This post is after the actual event, but the enormity of it all still stands... If you're new to my blog, you may want to stop at this point. Go visit my post from 3 weeks ago, and then come back here and read on. Here is a link to that post: --> http://cheerios-world.blogspot.com/2008/12/dec-18th-candlighting.html Three weeks and three days ago; I was standing outside on my deck. There were three candles on the railing. It was a dark and cold winter night. I was just by myself and leaning back against the house. I had my arms folded and tucked in close to me. Part was to keep warm out there, and part was to keep myself from falling apart. Have you 'hugged' yourself like that? It's almost like an embrace of fear. "What's going on? Why? What's going to happen next? What's going to happen to or with ... (fill in the blank)?" "Make it stop! Make it stop!b" my mind screamed over and over. There were three lit candles. Shadows and light were dancing as the flames flickered in the wind, but I was not focused on any one of them. Instead I just stared blankly into the night. As I looked on, there was no joy in my heart. There was no spring in my step.Instead the expressions on my face matched the thoughts in my mind which ranged from sadness, numbness, anger, hurt, rage, fear, and back to sadness again. The cold windy weather perfectly matched the heaviness in my heart. And then . . . 3 weeks and 3 days later . . . there was
. . . a breakthrough.One of the boys - represented by a flame on one of the burning candles - was found! Found? Yes, Found. (It is days later as I write this, and I still get goose bumps, and tears in my eyes at everything this word encompasses - this small word "found') 10 years! The last time we saw him, he was 9 years old with light hair and thin build, strong willed boy with an incredulous smile. The last time we saw him he was just a child in grade school, and now he is a young man. But I am getting ahead of myself, ahead of my story. One night I was standing on the deck of my house crying for three boys missing from our family. And it was 3 weeks and 3 days later that the breakthrough came. It started late one night with a promise to my sister of pictures. And the very next day three tiny pictures were e-mailed to her. She actually got a recent picture of each boy. She forwarded those pics to me, and I kept them open on my computer all day long. I would just stare at the screen, studying their faces, wishing I could see a little more clearly, wishing the picture was just a little better. Cry? Oh, Yes I cried! I could not stop the tears, nor did I really want to. Although the three pictures were not close ups, I could tell that their eyes are the same from what I remembered back 10 years ago. More tears welled up, and I tried to not hope. Whenever hope surfaced, I tried to shove it back down again, tried to keep it 'under control.' What if it ends with the pics and the trail goes cold again? And then two days later as I'm dashing about the house before running out the door for work, my sister called me. I was not at all upset about a delay, because she was calling to report that she made contact with her oldest son. They talked online webcam for 3 hours that night into the morning. Again, I cried (I'm crying even as I write this). My emotions were all over the place! There was relief, happiness for my sister, angst of how my Nephew was dealing with everything, and there was joy. There was still this teeter totter between hope and fear, and fearing to hope. I don't think there is a way to describe how I felt, honestly. It was as if all the emotions that have been bottled up or swept under the rug for the past 10 years surfaced - all at once. 10 years worth of emotion is A TON of emotions to suddenly be stampeding my direction. The story goes on. The next night I get another call from my sister. They talked again that day for over an hour. Things were sounding more positive, and I could let hope peek out just a tiny bit. I am happy for her, so very happy. And yet I am reserved in expressing that joy. Because I know that as happy as she is to have contact with her oldest, her pain is just as heavy at not having the same with the younger son. A few more days pass, and I get an invitation on my facebook page from him. You would have thought I was just a schoolgirl again. I was so nervous and excited at the same time. I couldn't sit still, I fidgeted all day long, I kept daydreaming, and I kept thinking back to all those good time memories. I was feeling hopeful. At first I was afraid we would lose him again, but that one little electronic invitation seemed to push that fear out of the picture. I was able to actually write to him after all those years. What do I write to a 19 year old boy without sounding as if I'm 100% mush? I have this overwhelming want to just hug him. To hug him (and I know I'm going to cry, just like I am now), hug him so very tight. He's living in a different state than we do, and communication so far has been him and my sister via internet. This past weekend it was my turn. I finally got to see him too! It was so very cool and weird at the same time. It was indeed surreal. It was so good to see his smile again! And his voice ... lol ... it is not the voice of the 9 year old boy (for which I am certain he is thankful). But that is okay with me, as long as I'll have the privilege to keep on hearing it
Especially since 3 weeks and 3 days before, I was crying as I helplessly watched 3 candles burning.
3 Candles - 3 Weeks and 3 Days later