To be honest, I don't really remember exactly when and how we started communicating again, I just know it had been several months. It was a text here and an email there that said something to the effect of, 'Hey, just checking in and I love you.' Sometimes a few words are all it takes to start melting hearts that have hardened and put walls up for emotional protection. And then my phone rang and I saw my daughter's name pop onto the screen for the first time in months. And my heart nearly stopped.
My family and a few friends had gathered at my favorite Mexican restaurant to celebrate my birthday when she called. We chatted and laughed and then she asked to talk to everyone else. My husband, her step-dad got on the phone and the first words out of his mouth were, 'I love you Kenz.' And that was how we started over. It wasn't any one big moment or event, but several small steps where we just caught up with each other on the phone, chatting about life and the mistakes we'd both made, forgiveness, her future and how she wanted to come back home after graduation. And, it wasn't without a few bumps in the road, but it always came back to the fact that we knew no matter what we loved each other.
I attended my daughter's graduation in June and it was the first time in seven months I'd seen her. The moment the ceremony was done it was all I could do to keep from knocking down the people in front of me who were moving so slowly out of the stadium so I could get to my daughter. I can't really describe the feeling of when she saw me, yelled, 'Mom!' and ran up to give me the biggest hug ever because there just aren't words for it. It was totally awesome and lets just say a picture is worth a thousand words.
There were some very dark moments in the months my daughter was gone and I have no doubt that those who were prayer warriors (and there were many) for me and Kenzi in that time helped to speed up the reconciliation process. I'm not sure I can express the magnitude of my gratefulness for those who were willing to listen to my rants, and frustrations and probably some good old fashioned pity party whining. It was through those very awesome friends that I saw the slivers of light that pierced the very dark moments.
My daughter is now living back in Bend, attending church, working and in the Criminal Justice program at our local community college, with the intention of going to the Police Academy. I don't think a day goes by that we don't chat on the phone (several times) or see each other. I am proud of the young woman she has become and every day I thank God for her, the challenges we faced that brought us closer together and the light that pierced the dark.