This Storm Will Bring You Down but it Will Not Break You

The storm arrived last night as was forecast.

It did its best to wreak havoc with its howling winds and pounding rain.  By morning the damage was done but not as bad as was first feared for us in our corner of Somerset, although it managed to bring down my rose bush at the front of our house.

Storm Rose October 2013 (c) Sherri Matthews October 2013

Storm Rose Bush October 2013
(c) Sherri Matthews 2013

All is not lost. This is not the first time my rose bush has come down in such a way and it probably won’t be the last. It has fallen down but it is not broken and it can be fixed.

Summer Roses - After The Storm July 2012  (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2012

Summer Roses – After The Storm July 2012
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2012

My lovely boy has had his heart broken. 

The ripple effect of his breakup with his girlfriend of several years (she 25 he 25 next month) has caused major upheaval and he and his wellbeing have been my priority these past few weeks.  He very graciously permitted me to share this here with you, my dear readers.

This is not about airing the family’s dirty laundry or turning a sad, sad situation into some kind of Jerry Springer moment.  I have had to keep my counsel and not wade in, as is a mother’s job. This is me sharing my heavy heart knowing that I can write here about such things as a way to shine some hope into my son’s despair.

I, we, as a family, have provided my son sanctuary. He is comforted, yet he is restless.  He heals, so tenderly, yet he is deeply wounded.  He laughs, briefly, in those small, unguarded moments yet I know that he still cries when he is alone with his grief.

My son wears his heart on his sleeve and sometimes this means that he pays the price.  He pays the price for his loving kindness and his honesty and his unconditional love.  When this is thrown back into his handsome face, the light in his beautiful brown eyes is dimmed and lies hidden behind a wall of black incomprehension.  The price is the cost of his pain.

Now his path is littered with the debris of the storm that raged all about him in the blackness of his long, lonely night.

Storm debris on the path (c) Sherri Matthews 2013

Storm debris on the path
(c) Sherri Matthews 2013

The path before him is blocked and he doesn’t know which way to turn.

Blocked path (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Blocked path
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

The way forward may seem impossible at this moment.  The storm blows through yet its damage has been done.  What once seemed like a stronghold, a secure protection, has come down and weakened his defences.  What he thought was forever he now knows was merely a fleeting dream.

Broken fence (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Broken fence
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Yet all is not lost.  This can all be fixed, put right, restored.  stronger than it ever was before.  None of this is insurmountable and I remind my son of this:

What matters is not that you are brought down but that you get back up again.  Always, you must get back up.

As you surely will. You are down, but you are not broken and you will be fixed. You will find your way even as your storm continues to rage inside your beating heart and torments your confused mind.  Your thoughts are clouded now but the winds of change are blowing away the debris, the dross, the fallout and your path will clear away before you so that you will walk free on that distant day.

Walk to Ranworth Church,Norfolk Broads (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Walk to Ranworth Church,Norfolk Broads
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

The philosopher Kierkegaard once said:

“The greatest loss, that of oneself, may pass unnoticed.”

Although you feel lost in this moment oh lovely son of mine, the way forward will soon enough reveal itself to you and once again, you surely will find your way home.

DSC07211

Open field, South Walsham
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

“For I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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49 Responses to This Storm Will Bring You Down but it Will Not Break You

  1. jennypellett says:

    Ah, you are a lovely Mum, Sherri. Your poor son will feel battered and bruised for a while but eventually these wounds will heal – we know that – but it’s his life journey and you are there to help him through. He’ll need time and space and love and understanding and he’ll need hope. Hope that this won’t happen again; hope that this will make him stronger, wiser – we know that it will – and for now he won’t believe us – but he will look back one day and know that his Mum was right.
    Lovely post, lovely analogy. Good wishes to your son. xx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, bless you Jenny, and of course everything you say is absolutely right. It has been such a difficult time watching him go through this (don’t we just want to spare our children any pain?) yet is it his journey and one he must travel. I will say that this is actually for the best and he does realise this now but it won’t be easy! Thank you for your lovely, kind wishes for my son.
      I hope you haven’t been too battered by the storm! x

      Like

  2. What a beautiful post, Sherri. I’m sorry for your son’s broken heart, that’s never easy, but with time, this too shall pass. I hope he realizes he’s already got the best girl in the world…you! What a loving heart you have. Thanks for the lovely verse, it’s always been one of my favorites.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Jill for your lovely words. It has been such a painful time for my son, my baby!!! This verse is the one that came to mind as I was writing this, one of my favourites also, and the one I believe gives him the most hope at this time even when he feels hopeless. We are getting there though, a little better each day.

