Back when my son was in high school, providing me with a multitude of avenues filled with worry, I used to spend a lot to time on what I called the “worry bus.” It was quite large and could hold a lot of family and friends.
It had a destination banner in the front that could be changed in a second. We would all pile in and discuss the destination. A first destination might be “Will he die or get thrown in jail?” and we would all discuss it with much distress.
When he would get apprehended for some offense, the destination banner would immediately switch to “Will he make his court date?” to “Will he comply with the judge’s decision?” and eventually to “Will he survive jail?”
The bus was never late, and there was always another if I happened to miss the first one. After some time in Al‑Anon, I came to a better understanding of what “detaching with love” meant. At one point, I refused to board the bus. Friends and relatives leaned out the windows aghast. “Have you given up on your son?” “What’s wrong with you?” I, however, felt more loving and supportive of my son than I could ever remember. I had a clarity and faith that I could deal with, one revelation at a time.
Without the constant worry, I felt my love was not diluted by strings and expectations. Rather, my love was stronger with detachment. It became visible and a more valuable gift to my son than worry.
By Kirk F., Florida
The Forum, January 2017