whenever she calls. Should I take this, or let it go to voice mail? Swallowing hard I stopped right there in front of twenty kinds of milk behind a glass door and answered my phone, “Hello Sweet Girl! How are you?” in my cheeriest godmommy voice.
Eight and a half minutes later, after talk of school and new ipads, Thanksgiving and “yam pies,” we said goodbye. I asked her what she needed, how I could bless her with a gift, but she didn’t know. She couldn’t think of anything. Nothing at all. So we ended with, “I love you,” and “Call me again when you think of something.”
And then I cried. Just a little. It gets easier each year. She was almost mine once. And I’ve never forgotten how I loved her. Still love her. But she has a different family, a big happy family who lets me love her from afar. Who allows me to be “godmom” and “Mrs. Clause,” (when she can think of something for me to give). It’s a long, long story. A chapter I haven’t quite finished writing because it’s just too hard to find the words, or the answers. But, like my sister Ami said in one of her Facebook posts this week:
“Sometimes life is more questions than answers. And that’s okay. Sometimes the answers are in the silence. And that’s okay. Sometimes you need to be told that everything will be okay, even when that okay just means things will be different… Sometimes you just need a hug or another cup of coffee…morning ramblings from the cornfield.”
I guess that’s it. Sometimes life is just more questions than answers. And there is only ONE who holds all of those answers in His nail-scarred hands. I know that one day, He will tell me why. For now, I choose to trust Him, believing that He redeems the things I thought were lost. For now I choose to “hang on loose” to this girl I love too much to let go of completely.
In her book The Language of Letting Go ( p. 94-95), Melody Beattie, attaches the name detachment to this loose kind of hanging on. Here’s what she says: “Detachment is a key to recovery from codependency. It strengthens our healthy relationships – the ones that we want to grow and flourish. It benefits our difficult relationships – the ones that are teaching us to cope. It helps us!
Detachment is not something we do once. It’s a daily behavior in recovery. We learn it when we’re beginning our recovery from codependency and adult children issues. And we continue to practice it along the way as we grow and change, and as our relationships grow and change.
We learn to let go of people we love, people we like, and those we don’t particularly care for. We separate ourselves, and our process, from others and their process.
We relinquish our tight hold and our need to control in our relationships. We take responsibility for ourselves; we allow others to do the same. We detach with the understanding that life is unfolding exactly as it needs to, for others and ourselves. The way life unfolds is good, even when it hurts. And ultimately, we can benefit from even the most difficult situations. We do this with the understanding that a Power greater than ourselves is in charge, and all is well.
Today, I will apply the concept of detachment, to the best of my ability, in my relationships. If I can’t let go completely, I’ll try to ‘hang on loose.’”
What about you? Would you like to choose trust today? Ask Him to show you how to hang on loosely when you really just want to weep, right there in the grocery aisle.
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 3:5-6 The Message