Warriors

Something about this day reminds me of a day a few years back. I drove the youngest, just sixteen at the time, to drama practice. We didn’t speak out our angry, hurting words, and a twenty minute drive felt like driving nails into our dying relationship.

We’d recently learned that our youngest had chosen drugs over life and a future.

That last sentence makes my bones ache.

We lived through that battle. We lived through five years of that horrific battle, and now we’re more than five years out.

Our youngest fought all the way back to life, and I’m grateful.

But those memories.

They’re like a stain I can’t remove in a garment I’ll never throw out.

The value of those lessons, the scars that remind us of battles won, the healing- all of them woven in like patterns in fabric.

I fight new battles now, and I find it’s much harder to fight just for myself. I wrap myself in worry and weary and somehow, forget battles won. Defeat becomes a name. But then, I get a reminder, a game changer.

Today, this song is the reminder, and the words are like putting on armor, reminding me I’m not alone. They’re weapons at the ready, clashing with the challenges faced. They’re life giving, breathing life back into the warrior, giving life and breath and strength for the fight today.

Memory verses from that battle for the loved child are dusted off and added for this battle weary soul. They’re re-breathed and re-lived and the they’re soul re-newing.

Here’s the song- because maybe you’re battle weary too. You’re not alone. Fight the the good fight.

We’re not defeated. This is how we fight our battles.

We are warriors on our knees.

Ragamufffins?

The telephone’s ringing woke me from late evening tv sleep. The oldest son’s name glowed, backlit by the screen. His voice is deeper and softer than the other two.

“Momma, do you remember ever calling us ragamufffins?”

What? No. Sleep clogged my memory bank. Had I? I hoped not. Where’d I heard the word last?

A silly conversation between my son and daughter-in-law had led to the phone call.

After we’d sorted out the memory and searched for a definition of the word, I’d concluded, no, we’d never called our boys ragamufffins. No, we’d straight up used the word orphan, which the beloved son then remembered. Yes. That was it. Orphan.

A ragamuffin or an orphan is someone who doesn’t belong. That’s not always bad. Not in the way we usually define those words. Sometimes, they’re just people who are not caught in this world. They belong to another, to a greater being, to a higher power.

I shook my head, sighing as we ended the call. Great, just great. Good job, mom. Of all the child rearing triumphs and failures, this is one of the memories that sort of stuck..

Thirty minutes after the phone call, I remembered my last run-in with the word ragamuffin. Rich Mullins and the Ragamuffin Band. I’d shown the movie to my boys a few years earlier and gotten mixed reviews.

Well, I’d liked it. Rich Mullins had been popular in my day. And the movie is good. So, I text my son. Maybe he’d remember the movie, too. Not that the movie really had anything to do with the earlier phone call, but I had a sudden need for him to remember.

This post from a few months back sat drafted and forgotten amid the rush of my work days and my menopausal sleepless nights. Then today, the blue-eyed boy and his bride sat with us for a stolen hour, the last of their Christmas week off before a few hours of driving home.

Have you ever tried to breathe in every moment, like a scent you want to remember? Grown kids move away. Their phone calls become the filler between gasping absences and their visits like our need to breathe.

Ragamufffins? Hardly.