      Like

  3. Heyjude says:

    I think one of the hardest things for a mother is to let our children go and make their own lives, mistakes and all, and keep our own counsel. We may have experience and maturity, but that experience was gained through our own lives and hindsight is a wonderful thing. I’m never sure whether I should offer my advice when I see my own children going through a rough time, or keep quiet and allow them to deal with it themselves. Tricky.
    Jude xx

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes Jude, it is such a tricky thing. There have been many times during this when I’ve wanted to say so much but I’ve restrained myself (with great difficulty!) and let him come to me. When he has wanted to talk then I listen and try to offer the best advice that I can. Hopefully this is helping him. At least while he is with us, temporarilly, he can gain some calm and strength before venturing out again and finding a new place to live etc. But you are right, it is so hard!!! Hope you escaped storm damage!

      Like

      • Heyjude says:

        I think that is all we can do Sherri – just let them know that we are around to help and offer a sanctuary. St Jude didn’t reach us – nothing to do with me 😉 though it was windy yesterday and we have had some rain, nothing bad though.

        Like

  4. xbox2121 says:

    This story is very interesting on several layers. I like the way you tied in your son’s problem with the storm damage and photos. The shot of your rose bush is huge, I have never seen one that big. As for your sons problems I have to leave that one to the ladies on your post, as a man it is difficult to express myself on this matter, sorry

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Bob, I fully understand, but always a pleasure to have you visit and comment. The rose is a rambling rose. I planted it 4 years ago (we have lived in this house for well over 5 years, a record for me!) and it was barely 2 feet high when I planted it. I had planned for it to grow up the front of the house and over the porch and in the summer when it flowers it is beautiful, but we have had it come down a few times in heavy winds. This time I thought we had it secured but the wind proved too strong. We are quite high up so maybe that is why we get it here. Whenever I hear that heavy winds are forecast I always dread it!
      I took a walk today and saw the damage just down the street from us and it just seemed like a good way to share what had been happening with my son. Lots of emotions going on there….

      Like

  5. thirdhandart says:

    A very inspirational, and wonderfully clever, analogy Sherri! Hope the dark clouds drift away and bright, sun-shiny skies are in your family’s immediate future. 😉

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thanks so much Theresa. I had planned to share what had been happening with my son and then the storm came and it all seemed to match the way I was feeling. It is so hard to watch my boy go through this but he has learnt so much and I know he will be stronger after this. I await those bright sun-shiny skies which I’m sure aren’t too far away… 🙂

      Like

  6. Denise says:

    It’s lovely seeing how calm and peaceful my daughter is these days because she has a calm, strong, loving boyfriend. But I dread the day it ends. I hope that it can come to a good, natural end and they can be friends afterwards.

    It’s not the ending that is so sad, it’s the way it happens sometimes. When he thought it was forever and did his best and could not have done any more. He will find someone who deserves him, although that is of little comfort now.

    Also of comfort to all of you is that he can share these things. Because you give him the space to feel. This is why I would never go to my family to share my grief. Because we are all too afraid of the things we feel.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Denise, I thank you very much for your comforting sentiments. I understand exactly how you feel about your daughter. I went through this with my daughter when she was 18, just before she was diagnosed with Asperger’s. She dumped her boyfriend as she couldn’t cope with the constraints of a relationship and he was heartbroken. I still miss him to this day.

      Now it is my boy who has had his heart broken. It is the way it happened that was so painful for him but he is working things out in his head, very slowly…At first, he didn’t want to say too much as he thought he could handle things on his own but he came to see how much it meant to be able to share with family and friends. Now he is at the point of moving on in his own way…

      What you shared at the end about your own experience with sharing grief within your own family is very raw and I do know just how complicated these things can be in such situations.

      Like

  7. Lesley Dawson says:

    I feel so much for your son, Sherri. Coincidentally, I was just thinking the other day about when my first proper boyfriend dumped me (for being too quiet – I was 15) … how I howled. My poor mum stayed upstairs out of the way.

