March 8, 2009

Killing The Fatted Calf

I have to unpack my suitcase sometime. I've been stepping around it all weekend, unable to open it and replace my things into my drawers.

We were supposed to go to Naples on Friday night. The days had been taken off of work, lesson plans were written; I had my hair cut, a manicure and pedicure. Our dog, Henry, and two kitties, Minou and Samantha, were boarded at the vet's. The limousine was coming to pick us up at 4:10 a.m. for a 6:30 a.m. flight out of Chicago's O'Hare airport.

Friday was an anxious day from the beginning. My son woke up at 5:00 a.m. crying. (I haven't seen him cry since he was six.) His girlfriend and he were having troubles; this, on top of the joy he feels about school. I prayed for him on my way to school, and called my parents to ask them to do the same.

By 9:00 Friday night, he wasn't home from work at the corner grocery store. At 11:00 p.m. he still wasn't here. At 2:00 a.m. I called his girlfriend who hadn't seen him. At 3:00 a.m. we cancelled the limo. At 3:30 a.m. he called to say, "This is a courtesy call. I'm all right."

I haven't seen him, or heard from him, since.

Who know where he is? Who's boarding him? Why has he refused to come home? I've spent the weekend fluctuating between anxiety and anger. He must be hurting dare he do this to us?

To top it all off, our furnace broke yesterday. The circuit board arced, there was a terrible burning smell, and we are freezing until Monday when it can be fixed. Did we stay home in case our house burned down?

I opened Our Daily Bread Saturday morning. The verse passage was from Romans 5:1-11. Following the scripture is this text:

"Franklin Graham regrets it now, but in his youth he was wild and rebellious. One day he went roaring up to his dad's house on his Harley Davidson motorcycle to ask for some money. Dressed in his leathers, dusty and bearded, he burst into his father's living room-and walked right into a meeting of Billy's executive board.

Without hesitation, Billy Graham identified Franklin as his son. Then he proudly introduced him to every member of the board. Billy did not apologize for his son to show any shame or guilt. Franklin wrote later in his autobiography, Rebel With a Cause, that the love and respect his father gave him that day never left him, even during his rebellious years.

Our children don't have to earn our love. To withhold love for our own selfish purposes is to follow the enemy, not God. God's love for us is undeserved. We did nothing to earn it; no good in us merited us...In all our relationships, especially with our children, we must genuinely show that same kind of love."

Imagine that text appearing just when I needed it most?!

My father says, every time we're going to get together, "I've killed the fatted calf for you." He's referring to the story of the Prodigal Son, who came home in rags to find his father's open arms. I've never flaunted my father's love, being extra appreciative of it because of my adoption, but the expression's meaning remains the same: I love you unconditionally, and I want to show you how much."

When my son comes home, I want to be able to hold out a plate of beef for him.


  1. Oh sweetie, my heart is breaking for you! I can't imagine the worry you must be going through right now. And I hope that I will always be the kind of wonderful mom you're showing me here. Your son is very lucky...and I'm willing to bet he knows that.

  2. oh, I am so sorry. I am praying for your family right at this moment! I can imagine the worry, as my son is the same age as yours. I know the emotions that want to strangle, not show mercy and love.

    But God is good and those words from Franklin Graham were so good! I am always in awe when God brings me scripture/words that are exactly what I needed to hear, He's so good at that!

    I loved what your dad says...but especially the meaning behind it!

    Praying that God would fill you up and help you be exactly what your son needs right now.

    btw, I got the book! thank you so much. i can't wait to read it!

    oh, my word verification is "scary". It is scary being a parent sometimes....that's when I am so thankful to have such a big God to hold on to!!

  3. Ms. GeorgeMarch 08, 2009

    Oh, Bellezza,
    I'm without words, except for those raised in prayer for you and your son. Faith. Hope. Love.
    Take care!

  4. Sandy NawrotMarch 08, 2009

    Sometimes kids just do a number on us. Mine are doing a number on me, and they are much younger than yours. However, you are a well-balanced, God fearing person, and I know this will transfer to your son in the end. I will send good karma your way, friend. He will find his way.

  5. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this :( I hope your son goes home soon. He is indeed lucky to have you.

  6. Oh Bellezza, I'm so sorry you're having to go through this and that your son is going through a rough time. I guess that's how he deals with it despite the fact that it does nothing to help your sanity. We all wish we could just disappear sometimes...I guess he just has the gall to do it, lol. I'm sure he'll turn up soon when he's ready and he'll be one lucky boy to have you there for him. Hugs.

  7. How heartbreaking for all of you. I hope that your son comes home to you soon and you are able to be together as a family talking through the issues.

    It is amazing how just the right thing that you need to see or hear turns up exacltly when you need it.

  8. samantha.1020March 08, 2009

    I guess things happen for a reason. Good for you that you are willing to be forgiving..if more people were that way the world would be a better place.

  9. I'm very sorry to hear about what you are going through. Hopefully, he is safe, wherever he is, and hopefully he is getting the mental break and "alone time" he needs. My thoughts are with you.

  10. ms-teacherMarch 08, 2009

    Last week-end I was dealing with what you are dealing with as well. My daughter left home on Thursday and would not return my phone call nor any of my text messages.

    I finally heard from her on Monday, but spent most of the week-end worried that something had happened to her. Our kids won't understand that kind of worry until they are parents themselves. I hope that he returns home soon and that he learns that problems are best fixed with the help from people who care about you the most!

  11. TheChicGeekMarch 09, 2009

    Oh, Bellezza, sounds like you had a really rough weekend. You know, teenagers and young adults can be so difficult. I think it's the WORST time in any parents' life. I will keep you and your son in my prayers this week. I know I certainly was there with my son. At one time I was so worried about him, he was crying and struggling with many issues. I just kept loving him and eventually came through. Your son will be back, and most likely, a better man from the lessons learned.

  12. Princess HaikuMarch 09, 2009

    Dear Bellezza,
    I am so sorry that you are going through this difficult time. The good news is that your son called and said he was okay; I would hold on to that. And yes, parenthood teaches us to embrace the most contradictory of feelings.

  13. Gina againMarch 09, 2009

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. I have been in your shoes and I know how miserable it is. You will be in my prayers.

  14. Oh dear. I'm so sorry you are going through this very difficult time right now. Stay strong. He called, and he will be back when he can work it out. Trust him. All my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  15. As an overly protective big brother of an energetic young sister, I imagine the shock, because I have experienced it to one summer, when she went out without calling and I had to search for her and was an inch from tying her to a chair for the rest of summer. I am so happy that you can take this the non violent way, but to be frank he deserves a wee of punishment. I mean he ruined your weekend, so a bit a reminder that though hurting you shouldn't hurt others is in stall.

  16. qugrainne.comMarch 09, 2009

    soso sorry Bellezza.
    I hope he has found his way home now.

  17. SuziQoregonMarch 09, 2009

    Oh sweetie - sending much love and hugs your way.

  18. Ok, it sounds like it was some Divine Intervention preventing you from leaving- your son needed you and you didn't want your house to burn down.
    Give him a hug when you see him. My mom always says to me when my girls are giving me fits, "It's when they are the most difficult that our children need us the most."
    Strength and Faith, my friend.