I Ran into Myself at the Psych Center Today


It was at the patients’ art show, where I saw myself, represented by one long, blue strand of yarn.


“It’s called ‘Support Net,’” the art therapist said, pointing to a white sheet of paper with pastel-colored strings woven in two directions. “These vertical strings represent the people in her support system.”


Most had a lot of up-and-down strings on their graph. I counted hers… there were three.


One was for her dad, I knew. One for the other friend; she’d been there for her, plenty. She deserved a place on the grid.


But the third strand of yarn–was it really me? Busy, me? Stay-at-home, me? Too far out of town to work around visiting hours, me? Put it on my calendar and call her back later, me?


Whenever I can get there, me?


I wanted to be that long, blue string of yarn placed gracefully next to the others, hanging off the edge of the map.


I left the gallery and went to her. Her hair was in pony tails, just like I remember back then. Back before pain got the best of her.


“I saw your artwork,” I smiled tentatively. “I saw the yarn grid.”


And there came the words: “One is you.”


One out of three. One is me.


We talked for a while. We laughed about good old times. I asked her if she’ll ever write again. She promised she would. “I used to live for your stories,” I told her. I squeezed her hand.


The doctor walked by.  “You’ve been such a support,” she beamed.


I blushed. Had I?


Homeschooling, me? Pastoring, me? Cleaning, cooking, writing and caring for those close to me, me?


I wish I could do more, me?


I looked back at the little girl in a mother’s body. Her eyes had never left my face. Her cheeks had lately returned to the color they used to be before everyone took off.


Before there were only three of us left.


Before everyone got too busy, and tightly woven threads started coming apart, leaving her worn too thin to hold it all together.


But tonight, I am that third strand of yarn.  And tomorrow, and for all the days to come I want to be that true blue part that made the difference I never realized until now.


Busy, me. Shaken, awoken, humbled, me.