I'm in bed reading. I want to turn the light off and go to sleep, but my son Callum hasn’t arrived home from work yet. I glance at the clock every now and then and wonder where he is. Then just when I am about to text him to make sure he’s okay, I hear his car pull up on the driveway. I hear the key in the lock, a bag falling to the floor, a few footsteps on the tiles outside my bedroom, and then a knock at my door.

Callum comes in and sinks onto the edge of the bed. 

“I was worried about you,” I say.

“Sorry, Mum. I should have texted you. So many problems…”

“Bad day?”

“It was the worse day I’ve ever had.”

“Worse than yesterday?”

Callum nods and then his head sinks into his hands. “A man died in the car park today.”

A man died in his car while waiting for his wife to finish her shopping.

I crawl out of bed and wrap my arms around my son. He puts his head on my shoulder and puts his arms around me too. We hold each other tightly.

“I had to deal with the ambulance and the police and the wife. She was so distraught.”

I can no longer protect my son from the pain of the world. He’s grown up. He’s out there on his own. And my heart aches for him.

We sit together quietly for a while. Then Callum says, “I’ll be okay.” I release him from our embrace, and he gets up from the bed. “I suppose I’d better go and get something to eat.” 

Callum stops at the door and turns around. “Thanks, Mum.” He manages a small smile. "Thanks for the hug."

I can’t put things right however much I want to. But I can hug. Sometimes a mother’s hug makes all the difference.  

“Can I have a hug please, Mum?” 

I open my arms. "Of course."
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  1. I'm so sorry. But I feel blessed by this post as your son was blessed with a mama's embrace when he needed it. I will say a prayer for the grieving wife.

  2. Elizabeth,

    We've been thinking a lot about the lady who lost her husband. She didn't get a chance to say goodbye. How distraught she must be. It affected Callum in many ways. He knew the couple as customers, and then to witness death and not be able to do anything about it, and to see a wife grieving... Your prayer for her is appreciated! Thank you.

    A mama's embrace? Our arms are meant to enfold our children, to provide a safe place. Yes, a real blessing. I love being hugged by my own mother.

    Thank you so much for stopping and commenting.

    God bless you!

  3. I always think of 'home' as a safe place to land when the world gets rough. You've obviously accomplished that for your family, and I think that's wonderful :)

    1. Angela,

      "I always think of 'home' as a safe place to land when the world gets rough." That is exactly how I want my children to think of home! I guess it's the one place where they know they will be accepted and loved unconditionally.

      Andy and I often describe our home as our safe haven from the world, because even adults need a place to retreat to when things get overwhelming.

      I hope you're enjoying your new home, your own safe place!

  4. Poor guy. Poor wife.

    Your son will have so many lessons from this situation to help for the rest of his life.....but the one that I think will stick will be compassion. God gave him a great opportunity to live out the Works of Mercy.

    I will pray for your boy and the couple, too.

    My 15yo boy is going through some hard times emotionally (self-caused) and I am so grateful that even when he is so "mad" at me....he still wants to be hugged.

    God bless you and yours, Sue!

    1. Chari,

      Yes, we all learn so much from the difficult things that happen to us. We stand by and watch our children struggle and become hurt, but we know that's how it's meant to be. Not easy!

      Thank you for your prayers, Chari. I will pray for your son and your family too.

      Hugs are such a blessing. Our arms were just made for giving them. It's amazing how a hug can help. I remember times when I've been so sorrowful and Andy has enclosed me in his arms and I've wanted to stay there forever, in that safe place. So glad we can help our children with hugs!

  5. My eyes are "leaking"; what a sad but beautiful post. You have an amazing son there. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Multi-tasking Mama,

      Amazing son? Like most mothers I do my share of complaining about my children. They might be too messy or slow or lazy or whatever... But when they are hurting, none of that matters. I just love them exactly as they are. In a way, these moments when our children need the comfort of a mother's hug are very special. Bit hard to put into words. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say!

      Thank you so much for sharing my post!

  6. Oh it's times like that , that we are privileged to be a mum. It gave me goosebumps as Callum shared with you. Such a huge thing for him to be part of. Leanne

    1. Leanne,

      I was so pleased Callum came to see me as soon as he came home. He didn't even take the time to remove his boots or say hello to the rest of the family. Yes, it's a privilege indeed to be a mother, and good to know that, even though our children grow up, we still have a role in their lives. They still need their mum.

      God bless!


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