August 22, 2010

Wounded

The other night at my parent’s house, my mom told someone that I had an “obsession with the wounded.”

She didn’t intend for it to be a commendation or a criticism, just a statement of fact.

I have been thinking about that phrase since she said it. Am I? Am I obsessed with the wounded? I mean, after all, isn’t your mom supposed to know you better than anyone else in the world?

You know what? I hope I am.

I honestly can’t think of something I would rather be said of me, than that I am obsessed with the wounded.

I’ve wondered before what my legacy will be after I’m gone. What will they say? She was a good mom. She loved teenagers. She acted like a teenager. She was a bit crazy. She loved others with everything she had.

When I was younger – maybe middle school or high school – I frequently found myself feeling like I cared more or deeper about people than anyone around me. Now, let me be clear, I’m not terribly sympathetic or usually empathetic. My boys are much more likely to hear “Suck it up” or “Walk it off” than they are to hear, “Oh no, baby, are you okay? Let me kiss it.” But when I feel a vacuum . . . when it seems like no one else cares, then that’s when I will pour everything I have into the situation. That doesn’t usually work out well for me, just in case you are wondering.

But you know, I would feel as if I had lived a life worth living if my epitaph read, “She had an obsession for the wounded.”

I have felt that obsession. An obsession with the child who has never known the peace and safety of a family. With the teen who’s been rejected so many times she actually believes she’s not worth loving. The young mom who has more children than dollars and who’s barely more than a child herself. The one that no one loved when he was little and who now doesn’t know how to love - no matter how much he wants to. The cantankerous old man who scares people away, but really just wants someone to spend time with him.

Aren’t we all wounded in one way or another? And yet some are defined by their wounds.

I don’t think my mom had any idea the internal turmoil her comment would cause. But I think I have found a motto to live by . . .

“Obsessed with the Wounded”