Such a sickly, small child, one in whom the light of life seemed as twilight, soon to fade. His mother wonders how this could happen to her. Her dreams of being loved unconditionally by the child she bore, shattered when this four pound boy made his entrance into the world, too soon. She longed for a strong son, who one-day would take care of her but this child was proving to be a bother. All the clothing she’d received from friends and relatives were much too large and she’d been forced to bring him home dressed in doll clothes. Her mother and sisters said she should be grateful that she was able to bring him home but when she compared her son to her nieces and nephews, she experienced no feelings of gratitude. Her son was such a weakling that his cry resembled that of a small kitten. He was difficult to hear from the other room and she resented him for that. How would she ever be able to get anything done? What must people think? Surely, his condition had nothing to do with the cigarette smoking she was unable to completely, set aside during pregnancy. A lot of women drank wine when expecting and surely, the few times she’d over imbibed weren’t enough to hurt her baby. It just wasn’t her fault! She felt herself cursed to receive such a defect. This puny runt of a son was just another example of how badly life treated her; another disappointment to cope with.
At age eighteen, Marissa was little more than a child herself and her love of alcohol kept her emotional maturity at about fourteen, the age when she first began drinking. She was the youngest in a large family and though her sisters doted on her, she had too little attention from tired parents who were also, grandparents. Marissa drank because she was lonely and she fell into other bad behaviors because of her need to belong to the drinking crowd. She became pregnant on purpose, thinking she’d find the emotional connection she yearned for in a baby. All of her dreams of motherhood were the fantasies of a little girl and her self-care during pregnancy was childishly, negligent. At eighteen, Marissa was frozen in narcissism and would remain forever, as a selfish child unless someday, she should decide to stop drinking, grow up, and develop into a whole person.
This isn’t good news for Marissa’s child. The tiny infant she left sleeping beneath too many blankets, while she sat drinking, smoking, deeply immersed in self. Suffocating, Adrian struggled to breathe beneath the weight and heat of the blankets, as his mother sought relief in the love of her life, Jack Daniels. The small boy’s twilight was quickly fading into night when one of Marissa’s sisters rang the door bell.
Arianna became an angel the moment she entered the room; an angel sent to save little Adrian. Wanting to see the new baby, she pulled the heavy blankets back and found the meager baby not breathing. Marissa began to helplessly, scream and cry in fear for herself, while Arianna tilted the baby’s small head back and breathed her life into his lungs. Miraculously, it was enough and Adrian began mewing his pitiful cry. This would be the first of three times that Adrian would face death before the age of five. Each instance brought about by the irresponsible actions of a mother who would forever remain a little girl.
Adrian was born with all of the odds set against him. No one looking in on the first years of his life would hold out much hope for him. This small child born as a sensitive in a harsh environment was doomed to suffer intensely. Many would say that abortion would be the greatest kindness to bestow on such a child. No greatness was evident in this child that seemed to be born to live only, in a moment of twilight. It is true that if he hadn’t been born, he would not have to experience pain or anguish. However, if he’d never been born, the world would suffer from his absence. For by his suffering, Adrian learned great compassion for abuse survivors and coupled with his inborn sensitivity, it gave him the empathy of insight into the suffering of others. He became a powerful counselor, teacher, and mentor to adults who also, survived abuse and neglect as children. The greater purpose for Adrian’s life could not be accomplished if his early years had been years of health, love, and comfort. God watched over Adrian despite the dysfunction of his mother and sent many angels at just the right time, to save him from death, to nurture him, to love, and value him. These angels enabled Adrian to survive and also, find his way to a saving faith that gave him the purpose and strength he needed to heal his trauma. In Jesus, the person not the religion, Adrian found the nurture he lacked from his mother. In mirroring Christ and seeking to live as He lived, Adrian found his purpose in serving God first and from that position of power, serving others. By faith, the power of choice, and hard work, he overcame all the odds; and rather than growing up to become another generational link in the curse of family dysfunction, Adrian became a blessing to many people. A child of twilight purposed in hope and filled with the divine light of God!