Many Years of Covering

darkandstormy_5013It was a dark and stormy morning…. no really!

It had been a rough week of storm after raging thunderstorm the year of our first full Spring in Tennessee.

I had no way of knowing if weather like this was normal or not but honestly, I didn’t mind. Thunderstorms have always been my favorite.

These were good times…sweet times for us as a family. A decent move to a new station in a better market meant more stability for my photojournalist husband. Now we were only 4 hours away from our Georgia home and family versus half way across the country in Nevada.

And that day, sleeping peacefully in the back seat of our station wagon, was our 4 week old son. We were on our first outing together while Daddy and big sister did their thing back home.

We had just finished up with his one month well check and since he was doing so well, I figured this was as good a time as any to run some errands while I was still in town.

Pulling into the strip mall, I made a mental note of the dark clouds gathering in the western sky just as the first few drops of rain hit the windshield. No umbrella…and the sky opened up.

“Oh well,” I thought, “the baby is sleeping so I’ll take some time to straighten out the checkbook till the storm passes”.

Turning off the engine, with amusement I noticed the shoe store ahead of me was having a sidewalk sale and thought, “Who in the world would want to buy rained on shoes at ANY price?!?”

Funny how certain details get burned into your mind.

There really was no time, not a split second more, before that thought was interrupted by the hammering sound of wind and flying…hail? Dirt? Rain? What?!?! spraying my car with the force of a sandblaster.

Each thought could only occupy a fraction of space and time and as the car began to rock and sway, lifting off the ground to one side….I knew:   tornado.

The unspoken force of that single word with all of it’s meaning exploded with lightening force through my mind, snapping my body into a single motion, flying half bent over the driver’s seat to shield my baby boy.

And the windows blew in.

Glass, dirt, rain,
roar, wind, pain,
howl, cry…

“Lord have mercy! Lord have MERCY!”


The silence was nearly as intense as the storm.

I rose to see that seven of the eight windows were gone, raining bits of glass from my head and back into the carseat below… where my child…my son… lay sleeping, a halo of broken glass around his head and body.  True story.


The storms that day, at the peak of the noonday lunch hour almost 18 years ago, left a huge swath of damage through the area. Miraculously, no one was killed or seriously injured. I was treated for minor cuts at the local hospital and released to a very grateful husband and father. At some point, I’m pretty sure the boy finally woke up to eat!


And today, that strong and courageous, gentle and sweet soul; my son, turns eighteen.

My heart swells and my eyes get teary just thinking about it. 

Eighteen years of legos, star wars, broken arms and stitches, artistically carved spears and swords, guns and bows and knives and My Little Pony?!?  Er…um “Brony”.

Growling and fussing, Close encounters of the dangerous kind, X-box, dub step, first deer, first prom, first car…

..eighteen years with another seeing, feeling and thinking, passionate soul much like myself.

An artist.
A lover.
A man…. my son.

Bittersweet as it is to reach this milestone and recognize the days of our life together under one roof are coming to a close, the next chapter of his story is really the one we’ve been writing and preparing for all these years: manhood.

I couldn’t grasp it then but it’s very clear now;  this is the very reason I covered and protected him in that first storm and through the many “storms” that would follow; release.

Releasing him with God’s help, into manhood with as much faith, wisdom and training as any mother is able to impart to her child, has been the goal all along.

 And I do.    I release him with much love.

Today, I want him to know I am so proud the man he is becoming. I pray he’ll continue to learn how to lead well and lean hard into God as his guide as he goes, trusting in His care and always… throughout all of life’s storms, I pray he’ll always know the way Home.Lorretta signature


24 thoughts on “Many Years of Covering

  1. Thank you for sharing 18 years of covering for your son. We are covered in Love from Jesus and the angels do protect us daily as our steps are ordered by the Lord. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us here at “Tell Me a Story.”

  2. Such a great story…and scary too of course. Good job Momma! To all you have sheltered him from and prepared him to be.
    Amen sister!

    1. Thanks Sue…it’s been quite a journey and we’ve been through many storms together.And while I’d do some things differently today, there are really very few things I’d change overall–except maybe to relax and enjoy the ride a little more! Bless you!

  3. Love. Love. Love. This story… As my boys approach the 18th year I hear your heart and I am encouraged by your joy in this man you have raised.

  4. Wonderful send up and send off to your son. I tell my son, now 23, that he will always be my baby boy. We can’t help but hold onto those days and those moments. Yet, it is exhilarating, in all the dimensions of that word, to watch our children spread their wings and take flight.
    Oh but the most joyous of all is having grandchildren, with a whole new generation to watch grow.
    The only way to enjoy and survive it all is with faith. And knowing the angels attend to all. Sounds like you and at least one of your readers can attest to that.


  5. Oh my word girl. Tears for the entire thing. I can’t imagine the panic in the midst of that storm, but I understand how hard it can be to let go, and how easy at the same time. Quite a dichotomy, eh?

  6. Sigh….a lovely recollection. This summer my boys turn 15,16, and 18 and I am floored at how quickly time has flown. It is an awesome thing to accept that all your {our} work has been with this in mind…that they will GO into the world and make a world of their own. But I know we also want them to WANT to come back home now and again…and to remember how they are always going to be our little boys :).
    A beautiful story! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh Donna…you are so welcome. I have enjoyed being their Momma… loved playing legos and all. But I know they must grow up and I don’t want to be selfish and hold them back although, a moment or two longer would be nice. Bless you Sister!

  7. Wow! What a story, Loretta! I was holding my breath while I read. Happy 18th Birthday to your son…and happy day to you, mama! You’ve done your job well 🙂

  8. What an incredible story!

    It reminds me of one that I’ve heard over and over when I was little. I was a baby and my dad fell asleep driving (well, everyone fell asleep) and the car rolled. My mom was holding me (wasn’t illegal back in those days) because she had been nursing and she says, “It was the second roll when I felt my arms release. I can still feel that shear panic.” As soon as the car stopped she started screaming, “The baby! I lost the baby!” So my dad set her to unbuckling the boys from the back seat and went to look for me.

    I was laying in the grass, madder than a hornet and perfectly find. Papa said it was like an angel had gentle set me down through the broken out window and let the car roll right over top of me.

    Happy 18th to your son!!!

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