My son, who suffers from depression, stopped by for a few minutes the other day. It’s winter and gloomy and this is the season in which his depression rears it’s ugliest head. A typical winter brings a sense of despondency in his life which leads to his “family team” to make multiple suggestions and ask questions such as “maybe you should try a new medication”, “have you seen your doctor?”, “how about trying light therapy?”, “are you feeling suicidal?”, “drinking in excess?”, “are you ready for rehab and/or inpatient?” and so on. I have come to the full realization that I am helpless to help him.
Several years ago, more like 25 years ago, I dreamed that he was full of joy. He was looking at a woman and a young girl and on their faces were looks of adoration and on his face was pure joy. I’ve always held on to that dream and I’ve prayed to God so many times for him to have joy. My wish for him is not fame or fortune, but pure joy.
So anyway, getting back to his visit, I invited him to stay and eat with us. As we were eating and chatting about nothing of importance and ignoring the elephant in the room, he told me that this year is different. He doesn’t know why it is happening but he said “I catch myself smiling for no reason.” I thought about that long ago dream again and a glimmer of hope fluttered in my heart. This!! This is what I want for him!! Smiling for no reason! Joy! I’m afraid to hope that it will be long lasting but I would give anything for it to be true. I’m almost afraid for the next visit or the next phone call that may indicate a downward spiral into that dark pit of despair. But for today, I am so very happy for the winter smile. I love you, son.