Sunday, 25 April 2010
Mountains just have to be climbed
Sometimes things I read have an astonishing impact on me. They stop me in my tracks of whatever complacency I'm into.
Three Cups of Tea did that. The idea that this mountaineer who owed his life to the villagers in an incredibly poor part of Pakistan, should then make it his life work to raise money to build schools for girls in the area regardless of the obstacles put in front of him ,made me cry.
Some blogs have had a similar effect, the story of the children in the nursery in Africa whose Lego bricks had no edges to clip together as they were so well loved and used, made me cry
The school in Africa who after having been built suffered a cyclone and the only thing remaining of the school was the floor, made me cry
The leaflet that comes through the door for the Salvation Army trying to raise money to give children a Christmas present in my own country, made me cry.
But actually however much I like a good cry, it's not a lot of help to anybody else.
And I have to decide if there is anything else I can do that is of a bit more use than tears. To the things above the answer without fail was yes.
But twice today I have burst into tears unexpectedly. The first time driving and listening to a programme on the radio. The programme is called the Reunion and it gets together people who shared a particular event to talk about it.
Today the people were a few of the affected by 13th March 1996 in a town in Scotland called Dunblane. A man burst into an infant school and sprayed bullets around killing the children indiscriminately . This date is etched on my mind and will be forever. The children in question were all five and that day was my youngest son's 5th birthday and he was just down the road from me in his infant school. I remember just sitting in my car hearing the news not able to move, but of course crying.
The fragility of life was never so close to me,it was a happy day for Alex, but for those other children there wouldn't ever be those happy days again. And even less for their remaining families
This afternoon the radio was again on playing music and the song the Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics came on. The song Mike Rutherford wrote after the death of his father. Suddenly I'm crying again.
I know why I'm crying, I'm crying because of the pain my beloved younger son has to deal with in his life. He has had a tough life for someone of 19. His father walked out on him (and his 9 year old brother and me) when he was three.
My sons have only seen their father once in the subsequent years for four hours, and at that meeting he threatened to take them away from me.
Alex once said to me, 'Dad must love me, he pays maintenance doesn't he' I watched my boys learn to unlove their father slowly over the years, as he didn't bother with either of them.
I have fought for them always, no more so when my eldest son reached 20 and their father finally stopped paying anything. That was okay for the eldest, but Alex was 14 and a half and he no longer existed for his father at all. I tried to take him to court in the States (a long story that ultimately failed despite my best intentions)
To follow that, around the same time I got breast cancer and the only person who really mattered to Alex was under threat of an early death.
It's not surprising that his life is so tough and that he has had made such difficult pathways for himself.
This weekend he's been up in North Yorkshire, three hours away from here, seeing about a job. He has a friend that is a bar manager there, who has told him that he can work for him. So he's gone for a looksee.
And my heart is bleeding. This clever, witty, funny young man is lost and trying to find a way forward in life to try and make sense to himself of the world he lives in. A world that round here judges him as a bad lot, if the neighbours are to be believed. The same young man who has phoned me three times to touch base with me, as although he knows he's got to move forward, and this might be a way to do it, he is scared. Not that he would ever admit that, but I know.
So like supplying some new shiny Lego, I am there for him. I will offer advice when it is asked for (and sometimes when it's not!) I will be there for him with unconditional love always. But I will not let him know that I cry about him, that's a secret for here. He would hate that, and would get bolshy and bad tempered if he knew and tell me that he didn't need my tears.
And in that he is right, cause tears alone won't do, it's the follow on from the tears that matter in life. The action of our pain for others, that makes the world a better place, if we can find it in ourselves to give with love to our fellow man, whether it's the boy who loves his mum, or the homeless child on the streets.
So I won't beat myself up for being sad today, I'll just accept it as something I can do as Alex is not here and I can indulge myself in his absence to let go of a little bit of my bleeding heart.