Love is all there is to hold onto.

Just before evening falls.
Just before evening falls.

My daughter made me cry yesterday. It was that time of day, when light has slipped behind the veil of night and darkness blankets the sky in its enveloping embrace, calling my body to rest. I was lying in bed, breathing deeply, contemplating the pleasure of sleep when I decided to see if Alexis had posted her blog yet. Often, she posts after I have fallen asleep but when I checked my iPad, there her words were. And so were the tears.

They felt refreshing. Cleansing. Full of peace.

And I remembered.

Those days. Back then.

These days. In the here and now.

I remembered the sadness, the fear that my daughters would be lost to me forever. I remembered praying to God, the sun, the moon, the planets, and the sky that my daughters delicate hearts would know peace. That the pain and sorrow and anger that had swept into their lives through my journeying through the abuse of the relationship that had torn our lives apart, would ease, and that they would know — what had happened to me had nothing to do with my lack of love for them. It was all about my lack of love for myself.

And I prayed and I took another step away from the darkness into the light.

When I read my daughter’s post last night, I was reminded that amidst all my fears and sorrow and pain, there was one truth I knew could never be erased from my life — Love is all there is  to hold onto.

I knew that from the moment of his arrest. It wasn’t clear yet, but I knew it, deep, deep down. I knew that to help my daughters, to give them guidance and light on their journey, I had to hold onto love — and let go of all the rest. And to do that, I had to surrender and fall in love with…. myself.

I’d like to say it was ‘easy’, but it wasn’t. The wounded part of me wanted to hold onto my self-loathing. It wanted to keep me ‘safe’ in anger.

But there was no safety in my anger. There was no love in self-loathing.

And so, I had to let go.

Alexis writes about the first time we chatted on the phone after he was arrested. I remember that call so well. I remember looking at the phone, wondering ‘should I call?’. Dare I?

And then, getting up from the table, walking the few short steps to where the phone sat, its little red light blinking, calling me to pick it up. It was mid-afternoon. The sun was streaming into the room. I could feel the molecules separating as they hit my skin. I remember telling myself to quit thinking about it and just do it.

and I did.

Pick up the phone. And in that one phone call, Love flooded into my heart. It rushed into the space between us and filled every breath and word and thought.

It wasn’t a smooth ride. There were moments when my daughters’ anger seared my skin and I wanted to run away and hide. Moments when my heart hurt so much I could barely breathe. But I knew. I knew that if I just kept holding out my arms. If I just kept giving them space to feel their feelings, emote their emotions in safe and loving ways then the anger and pain and sorrow and fear would flow free and we would be left with the only thing left to hold onto, Love.

In the absence of all else, only Love remains.

Ten years later, I read my daughters words and I felt Love flow freely. There is no pain and anger, no sorrow or regret or even fear to hold onto.

There is only the one thing that remains when I surrender all that was and fall into all that remains when I let go of holding onto the past, to fear or regret or all my “I wish I’d…”s, and release my heart to flow freely in what is true today and always has been and always will be —  Love is all there is to hold onto.

16 thoughts on “Love is all there is to hold onto.”

  1. Your daughter is an amazing writer. And I know where she gets it! So fun! Our daughters are about the same age and they both have a blog here on wordpress! Brooke’s is:
    I’ve made my share of mistakes with her too! Most recently my little blip thinking I needed a DO OVER. My story was the opposite of yours… As she was growing up, she thought I could do no wrong. I’d taught her about dodging the speeding bullets in the form of allowing abuse and she listened and knew my story but was shocked when I entertained the idea of even letting the “guy in my story” to have one toe back into my life. (Our kids are so much wiser old souls than their old moms sometimes… hey?) I am not proud of my valleys and I don’t think that just because my children are grown, I don’t have to be the same “shining example” they thought I was all these years but the “surprise” is we are ALL imperfect. Though it’s hard for us when our kids have to find out in one biggy swoop of an example.
    The gift is when they forgive us!
    I have to admit that I thought that my world had changed forever the day my daughter found out in such a dramatic way that I can also make pretty stupid and BIG mistakes. But I love that I raised a sweet girl that can learn from me and move past my mistakes and love me in spite of them.
    Louise, I think our daughters are a great reflection on what we did right! Once again I don’t feel so alone because you share here.
    Thank you!


    1. wow! I checked out Brooke’s blog and she, like her mother, is amazing!

      Forgiveness is so powerful isn’t it Diane? I remember thinking I would never forgive myself for what I had done to them, and in the same breath, thinking, I must work hard for their forgiveness… duh! to be open to their forgiveness I had to forgive myself.

      And I love that ‘our daughters are a great reflection of what we did right’ — so true and heart-warming.

      Thank you for sharing your story Diane — you inspire me too! Hugs


  2. What a beautiful daughter you have and how beautiful the love you have for each other.
    Having shared such a stormy time apart and yet come through to the other side together with such love shining through………. what a joy you must now feel to have each other!


    1. Thank you Elizabeth. When I phoned my youngest daughter on the 21st to ask… do you have plans tonight. I’m celebrating 10 years of freedom, she immediately cancelled her plans to come and join me in celebration. As she was leaving, she said, I love you and I’m glad you’re alive. — I am truly blessed. My daughters teach me every day the power of forgiveness, gratitude and Love. Hugs.


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