Today I had breakfast with an old friend visiting here from CA. She is one of the very first Moms I spoke with years ago that helped to inspire Mothers Grace.
Mary is the mom of 27 year old Mark, and they have had a long journey together. When Mark was 11 years old he started showing signs of depression and isolation. Mark had struggled through his parents divorce and although he showed signs of very high intelligence and strong academic talents he did not engage.
He soon got into heavy drinking and began a long struggle with his Mother regarding how they thought he should be living. As I listened to Mary’s story I thought of my own boys and how one of my worst fears is not to be able to reach them and for them to go down a similar path like Mark. Maryanne is smart, beautiful, educated, accomplished, and professional and most of all she has so much love for her son. Ever since we met when my boys were just babies she has relayed this passion for Mark in her eyes, words and most of all her actions. When Mark was in High School he threatened suicide and made several failed attempts. The police were called in for Mark several times. Mary did everything, got him therapy, tried to get him enrolled in college, tried medication, he kept living a life of crisis. He hung out with the wrong friends, got fired from jobs, kicked out of apartments, broke up with girlfriends and basically floundered for 6 years after high school refusing an education. All during this time Mary practiced unconditional love, tough love, then no love (no communication). This ruled her life and health for these years as even if your child is far away and not communicating the fear of “that phone call” is with you daily”. Mary told me that, “most of my friends and family were always ready to step in and criticize me for doing too much for Mark” but can you imagine if it was your own child how does one walk away from that kind of love? During this time of intense struggle with her own son Mary’s own Mother was murdered, in what they believe to have been a house burglary. Not only was Mary dealing with the agony and worry of her son’s issues now she had lost her own Mother tragically. She continued to work towards resolutions for her son, she went to work each day and pushed through and did not give up.
Yesterday at breakfast my first question to Mary was “how is Mark”? She took the next 10 minutes to tell me that 6 months before his 25th birthday she gave him an ultimatum. “You either enroll in school full time, or join the military”. He chose the latter and reported for basic training for the military the following year. Ever since he has been happy, gave up drinking and because of his phenomenally high score on the placement test had his choice of assignments and was able to rise to recognition in a highly technical field. He texted his Mom last week just to say “I love you” and he finally feels for the fist time in his life he is EXACTLY where he should be and has never regrets his decision for a moment. Mark had always been a beautiful boy, full of high intelligence, love, and compassion and close to his mom. In the end has flourished and lived up to his potential..with the love and support of a beautiful Mother. Another wonderful example of a Mother’s Grace sticking with your child through thick and thin reading, researching, praying, loving and making tough decisions for the health and happiness of your child.
“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”
― Mother Teresa