I’m always trying to get into Henry’s mind, I want to know what’s going on behind the flapping hands, the silly smiles and the intense looks. That’s where his catch phrase came from—when he would giggle at something only known to him I’d ask, “What are you thinking about?” His immediate response would be, “I’m thinkin’ about me!”
Sometimes the best way to find out what is going on emotionally is to ask him to write out his calendar, which tells me what he wants to be doing, or to ask him to pray, which tells me what he’s feeling. The stress of Hurricane Irma, the schedule disruption with no school I know was weighing on him. Most challenging was his time with his dad. The power is out at his dad’s house so he can’t go there. He has run over his schedule obsessively, almost hourly, trying to grab some control over the situation. But there is no way to control this situation. My answer to every re-listing of events is “Maybe we’ll do that, if the power is on.”
Added to this is that my husband, Mohamed, was not here during the hurricane and was flying in from Egypt on Tuesday night September 12th. Would the airport be open? Would Atlanta be under the hurricane? Lots of stress for me. Oh, and my parents, Henry’s Mimi and Granddad, were still in Idaho. We went to their Florida home to check out the damage and experience no power. They come in this Friday. How will two 83 year olds manage no a/c? Lots of unknowns.
I know he’s stressed but what exactly is bothering him? What are the pressure points being felt? We made it through Tuesday’s challenges and then on our way to pick up Mohamed at the airport, the school called. Cancelled through Thursday. And the calendar list started up again. Wednesday no school Thursday no school Friday I want to stay home Wednesday at Dad’s HE HAS POWER! Thursday night at Dad’s HE HAS POWER! And my nods or ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ were just making him ramp up more.
We got home and let Mohamed lay down after his 30-hour trip. Henry was still perseverating. I invited him to call his dad. No. I asked him to update the calendar. No. “Ok, the only thing we can do is pray. I want you to say, Lord Jesus, please give Daddy power. Amen.”
He climbed up on the bed next to Mohamed and took his hand. I sat with them and he took my hand.
“Lord. It’s for thanks and good for friends and for Hurricane Irma with just Mom and me. And for Mohamed’s back. Lord and for your friends we praise you. For my Dad for Tim for the power on. Lord Jesus, turn the lights on for time for me and my dad. In Jesus Name!”
Well, amen and amen. He felt it all. And he is grateful and full of praise. And he knows we’ve been through something hard. And relationships are important to him. So thank You for friends and for turning the lights on always.