Desperation is the driving force behind almost every identifiable act of bravery, betrayal, and even the poison that corrupts the best of us. What we wouldn’t do to keep ourselves safe from the ravages of war, to keep our families from the things that creep in the darkness? Or to safeguard the little happiness we’ve managed to accumulate after we’ve survived the horrors life has dealt us? There are few things that we wouldn’t do for the things we love and this is especially true for the ones we give life. The horrors and atrocities a mother would face to fend off attacks on her baby are too horrible to imagine. We lock ourselves away from the world out of fear that letting others see who we are will ultimately lead to our demise.
In many ways this is true. Even the love of a friend only goes so far, everyone has a limit, a place where they draw the line and will go no further. There are millions of people who understand that the only people who will protect them in any and every single situation are their parents. We would be remiss if we forgot that at some point in our lives, our mothers were the ones who held us together when the world around us was crumbling. Think back to a time in your life and remember the one who swept up the pieces, whether it was of your heart or of your life. She did it without thanks and without you asking because there is nothing she wouldn’t do for you.
A mother or a father is merely a person, a human being, nothing more. They are made of flesh and blood just like you and me, are perfectly ordinary in every way until they hold us in their arms. At that moment they become the most extraordinary beings to walk the earth. This is simply because they will be the sculptors, guardians, and even artists of your entire life. Suddenly what has influenced them, the power of their knowledge and the extent of their abilities become the building blocks of your formative years. They want the world for you; they suffer burdens you know nothing of to protect you from things you will never know about. They make the choices that often influence the course of our lives with the limited knowledge they’ve gathered. They carry us on their shoulders, lifting us high into the world, pushing us to be better than they were.
Our mothers and fathers sometimes put us in danger in an effort to get us away from even more dangerous situations. They risk their most prized possessions, the most precious cargoes, to the waves and uncertainties of a fate they can’t see, to protect us from the dangers they see around them. Is it insanity that drives them to risk what they love so much? What on earth would drive your parents to offer you to the wolves of life with nothing more than faith that you’ll be alright and come out unscathed at the end? Is this the working of fate? Does God guide them to set you adrift on life’s treacherous waters? Or is it simply their experiences in life that push them over the edge? Does desperation grab hold of them, the fear of what they’ve been through in their past coming for their future?
Everyone is followed by demons that they are desperate to keep from their loved ones. We want nothing more than to lock these things away and pretend that they don’t keep us awake at night. They want what we have, they come to collect for our past sins, and in the end we have no choice but to roll the dice. They push us to the edge of sanity whether it is through fear, hunger, poverty, loss, or anger at whatever injustice was done to us by our parents doing the exact same thing. What choice do we have? There is nothing we can do but to keep them safe from the shadows that haunt us. When we know there is a spot of light out on the open water, we do what we must with the clarity we have at that moment. It forces us to sacrifice what we love to fate while offering no more protection than hope.
Does making the tough call, to go beyond what we are capable of, do irreparable damage to the ones we are trying to protect? Does this make them stronger or weaker? Do we succeed in our mission of ultimate protection? Is our act of faith in placing what we love at such risk, worth the end result? Is our fear of the past catching up with us, worth potentially altering the fates of the ones we love?