    It’s awful to see the hurt our children go through and feels like we are going through it with them. Everyone else has given such good advice – I agree that you can only be there for when you sense he wants to open up to you. I’m sure that him knowing that you are there will give him comfort. I hope it’s not too long before the ‘storm’ passes. He might not think it now but things will work out for him and he will be glad they went the way they did.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Lesley, and we never do forget the pain of those moments do we? Thanks so much for your kind concern for my son and yes, I am confident that he will see that this was indeed for the best and that he can now move on and live the life that he needs to live. I just wish I could take away all his pain now!

      Like

  8. What a picture you have painted: the storm without and the storm within. You are a loving Mom.

    Like

  9. Steven says:

    What an eerie, uncanny timeliness the storm has in its presence. But one storm has passed and hopefully another will subside soon. I’ve said before I bet just knowing you’re there is beginning to part the clouds even if he doesn’t admit it 🙂 or even if it doesn’t seem like it.

    Relationships can come and go but mumseys are forever and he could do a lot worse in that respect as this post proves. Take care

    P.S. I did that walk to Ranworth Church just last week 🙂 such a lovely village! Nicer when the sun’s blazing, mind.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yes, thanks Steven, I was going to do a post about my son and then the storm hit and well, this is what I ended up with. What you have shared about your own mumsey has given me great encouragement that my son is able to feel the same way and be comforted by this!

      The storm is indeed subsiding but still quite blowey out there (physically and metaphorically)…hope you managed to escape any damage…

      I do remember now reading that you had been to Norfolk, how amazing that you did that walk to Ranworth Church just last week! We were there in June, growing up we spent our holidays on the Norfolk Broads every year! Did you climb the steps of the church tower to get the amazing view? I have a few pics, maybe I should do a post about it…if you don’t beat me to it 😉 It is a lovely village (a delightful tea room next to the church isn’t there?) but yes, I agree, the sunshine really makes it 🙂

      Like

      • Steven says:

        Ahh well I’m glad my ramblings were of use! And as you mentioned it is very strong-willed of him to allow you to discuss it with the universe on here. I’m not sure I’d have that strength if I were in the situation. He has so many people right behind him now though! 🙂

        We weren’t affected at all by the storm, bit windy and rainy but that was it and I slept through the worst of it 😉

        We wanted to go up the steps but we’ve been to Ranworth a few times (we live in Norwich so it’s only a short drive) and every time it has been closed off! I’ve never been up there, I bet the view is lovely with a clear sky. I’d love to see these pictures!

        Like

  10. Rachel says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about your son’s breakup with his girlfriend. I hope the healing process is quick for him. You are such an amazing mum, Sherri. It sounds as though he’s got lots of love and support around him.

    As for your rose bush – it’s magnificent! I’m glad to read that you survived the storm ok. We chose a great time to come to France for a holiday I must say!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thanks Rachel. All we can do is surround my son with that love and care during this time while he heals from the hurt of his breakup. He is getting there, slowly, but it will take time.

      My rose bush looks lovely in the spring and summer when it is awash with light pink roses but right now it is very sad indeed! It is a rambler and grows up to 20′ which is what I wanted to grow up the front of the house and across the porch (bringing the country to the town!) but it is very difficult to keep secure when the winds blow like this.

      You certainly did pick a great time to be in the South of France – hope you are having a fab time 🙂

      Like

  11. Aspie Story says:

    Hi Sherri, I’m so sorry to hear about your son. But I’m very glad he is getting wonderful support.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, Hi Darren, and thanks so much. Sad times but yes, he is getting all the support and help that we as a family can give him and hopefully he will soon be able to get back on his feet again.

      Like

  12. Aspie Story says:

    Oh, I’ve accidentally hit the post button a little too soon!
    I’m blaming the storm… 😉

    We’ve had some minor damage around the house, but nothing that can’t be fixed!
    BTW, love the pictures!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ha Ha! Yes, blame the storm, I do for everything 🙂
      Glad that you are ok with not too much damage. It could have been a lot worse for many people. I remember the hurricane we had in Britain 26 (?) years ago and that was really bad.
      Thanks so much about the photos, really glad you liked them 🙂

      Like

  13. Sherri, what a beautiful way to express the turmoil. Yes, we all go through these temporary storms yet, as you to aptly remind us, the Lord does have plans for us, even though they may not look like what we expect, nor present themselves in our desired timing. He does, however, know what’s best and devises those plans better than we can imagine for our good and the good of many.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Susan, as always, for your loving, kind words of support and encouragement.This particular scripture is one that comes to mind many times and particularly as I wrote this post. I hold onto it and its promises for my son, for his today and for his future, as you say, all in His good and proper time.

