My older son Liam and his girlfriend Annie stole me away to their new mountain dwelling in Glenwood Springs on top of a hill. But really it was I who did the stealing, asking if I could spend the night after we had dinner in town on Superbowl night. I knew I would be leaving the next day after the breakfast we planned to have with his younger brother and father. I just wanted one-on-one time with him.
Of course they said yes!
Once inside their cozy sweet nest, I realized how far he had come in the nearly five years since our lives unraveled. Two years ago he somehow found a kind soul partner to mature and grow with, which I partly attribute to his emotional healing too. He did much of his own healing on his own. I sometimes forget how young he is. In a way, he has lived many lives.
They were in massage school together in Boulder, graduating last summer from an accelerated program. Alternative medicine, treatments, and nutrition were my obsession and our way of life during his formative years. Cranial sacral therapy and massage for his scoliosis helped eased the discomfort from his curvature and rapidly growing body. So his career choice did not surprise me at all.
Following his heart was challenging, as he had to buck his father and the pressure to become a 4th generation engineer. Yet he did it, despite the criticism and doubt coming from his dad.
Not only that, he had a second chance at life after a serious accident. Careening down a mountain road on a snowy evening in our ol’ beater Yukon XL (dubbed The Beast) with a friend, just outside of Nederland, he lost control and nearly met his fate in the nether reaches of a canyon. A solid Ponderosa pine tree, as strong as a wall, prevented the fall. Drugs and alcohol were likely involved. He drank a drink that wasn’t his at a party. Who knows the truth of the story?
His life slid into a spiral after his dad and I split up, especially after I left for Michigan. This new storyline and persona for him was all new to me. The divorce juggernaut threw him out of character – from the high school superstar I last knew him to be, to a wanderer of the streets, meeting people from all walks of life. Not one of us remained the same. Innocence was lost and we will never be able to go back to who we were.
When do you let your child go? When do you intervene? The slippery path he was on was one of the reasons I sold my house a year after I bought it, and moved back to Boulder. The stories I was getting secondhand were too much to bear, thousands of miles away. This was a decision I’m still kicking myself over. I have been without a home ever since.
One night long ago, I told him seriously that he was at a crossroads. I thought of all the close calls in my life when I was his age. I saw myself as a young adult in him, and now I was the parent to him I never truly had. Like me at his age, he probably just wanted to be seen and heard. We all deal with pain the best way we know how. Don’t we? There are no absolute mistakes. It’s the painful ones that scoot us in another direction.
“Which way are you going? You could have died in the canyon. Is that what you want?” Thank God he chose to straighten up. It’s been hard finding that balance, witnessing my children make decisions that might cause them to stumble and fall. I am ever so grateful when they rise like a star.
More recently, the Universe showed him (and me too!) the preciousness of life. On a run through the backcountry (over the river and through the woods) into town, he found a truck upside down. There was no one inside. Back home, he found a news article saying that a 25-year-old male adventurer and guide went out of control in his truck and died, since he was speeding around tight corners and did not wear a seat belt.
Back to the present…we were tired from the day spent at the therapeutic Yampah Vapor Caves, originally used by the Ute Indians for healing. The mineral-rich steam comes from the Yampah Spring deep underground, and is the same water source that fills the Glenwood Springs Pool, a place we have gone since the boys were small. After descending the staircase, we found our own private room with marble benches, where we sat to relax and heal in the vapors, like the Indians once did. My younger son soon took off for the more familiar heated pool across the street.
We drank our tea and had a “show and tell.” (Be prepared, since it might be hard to wrap your head around this. I hope you’ve had your morning coffee!) My son said, “A woman is born with all the eggs she will ever have in her lifetime. Therefore, you existed in your grandmother’s womb while she was pregnant with your mother, since you were inside your mother as an egg.”
To illustrate this and pass on an interesting truth: Dutch women who were pregnant during the Dutch hunger winter of World War II (when Germany cut off food supplies) were undernourished for parts of their pregnancy. Their grandchildren (carried by their daughters) were of lower birthweight – a second generation effect of starvation.
Here is my thought: If there is a physical change in future generations because of lack, as in this case a lack of food, imagine how other trauma-based experiences like sexual or physical abuse affect future children, even if they are not directly experienced by those children. I find it fascinating how cellular memory is passed on through families until hopefully it is healed. For more information on this subject, read the latest research here.
Annie held up a book and told me with full enthusiasm that it was a “must read.” I was surprised I hadn’t yet, since it was about healing old wounds and myth. We talked about their ideas for their business and I showed them the prototypes I had created for mine. We were so excited to embark on new journeys.
As I laid awake later, I heard the door open. My son spoke to me in the dark and said, “We are so much alike, mom. Thank you for bringing me into the world. I am so grateful for you. Where does our intuition – you know, our gifts – come from?”
I told him that this was part of a new way of being for our family evolution.
“Cool,” he said and quietly shut the door.
In the wee morning hours, I awoke early enough to watch the sun rise and see Mount Sopris greet me from a distance. My son made us coffee and we gently woke up.
Liam and Annie had an Osho Zen Tarot deck on a table near where I sat. They urged me to pull a card. I pulled the card of Completion. I got the confirmation of what I had been witnessing since my visit. Here is Osho’s comment on this card. We all felt the truth of it.
“Here, the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle is being put into its place, the position of the third eye, the place of inner perception. Even in the ever-changing flow of life there are moments in which we come to a point of completion. In these moments we are able to perceive the whole picture, the composite of all the small pieces that have occupied our attention for so long. In the finishing, we can either be in despair because we don’t want the situation to come to an end, or we can be grateful and accepting of the fact that life is full of endings and new beginnings. Whatever has been absorbing your time and energy is now coming to an end. In completing it, you will be clearing the space for something new to begin. Use this interval to celebrate both – the end of the old and the coming of the new.” – Osho