My heart kept telling me everything would be okay as I struggled to stay strong throughout many years of personal adversity.
My extended family remained silent but I felt their judgment and heard their cruel whispers about my troubled relationship with my son.
I withstood this implied criticism for ten years until they lost interest and pretended we no longer existed.
Over the years I had sporadic contact with my son but it was usually strained and traumatic for both of us.
Only my husband knew the extent of my anguish, only he was supportive. We both believed one day my son would find his inner strength and conquer his problems that steered him away.
We always hoped he would want us back in his life one day, but knew he had to figure out how to do this in his own way and in his own time. He had to learn to navigate his way back over a very rocky road.
My heart was right.
It started with a couple of upbeat phone calls.
Then one day it was a warm heartfelt hug.
A genuine smile.
And the latest puzzle piece, a picture of his childhood teddy bear with a message saying that Teddy reminds him of so many happy memories.
That old teddy bear and my son Chris have been through a lot together.
I am so happy they have found the path that is leading them back home.