Conversations With My Son

Posted: December 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

My son Chris and I are so alike. We are both sensitive, creative and very strong people. We have had many conversations over the past two and  a half months. Longer and more profound talks than we’ve ever had and we’ve talked a lot!  His 6-year-old relationship ended around the same time I got diagnosed with cancer. Telling him during his time of emotional crisis was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. He was so distraught about his engagement being broken, his heart was in pieces. Talking to him consisted of listening. There was no pause in his grief stricken words to interject what I had called to tell him. I had to interrupt him,  mid sentence, my voice raised and firm. “Chris, I have breast cancer.”

Needless to say, he reacted. What I had told him disintegrated him, momentarily he was paralized with emotion. Not being physically present to reach my arms around him was beyond difficult. I held my breath while he sobbed and uttered the words, “I can’t take anymore mom”, “this is too much”. The only thing I cared about at that moment was calming my son down. My words remained firm and jolting. I was in high gear in my motherhood reaching out to my child in severe pain and shock. Chris was able to compose himself and we spoke briefly about the information I had thus far about my condition. I reassured him that I was going to be ok. I comforted him with gentle words about a not so gentle invasion into our family. He took in as much information has his over-taxed brain allowed and I knew, right then that he, that we were ok.

Our discussion did not end there. We continued to talk about his break up.  I let him vent and free himself of the weeks of pain he had endured. Keeping it from me, so as not to upset me. We agreed that we both had a long road ahead of us. We agreed that there would be no more secrets. We agreed that we loved each other unconditionally and would be there to help one another through our troubling times ahead.  The conversation ended with love. More love perhaps than we have ever acknowledged or expressed.

There have been many conversations since. His broken heart is mending. We spoke tonight of things yet to come. I told him that I will be having chemotherapy. He asked about losing my hair and I told him I bought a new wig. I told him that chemo will  help rid my body of any stray cancer cells that may have wandered from my breast. I told him I want to be around for long, long time and having this treatment is important  insurance and well worth taking the time to go through it. We then changed the subject, several times. We spoke of our similarities, how creative we both are. How important our creativity is to us and that we both crave human companionship with people who accept and understand who we are. We spoke about the fact that even if we were not son and mother we would be friends. He acknowledged that he has learned from me and his father and that he was allowed to live life on his terms, making his own decisions and correcting his own mistakes.

Having a deep conversation with my son is always refreshing and rewarding. It validates my motherhood, something I can feel insecure about at times. It’s been a wild ride for my kids and I. I’m not now and have never been a “traditional” , apron wearing mother. My children have been my companions, my partners in adventure, my audience and my biggest source of endless entertaiment. With a lot of hard work mixed in. Even when I have let them down, terribly they never stopped loving me. There are scars and wounds that have yet to heal. There was a divorce, painful and dramatic. There was time apart because you can not split children in half and share them. All of this, whether discussed or not is present in our conversations. An undercurrent of our past together, a shroud of darkness that threatens to pull us asunder when we are our most vulnerable.

Tonight, after we hung up, I cheered for him and his unfaltering resilience. His desire to make a new and better life for himself. His unwavering support of me, who I dream to be and most importanly of who I am. My son, a grown man now, confident and sure of himself ready to make things happen, his way. Finding and securing the happiness he now knows he deserves. My pride in his ability to have remained positive, communicative and hopeful during one of the hardest and most stressful times he’s ever faced knows no bounds. He has gained tremendous wisdom throughout this process. When I look back to that first phone call, I am astonished at how far he has come in such a short amount of time. Saying that he is an inspiration to me is a gross understament.

Chris will once again be within arms reach in a few days, having made the decision to move back home to Connecticut from PA.  This pleases me and satisfies my selfish, motherly desires to have all my children close by. Our phone calls may dwindle once he’s home. I will miss them. For a while though, as long as he stays I will be near by for the times he needs to feel my arms around him. When he needs more than a comforting voice on the other end of bad cell phone connection. He will have me, in person, in real-time to love him and in return, I will have him. Life can be so good  sometimes, it hurts.

Welcome home Chris!!

Love, Mom

  1. Heart says:

    Coming here from Becky’s site, after reading your amazing, heartfelt comments.. First of all, best wishes for your treatment, hope 2011 will be great for you in every way!
    If the above piece is emotionally paralyzing for a stranger like me, I can only imagine what you and your boy are going through.. Hope you can write more, and be distracted that way.. Because, it seems to me, there are few people like you who can convey words so powerfully.
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    • Rachana, I’m very happy that you stopped by to read, thanks to Becky and her blog. Your comment is more than kind. Yes, we, as a family are really struggling right now. More than we ever have before. Somehow, we are managing to keep the lines of communication open and are getting it through it, day by day. Thank you so much for your generous words and the valuable time you took to read and comment. I tried to find you on twitter, but were unable to. I wish you a very lovely and happy Holiday season. ♥♥♥ ~*~ ♥♥♥

  2. dani says:

    Like mother, like children ~ sensitive, creative, strong, resilient, supportive, inspirational and, most of all, loving. You’re a great mom and a great writer, too. *Hugs Full of Love and Admiration*

  3. Janet Blackford says:

    What a beautiful piece of writing Joanne, your best so far I feel. All the very best to you & Chris ❤ x

    • Thank you Jan. You’ve been in my thoughts alot lately. Miss our chats. Sending out a lot of love and wishes for a nice holiday with your friends and family. You are always so kind to stop by and read. Maybe one day I will be able to read what your write. Love, Joanne ❤

  4. Becky says:

    ❤ you.

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