Hello all! Haven't been on here in a while. Have been away and am now home. Learning bunches along the way -- near, far and everywhere in-between. We did go to Italy (Florence, Cinque Terre, Fiesole, Rome, Ostia Antica, and Assisi). It was everything we'd hoped it would be and more. OMG! Masterpieces around every turn! Very refreshing for mind, body and soul. Loved it all! While in Assisi, both my husband and I were particularly drawn to the peace in it all. Peace matters. Became aware just how much unnecessary chaos and dramatic "chatter" can muddy my emotional waters. May not be so for everyone, but it is for me. Discovered that I am sometimes contributing more to muddying my own waters with that unnecessary "chatter" than I realized. Healthy revelation. I choose to act wisely with this newer revelation (I say "newer" because I've had a sense of this for a while, but I truly didn't understand the depth and impact of this until in Assisi). Now, don't get me wrong. I'm an extrovert by nature, so I value conversation (face-to-face, phone, and e-chat). So I still love good long chats! But I find that there is a big difference between "chat" and "chatter". Sooooooo....... I came back home with a renewed "reconnection" with myself and an appreciation for cutting down the unnecessary "chatter", while still preserving good "chats". Make sense? I am enjoying the deeper peace in that. Such a noisy world sometimes. And then we reconnected with our son. Pretty much right as soon as we got home, our son contacted us (FB private message). We have neither seen nor spoken with him (only infrequent FB private messages) since last October. So........he wanted to get together. We agreed to have lunch with him today. Did he show up? Well..........yes, he did! Equipped with this lovely peace I'm still holding onto since Assisi (husband expresses feeling a similar peace, too), we really just listened. Not much to say. Haven't seen him in a half a year. He was thin (expected). He wore nearly all red (we know that indicates recent gang activity). He revealed he's added full-blown heroin to his full-blown meth addiction. Said he's been off of both for 19 days as of today. Says he has a clean place to stay. Rattled off a bunch of vague plans he has for this, that and the other. He was surprised we knew he has court on Tuesday. We just listened. Honestly. No words, no questions, no judgments. And it was a FINE place to be. Very peaceful. Seemed more peaceful for him, too. There was no harshness. There were no expectations. There was no huge need for details. We all know each other pretty well. It was, overall, a good visit. He even asked us a little about our lives and thanked us politely for lunch. It was pleasant. And after all these years of turmoil, we find a place where we can just accept each other and each others' boundaries as they are. I have to say, that's a pretty wonderful place to be! This did not come overnight. It took many years -- for all of us. We have all grown far more accepting that none of us is perfect. If we feel we've backslid a little, that's ok. Sometimes (maybe more often than not) life is an oscillating line, not a straight trajectory line up or down. And that's ok, too. Lives are up and down. Days are up and down. Moments are up and down. I begin to understand better how that's a pivotal part of the process. Originally, I was going to go to his trial. But, after a week or so of mulling it, I've decided not to. The real reason I originally wanted to go? Because I wanted to know the exact nature of his crimes. But feeling more inner peace and guarding my peace, I've decided not to go. It could be harmful to my peace. Also....even more profoundly......it's IRRELEVANT to my peace. Oh, don't get me wrong. I do love my son. I love him dearly. But to keep peace, doesn't mean I intentionally go out looking for storms to test it. Storms will come through life all on their own. Why look for unnecessary storms? I talked openly about this with my son. He was receptive and pleasantly responsive. He didn't want me to know everything -- he said he felt shame. I suppose I could judge that (and I have in the past....and may oscillate into judging it at some point in the future). But why? Did it help either him OR me? Nope. Peace matters. Mine. His. Everyone's. Consider how much peace matters to the world in general? A lot. So I choose to grow my little piece of earth with more peace, compassion and wisdom. My jurisdiction is my little piece of earth. I did ask my son to please tell me the outcome of the trial. He replied, "I will. If you don't hear from me, it means I went back to jail and you can verify that on the on-line county jail roster." Then we enjoyed our lunch (prawns!), shared pics on our phones (his at the ocean, ours in Italy), and laughed about funny little things. We hugged at length and said goodbyes. Now, here's the other thing I'm coming to learn. This is where I can twist my own innards into a knot (and have at times in the past).......if I then lapsed into, "Why didn't we, as parents, do or say more?" Or "That should've been better." Or even, "That should've been worse." I've said all of those things at one time or another over the years. But today went great because I learn to accept it JUST AS IT IS. This is not a point of view I naturally possess in relationship matters (especially those of great importance). But, hey, I'm grateful to be living long enough to learn this beautiful skill! LOL! Much more to learn and I am happy to be actively learning it and saying THANK YOU to God, The Universe, Higher Power (or whatever moniker one prefers) clearly and often! I felt a little knotted up about it last night. But had a great evening with friends last night and, ya know, laughter is the best de-knotter around! And a pleasant visit with our son today. I am thankful and content. Whatever his court holds on Tuesday, I really believe it will be for the best (whatever the result). I believe in a benevolent universe which naturally bends toward growth and life. I'm just trying to join my little piece of earth into better harmony with that benevolence. And, oh, yes, indeedy.........it brings me much peace inside.