On feeling…

“No matter what challenge has ever come your way I have watched you excel at feeling out the next right thing to do. You don’t ask ‘what now.’ You’re a doer. A feeler. You always have been. And I hope you always will be. So, with that, I will let you go this morning with greater ease than I’d like. I will watch as your little hand slips out of mine, long before I am ready, and long before we get to the place where it’s time to say goodbye. You know what you are supposed to do. And if ever in life you find yourself questioning ‘what now’ or, more importantly, what the right thing is—well, that’s how you know it’s time to let go and feel your way through.” — Britney King, Anywhere With You

This week, pressed for time, and writing from my iPhone, I’m sharing a letter from Anywhere With You. It is a letter written to Jack by his mother prior to her passing.

I’ve heard lots of readers say they aren’t ready to read this one because they don’t want to be sad.

To that I say, sometimes sad is necessary. Sometimes the only way out is through. 

Sometimes just on the other side of sadness, you’ll find understanding. After that, often, liberation. 


Dear Jack,   

You’re sleeping now, your head nestled into my lap. You’ve come down with chickenpox and you’re absolutely miserable. I feel very much the same. 

I hate it when you’re sick. It’s the worst feeling in the world for a mother to watch her child suffer and not be able to fix it. I would do anything to take your misery away and yet I can’t. I know this is just a typical childhood illness and that it’ll pass, but it makes me think of all the mother’s out there who don’t get to be so lucky. 

Watching you suffer makes me consider my own illness and how there are some things in life we just can’t fix. We can only make the best of them.

Someday, and it isn’t a matter of if—but a matter of when— you’ll come across something you want to fix but can’t. Maybe it’s a friend or a girlfriend—or maybe it’ll be your own babies getting sick. So, I want to give you the same advice I need to hear right now. Just sit with it, Jack. Just be there and make the very best of whatever shitty situation it is you can’t fix.

Sometimes just holding that person in your arms is the very best answer. Sometimes, this will fix it—but often it won’t. Hold on anyway. Because what else can you do? Having you has taught me this. It has taught me so many things—and the very best of all of them is the power of love.   

Love you, 

P.S. Hopefully I don’t sound like I’m rambling. This is what tired parents do.

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