Waiting Out The Storm: A Lesson From My Puppy

On a day filled with thunderstorms and torrential rains, we sit in the bedroom. Clementine, my 11 month old puppy, is curled in a ball at my feet. The television news warns viewers this storm could produce hail and possibly tornado activity. Stay inside! Take cover! Threats to life and property!

Clementine remains perfectly still, simply curled up at my feet. As the thunder booms and the lights flicker, she lifts her head, looks around, and gently snuggles back against my toes. She is not afraid.

I consider my own state today as these storms build outside my window. Do I feel frightened? I do.

But the weather I fear cannot be identified by radar. The imminent storm of the legal system and its affect on my 21 year old bipolar son is what I fear. He waits inside a 6 X 9 foot cell on the other side of town. He’s been waiting since March 28. He still does not know his fate.

The thunder booms each time my phone rings and I fear it is his attorney calling to tell me the dreaded sentence he will face. Each time the lights flicker my own eyes blink at the thought of losing him to the labyrinth of the state correctional institution in which he is currently housed. How long will they keep him inside? How long will he serve time for a manic mistake? He had been spiraling downward for two years. He had been denying his bipolar diagnosis. He had not been medicated, instead medicating himself with drugs and alcohol. This dark cloud overhead will not pass today. It will not blow out to sea. It will follow us for a long time as we wait for his sentence.

If only I could curl up like Clementine. Just curl up and shut my eyes and wait it out.

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