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Miles to Go—They Need Me Every Hour


Okay. Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit in the demands my family places on my time. And certainly I am not nearly able to meet the true needs of those around me, only God is. That being said…

Early this morning, as life was meandering through my limp body in a determined effort to wake one finger and then the next, I heard my bedroom door open. I peeked through one slit of an eye to see my son, Jon*, watching me. Was he wondering if I was awake? Maybe if I closed my eye tight I could go back to sleep, but an involuntary smile spread across my face. He looked so hopeful.

“Hi, Jon,” I said and, with a little effort, sat up on the edge of the bed.

“Sorry, Mom,” he said, “but do you want to read my letter before I send it?”

I did. “Sure, Son. I’ll be right there.” He disappeared down the hall toward the office as I reached for my robe. I smiled again to myself wondering when the last time was that Jon had voluntarily gotten up before ten.

He had returned to college and rented a room in a house with some other students, so I’m not sure of his hours, but I’m guessing sleeping in is the reason he schedules his classes as late in the day as possible. Then I realized he’s probably been up all night writing this letter.

I spent the next hour reading and rereading Jon’s words. He spent most of the last year in conflict with some people who had betrayed his trust and abused his reputation. He had thought, prayed and sought counsel from many as to how he should respond. Now, finally, a letter. Yes, I did want to help, even though this is not how I planned my morning.

You see, I had planned to leave for a writer’s retreat this morning. My clothes hung on hangers in the front hall with my overnight case and computer bag beside it. But first I’d read and commiserate with Jon.

After reviewing the structure and content of the missive for effectiveness we began to talk about the possibilities of reconciliation, the sorrows of the last year and the hope of his future. An hour passed when my husband, Brian, arrived home from an errand. We spent another half hour updating him.

To be honest, the thought crossed my mind of my get-away cabin waiting for the tires of my car to pop the gravel in the driveway as I arrived. I could smell the high desert sage on the wind.

“Why don’t we all go out to breakfast?” Brian asked after he closed a prayer with us.

“Well, I need to get dressed…” I mumbled.

“Great! We’ll meet you in the car,” he said over his shoulder.

As I pulled on the jeans and top I had laid out for the trip I recalculated a new arrival time at the cabin. It was a two hour drive and I had thought to arrive by nine to write most of the day. But I had hated to leave my husband, in a way, since he had the day off. And I was glad for the rare opportunity to spend time with Jon and the two of us. God’s blessing, I thought. I’ll trust Him with the timing.

Another hour before we arrived back home. Now to water the plants before I left—always the last thing I do since I know it will be the last drop they have until I return. Then a quick topping off of the bird feeders for the same reason. We’ve no cats or dogs—also for the same reason.

As I brushed my teeth the doorbell rang. I opened the door with the brush still in hand.

“Hi, Mom. Come in,” I said, giving her a big hug.

“I’m not interrupting, am I?” she asked. I reminded her I was leaving for a retreat but that I surely had time for her to talk and a cup of tea. She had two, not that I was counting, as she recalled a troubling situation in her life. Brian came to join us. We ended the half hour in prayer for her and her friends.

I cherished the words we shared with Mom as I huffed out to the car with my first load. I returned to find Brian picking up the rest of my things to carry out. “It’s nice to have a man around the house,” I smiled.

His face clouded a little, but he continued to pack my things in the car. “I need you, you know,” he said.

Guilt pierced me. “Do you want me to stay?” I held my breath.

“No.” He wrapped me in his arms and breathed on my neck as he spoke, “I want you to write. I just miss you when you’re gone. You’re the center of our home.”

“That means so much to me,” I said.

He tucked me into the car and prayed with me for safe travels. “Did you get the oil changed?” he asked as he shut the door.

As I sat in line at the Jiffy Lube, a friend called with good news. God had answered our prayers over a tough turn in her life. I flipped the phone closed at the end of the call and reviewed my ETA, estimated time of arrival. Then I knew, I’d get there at just the right time, as God had planned.

©2010 Marianne Miles. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

*Copyrighted back columns are available for reading in archives of Comfort Cafe. Contact Marianne for reprint availability.

Marianne Miles is a free lance writer intent on bringing comfort to mom’s of special needs kids. As she and her husband raised their children, including a son with special needs, Marianne developed a passion to support hurting mothers. Her message revolves around the love and provision of God, even in times of trial. Marianne has worked as a volunteer in the public schools, home school mom, and a teacher in a private school. She writes on the subjects of family and education in the form of devotionals, magazine articles, and poetry. Marianne welcomes reader’s comments and publisher’s questions at Marianne_Miles@yahoo.com.