It Will Work Out

On a whim, I went to see Jack this week. I don’t know what I was expecting.

I won’t lie. It kind of sucked.

The little boys whined on the long drive there. They were bored. It was too far away, et cetera.

When we arrived, Jack ran out to the car and hopped in. I told the assistant house manager we were going to get fries. We got fries. Jack was calm. He looked older, taller, and skinnier to me.

We stopped at the park near his house where he ate his food while the little boys wandered around. It was hot.

I looked at Jack sitting in the shade on the grass eating his fries and I felt a dual wave of love and sadness rise within me. He’s my son, but he’s not mine anymore. I don’t take care of him on a daily basis. He’s changing and I’m not there to see the subtle shifts—only the jarring ones after periods of time between visits.

What did I expect? Jack didn’t run to embrace me. He didn’t take selfies with me. He didn’t tell me stories about his new life.

He can’t do those things.

He is my same Jack, the one who is nonverbal, who doesn’t behave typically, who is disabled enough to warrant living somewhere else with full time caregivers.

When we returned to his home, he opened the sensory presents we brought. We wandered outside and sat on the porch with him. But after a few minutes he was agitated. He didn’t know what to do with us. I tried doing bubbles and play doh with him. I offered him a ring pop. He didn’t want to be touched.

When he did tongue face and banged his head against his elbow, I saw that we were disturbing his routine. We were a wrench in his afternoon and it was stressing him out.

I spoke with the director and the assistant house manager about Jack’s care. I gave him a hug. As we walked out the door, he looked over his shoulder at me from the couch. I blew him a kiss and told him I love him. He blew me a kiss. Charlie said “I love you, Jacky.”

We got in the car and Jack watched from the window as we drove away.

Leaving a second time didn’t feel any better than the first time. It was a bitter draught, a gut punch. It hurt.

The landscape between Jack’s town and ours is beautiful. I hadn’t really noticed it coming home the first time five weeks ago because I was at that time emotionally gasping for air. I was still emotional this time, but I felt the scenery helped salve my raw soul.

“Life is so painful,” I thought.

I held onto this thought: the only thing that’s getting me through this endless cluster cuss of sadness is the fact that Jesus made sure that Jack has a full, complete, whole life ahead after this mortal hardship. He will get to live a life that isn’t suppressed or limited. All the unfairness will be gone.

Anticipating that day is hopeful. It brought me peace when I felt wrung out by the pain of Jack’s current existence.

At the halfway mark on the drive home, I got the distinct impression that all the crappy things about Jack’s life are a deliberate part of his mortal journey. They are earning him his reward.

God knew I felt awful about all of it. He shined the saturated light of a summer afternoon on the canyon walls around me, lifting my spirit and reminding me that Jack’s potential goes way beyond the limits of today.

He showed me it will be okay.

  15 comments for “It Will Work Out

  1. Mia
    June 24, 2017 at 10:49 am

    I’m glad you guys got to see him! And I love your reminders of life after this ❤️

  2. Lauren
    June 24, 2017 at 11:01 am

    I’m going to get fries today and think of you and Jack.

  3. Natali Thompson
    June 24, 2017 at 11:44 am

    You are so amazing Megan. ❤

  4. Debbie and David Tiek
    June 24, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Thank you Megan.

  5. Missy Poppenger
    June 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    As I read this my heart is so heavy for you. Thank you for sharing this. But God is so good and HE will sustain you through all of this. You are loved

  6. Blue
    June 24, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Oh Megan!


  7. Kerri
    June 24, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    I’m grateful you had some moments of peace from heaven to salve your soul. I’m sorry it’s so hard.

  8. Bob M
    June 24, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    My older brother was incarcerated starting at age 15, and we visited him in various locations around California for the next six years. Not very regularly I’m afraid. Even as a preteen and then teenager, I remember how odd it seemed to me to watch him grow in short leaps. Different circumstances for sure, yet your story reminds me of those emotions.

  9. Barb
    June 24, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    My mama heart is physically aching for you as the tears flow. This life IS so painful. And beautiful, too. Thank you for sharing both.

  10. Ann Cannon
    June 25, 2017 at 7:19 am

    You are so wise. So full of light.

  11. Nevada
    June 25, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Bittersweet. My heart aches for you. Life is so painful! God bless you Megan. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  12. June 25, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Thank you again for sharing this journey. I am better for it. Love you, as always!

  13. Catherine Ethington
    June 25, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Just as Jack is earning his reward, so are you. And what a grand one it will be, I have no doubt. Well done for doing the hard and then having to keep doing. You’re doing it beautifully and I love you.

  14. Hkgrob
    June 25, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Thank you for writing about all of this. It’s like we all get to go with you to visit Jack, and then we all have to leave with you. I hope that you someday understand how generous you have been to take us on your journey.

  15. Jennie
    June 26, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing Megan. Love.

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