There is much I could muse on this Monday Morning. Our experience in the natural beauty of the mountains, the wonderful visit from family, perhaps the overwhelming task of unpacking our shipment from India.
Yet in the midst of, well, life really, we were recently compelled to make a vital decision; a decision which Bruce and I just knew in our hearts was right.
Let me back up.
In Monday Morning Emails, Jo and I were honest about the challenges that our children have experienced. Often, the messages sent to us privately ask, ‘How are the ‘kids?’ In truth, they are young adults, and we both knew it was important to share their journey of depression/anxiety and struggles with identity. Why? With the hope it might help other families experiencing similar issues and as a parent, you are never truly at ease until your children are well.
My story in MME began with our middle son, Matt. His struggle echoes other millennials and both Jo and I have friends who also have a twenty-something searching to ‘find their life’.
Matt’s situation brought him to India where he lived with us for a year. Not permitted to work, he instead volunteered and, living in the family home for the first time since he was sixteen (boarding school), he gained confidence and gradually healed.
When we left India, Matt, after a stint of travelling, chose to make a start in Vancouver. ‘Van’ is where our youngest son studies at UBC and on our return to Canada a month ago, we all shared a week together filled with encouraging conversations. It gave us hope that Matt could confidently embark on this next stage of his life. Yet when his bid to re-enter university was unsuccessful, his job-search burdened, and his expensive sublet room amidst strangers stifling, he became overwhelmed.
Back home in Kimberley, Bruce and I sensed that he was struggling and when communication became infrequent, we knew that indecisiveness and loneliness were his worst enemy.
We were certain. We needed to bring him home, there were just too many steps for him to achieve on his own.
We rationalized that there is a college only thirty minutes away, that he can easily work part-time and that there are many engaged young people in this close-knit community. It didn’t have to be forever, we agreed, but this is a good place to build a foundation.
“He needs support and structure,” I told Bruce, “he needs our love.”
During a telephone call, we put our proposal to Matt and immediately sensed his relief.
“I just don’t know if I can do it on my own, without you two,” he admitted. But he also voiced fear that this would feel like failure.
“Remember that message I gave to your brother when he was at his lowest point,” I reassured him. “‘Don’t look back, you’re not going that way’. That will be you Matt… it’s alright, we’re here.”
And so, he is home. He’s already enrolled in college. He’s happy. He’s starting the next chapter of his life. And I am so very thankful, we’re here…