RESTORATION// The action of returning something to a former place, or condition.
I remember the day well, it was a defining moment in my life, but it did not DEFINE me. I was a freshman in High School and the youngest of four kids. We were raised by a single mom, who was on the heels of her 5th failed marriage. I have two older sisters from a different father and my brother and me have the same dad.
My mom owned a little nail salon where she was a manicurist in a small town outside of Ft. Worth called Haltom City. She had other employees that rented rooms from her; a massage therapist, esthetician, and tanning room. This is how she put food on the table and a roof over our head. Everyday I would get a ride to her shop in order to help her. I would clean the tanning bed for her and answer the phones for her if she needed to run to the store. This particular day instead of going to her shop I went home, as I walked through the door the phone rang.
I answered it and one of my mom’s clients was in a panic and asked me if I had seen my mom. I told her no, because I had come straight home instead of going to her shop. This client that I was talking to had known my mom for a couple years. She had been coming to my mom to get her nails done and often spent late nights drinking with her. Her concern for my mom had me convinced that I needed to head up to her shop.
This was not the first time we had to call 911 concerning someone in my family. We had the police at our house several times because of my mom’s boyfriends or other situations.
I hung up the phone and immediately called my oldest sister to see if we could both go to the shop. When we arrived the doors were locked. My mom had owned her own business for years. The only way she made money was to keep her doors open because she took walk-ins. I knew in my heart something wasn’t right.
My mom started drinking at a very young age. She drank to wake up in the morning and drank to go to sleep. She kept a little pink glass of tequila right beside her on her desk all day long while she worked on her client’s nails. My mom drank to ease the pain. If we were to drill down into the reservoir of the ache my mom felt, we would find her need for true love.
In the front of my mom’s shop was a huge window and painted on it in bright colors was my mom’s prices for nails and the number for clients to call and make an appointment. I peaked through the glass and on the desk I could see a letter written on a piece of paper in black marker.
My mom always left us notes. We were at home a lot by ourselves because she worked long hours. She would write us notes in order to communicate to us.
This note said, “I’m sorry I have disappointed you. I love each of you very much. ______ (husband's name) I’m sorry I couldn’t be everything you wanted me to be. Love mom”
Reading that note felt like eternity, I was so scared. I began to hit the glass, and yell, “MOM, MOM, open the DOOR NOW!!”
After about 5 minutes of trying to get my mom’s attention, but no response my sister and I called the police.
The guy in the letter, was my mom’s 5th husband. Let me tell you, out of all the men that came through our front door he had to have been the worse. I think in some ways she had met her match. He used her, and was constantly making her sad or upset. Usually the tables were reversed. My mom was never okay with not being in control, but this was only because she was constantly choosing men who were insecure and immature. She did not understand her value or worth, so she was always choosing men who didn’t either. It was a vicious cycle of heartbreak after heartbreak.
The police arrived and moved my sister and I out of the way and got a crow bar and began to break open the door. I pushed my way through the police and began to run down the hall.
I ran down the hallway of her shop and around every corner I wasn’t sure what I was going to find. I rounded the last corner to find my mom sitting on the floor with an empty bottle of wild turkey and small pistol. My mom had drunk herself into a deep pit that day. She couldn’t hear or see us, though her eyes were open, she sat there in silence and unaware. I was so unbelievably sad that day, my mom had never tried to give up. She had been dealt a lot of hurt in her life as well as had a lot of blessing, but the pain of her decisions had brought her to her lowest moment. She had reached her pit and wanted to give up.
We called the ambulance and the paramedics assisted my mom on to a stretcher. She didn’t move a muscle. She was paralyzed with pain and confusion. The small glimmer of hope my mom had was gone from her in that moment. She had allowed the weight and pressures of life to sink her.
As the ambulance drove off, my heart sank. What little stability I had was rolled away and taken to the 7th floor of John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth.
After my mom was taken to the hospital, my sister and I stayed behind and closed up her shop. My mamaw came and picked me up and took me to the family lake house. I remember sitting on the deck with my feet in the water and feeling really depleted. I had really had enough of the chaos and was ready for something to change. I was contemplating not going back home and staying and living with my mamaw and papaw and finishing school with them. Honestly, I felt really scared about the future. I had already lost touch with my dad, but loosing my mom felt like a real blow to the gut. A couple days passed and my mom called the lake house and asked for me.
My mom began to tell me that she had an amazing encounter with a doctor at the hospital and he asked if she had a bible or went to church. We didn’t own a bible to my knowledge growing up. I never saw my mom reading her bible. She began to tell me that God was helping her. She came home from the hospital and got in touch with a pastor who had a bible and she had been reading it. She had been praying and asking God to help her. I was very intrigued, but skeptical too.
When I hung up the phone from having the conversation with my mom, I actually felt a little change already happening. I wanted my mom to get better and I wanted to see her do it. I began to believe her and decided to come home and find out more of what she was talking about. Even though I was reluctant to totally believe any of it would last, I was hopeful that something was going to change.
God does not want to leave us hopeless. He did not create us to live lives that are full of sadness and hate. Life brings sorrow, but God is not the author of the sorrow. If you are experiencing a parent that is struggling with hopelessness, I want you to know that God has not left you. Your parents broken marriage is not your fault. You are not the reason anyone left. Whatever your circumstance, God sees you. He wants to encourage you and fill you with life. After that phone call with my mom I walked out to the dock on the lake and sat down. My whole story was about to change and God was going to begin the process of bringing order and healing to my life. I believe God wants to do that for you too. It was going to take a miracle from God to change our lives and my mom’s life, but God was working that out. A miracle was in motion.