FA Times May 2020

Hello! In what feels like nothing short of a miracle, we made it another month in quarantine. And Happy (belated) Mother’s Day to all of you amazing mothers out there!!!

We celebrated my mom from a distance in my front yard on Sunday (I proudly sported a Vikings themed face mask). When I was giving my mother an “air hug” goodbye, I realized that I haven’t touched her in well over two months. She’s 66 years old and obviously much more vulnerable to severe complications if she were to contract Covid-19, so we’ve remained committed to social distance guidelines. While I feel blessed that I am able to see her from afar, I am certainly aching for her touch.

After my mom left, I was reminded of a story Barb recently read (via Zoom!) during a youth programming session we held remotely for our middle age kids participating in SMITH (Sensory Motor Integrative Therapeutic Healing).

The picture book, titled “The Invisible String,” begins with twins Jeremy and Liza awakened by a thunderstorm and running to their mom for comfort. When the mother tells the twins to go back to bed, they protest, telling her they want to stay with her.

“You know we’re always together, no matter what,” the mother says. “But how can we be together when you’re out here and we’re in bed,” Liza asks. The mother goes on to describe an invisible string. “I don’t see a string,” said Jeremy. “You don’t need to see the Invisible String,” the mother replied, “People who love each other are always connected by a very special String made of love.”

The story goes on to illustrate how all of us are connected by an invisible string of love. And, even though it is invisible, that we can feel it with our hearts – and it can reach anywhere.

As my mother walked to her car on Sunday afternoon, I felt that string tug. As I write to all of you today, I feel that string tug too. When I facilitate support groups, visit with families via Zoom and hear stories and see pictures of my colleagues doing the same, that string tugs every time.

I am humbled by the fact that our kids, whether we are in the midst of a global pandemic or not, consistently yearn for connection, in the same way I am today. When they are moved into a foster home, they lose the ongoing touch of a parent, sibling or loved one. While I only know what it feels like to be me, being forced to be separated from my loved ones has certainly provided me with some really meaningful perspective on what it may be like to walk a mile in our kids’ shoes.

“When you miss me, the mother says, “your love travels all the way along the String until I feel it tug on my heart.”

“And when you tug it right back, we feel it in our hearts,” the children reply.

I hope you feel my love tugging at you today and always.