      Like

  14. Life and Other Turbulence says:

    You’re a wise, wise Mum. Beautifully written and expressed.

    Like

  15. parrillaturi says:

    Love can be such a wonderful thing, but there are times, when it can become hurtful. Just like your rose, he will bounce back. Better to face a storm now, than a hurricane, later on. Your love, nurturing nature, support, and God’s unfailing love, will see him through. Blessings.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Blessings and great thanks to you Johnny. I love how you put it, ‘better to face a storm now, than a hurricane, later on’. This is exactly what my son has come to realise, as it would surely have been the case, and so your kind words and wisdom are so very encouraging.

      Like

  16. Oh, Sherri, my heart ached as I read this, it truly did. Our daughter was 23 when she had her heart broken, when she learned that “happily ever after” was only as long as he was happy (and on his meds. –long story…) We all were there for her, but some losses just have to run their course, on their own, and it’s a difficult, worrisome time.
    You are a good mother, and he will find this way through this, but it might take awhile. But when our daughter did come through it, she rallied stronger than I could have imagined, and eventually she met a good strong man. They’ve been married almost 11 years now and have two wonderful children, but even now I have nightmares about her broken heart all those years ago. We’re mothers forever, after all, and only as happy as our saddest child…
    Please keep us posted.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Marylin, thank you so much for sharing what happened to your daughter. How painful that must have been for her and for you as her mum and you obviously fully understand all that we, my son, is going through right now.

      I can only take great encouragement from your daughter coming out of it stronger and going on to be happily married with her own children. How wonderful! This is what I hope and pray for my son, indeed, I have faith that this will happen for him.

      What very wise words – ‘we are only as happy as our saddest child…’ That says it all. I can well imagine that you still have nightmares about that time all those years ago. The pain we feel as mothers is worse than anything else but even though we can offer all the support in the world, I know that my son will have to find his own way. I look to that day when he will emerge whole and strong even now…

      I will certainly keep you all posted…

      Like

  17. The storm will clear and sunshine will prevail!!

    Like

  18. Glynis Jolly says:

    Hi Sherri
    My son went through something quite similar to what your son is just now going through. It’s been about 5 years now since his breakup happened with his girlfriend. Like you and your family, my family and I stood beside my son to hold him up while he went through the grief. He did heal, although it took a few years.

    I hope your son has a more speedy recovery than my son did.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Glynis, and I am very sorry to hear that your son went through the same thing. So glad that he did recover eventually and I do think that it will indeed take some time for my son too 😦

      Like

  19. What a heartfelt post, Sherri. Broken hearts sometimes feel like the worst imaginable pain and it seems that the only thing that can heal them is time. In my early twenties I went through an incredibly difficult breakup and my life was tumultuous for quite a while. I remember by parents being a great source of support for me, and it sounds as if you are doing just the same for your son. He’s lucky to have such a caring mom!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Heather and thank you so much. I am so sorry to read that you went through this painful breakup but so good to know that your loving family were there for you as only parents can be. I take comfort in knowing that in time my son will heal from this and be able to live his life free of the hurt.

      Like

  20. mumblypeg says:

    What a clever and sensitive way to compare the storms and turmoil of a broken heart with the storms of nature. Your loving and wise heart will I am sure speed up your sons healing process and be a great comfort to him. This pain too will pass. Bless you both MP xx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much MP. Let’s hope and pray that in time, my son will indeed be healed and that the storm will subside giving way to a bright, sun-shiney day. Bless you xxx

      Like

  21. A beautiful message to your son Sherri and I’m glad you escaped the worst of the storm, up here in the north it fortunately passed us by.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much Andrea, I really appreciate this. Glad that you didn’t get the storm. Think we are in for more bad weather though, the wind is picking up even as I type this!

      Like

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