I met my son on Saturday! It had been 11,456 days since the first and only time I saw him when he was just 3 weeks old. I spent a glorious hour with him, it was just the two of us.
I was traveling east for a quilt expo, while he was traveling west to get some supplies for his new kiln. We were going to be only an hour apart from each other for the day. I suggested meeting for dinner, before each of us had to head back to our homes, since we were going to be so close. His first response to that suggestion was that it probably wouldn't work. Then on Friday he emailed me that he would text me Saturday afternoon if it looked like the timing would work.
Saturday afternoon I got the text that he could make it work, that we could meet on one condition ~ I could not cry! I didn't think it would be a problem, as I have been unable to cry for years ~ a benefit of living in deep denial for decades, denying my feelings. And from growing up in a hateful house where feelings weren't cared about anyways. I am great at acting like everything is great when in actuality I am falling apart.
We met, appropriately enough, at a town off the interstate with a huge smiley-face water tower. My smile was about as big from the minute I read his text. I was so excited to finally be able to see, touch, hold, and smell my son again.
I got there early, I wanted to be the first to arrive. I found a place to park near the back of the lot, where nobody else was parked. I was so nervous while waiting. Could I pull off not crying? Every vehicle that pulled into the lot made my stomach jump. Would it be uncomfortable? Awkward? What do I need to steer the conversation away from in order to keep my no-crying promise?
30 minutes later, I see his truck pull off the road, and head towards me. Time stopped. He parked next to me, we got out of our vehicles, he walks towards me, hands out saying "this first hug is going to be a dirty one!". I told him I didn't care. That hug was truly the best one I have ever, or will ever get!!
We talked and laughed for an hour. We talked about meeting again, this time with his family. At one point in our conversation, I commented that he was spoiled by his parents. He looked kind of embarrassed and replied yeah, he was. I simply smiled and said "good!". I am so happy that he has wonderful parents, who spoiled him when I could not.
There was not a single uncomfortable moment. It felt so... right. I could not quit staring at him, looking into his eyes, seeing my little boy. He is beautiful, inside & out.
I did not cry, I only felt overwhelming happiness and fullness.
One thing I fully was taken by surprise over, was not expecting, had not thought about. When it came time to leave, we were both in our vehicles. I could not drive away. I could not leave him again. He was going to have to do the leaving this time. I waited for him to pull out of the parking lot. He looked at me, let me know he was waiting for me. I was just getting ready to sign for him to roll his window down, when he gave me a huge smile and a wave and drove away. I followed behind him to the interstate, he headed east, I headed west.
Our journey has come full circle. I truly feel (and hope and pray) that we will continue to move forward, along with his wife & kids, the siblings he didn't grow up with, our extended families.
A friend sent me a text not long after I was back on the road. She wanted to know how I was doing. I replied: I am fine. I am... complete.