Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Child Who Was Saved From Himself

"When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place." ~ Unknown

Everyone who knows me well also knows that I have three children by birth, and one by soul connection. The latter is the grandson of one of my dearest friends, and somehow, he has always been like a son to me.

As a child, he has always been overly controlled by his mother, and grew up despising authority in every form – in his mind, rules are synonymous of control, and he won’t have any of it. After being crushed most of his young life he finally hit the infamous teen years, and decided he was done with it.

From that day on, he rebelled against everything, and came into constant conflicts with his mother. Suddenly, the subdued little child turned into a punk teenager, ready to fight anyone who got in his way. After he ran away from home several times, his mother decided she was done with him too, and practically threw him out on the street - not before telling him one final time that he would never amount to anything in his life.

He found shelter at his grandparents’ home, and although the original adjustment was a bit rough for all involved, they all finally settled into a living arrangement everyone was comfortable with. During one of the crisis, I told my friend how much I admired her efforts, and her only reply to me was: “Regardless of how he is behaving now, he is my grandson, and I love him.”

Somehow, rather than being swept into the drama of the current situation, she and her husband kept their focus on what was truly important. At the time his mother threw him out, he was a child slightly older than fifteen, freshly dropped out of high-school, with no car, no money, and no job; he was certainly not able to care for himself.

My friend and her husband accepted him for who he is. They never tried to change him, and showed him that love is powerful enough to rise above differences of style or opinion. They both knew that he was at risk of running away again, and would have easily become another face on the list of missing children.

I know there were many times my friend was ready to give up, but if she hadn’t hung on, she would have missed the opportunity she finally had to see her beloved grandson graduate high-school; if she had given up on him, she never would have heard of his current plans to attend culinary school.

When her boy was lost, she turned off her immediate vision of the obvious, and focused instead on the light she knew still existed in him. She fed that tiny light a little each day, until it grew and strengthened on its own. Although her eyes showed her a little ugly duckling, through her heart she saw the beautiful swan hiding within.

She held on to her vision, and allowed time and love to take care of the rest. And a child was saved from himself.

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