One of my favorite songs is “Blessed”, by Martina McBride. The lyrics are a mantra to me and I have been known to belt them out in front of the bathroom mirror. (I love to sing, although some might say I need lessons.)
During the holidays, a lot of emphasis is placed on counting our blessings and I consider my son to be one of my greatest…
On the other hand, holidays with an addict can suck. Plain and simple.
Stress is high enough under normal circumstances. Add a heaping helping of unpredictability and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Four years ago, his arm was broken in a drug-related altercation with a friend.
I never heard the whole truth, but it sounded like they were both to blame.
Whatever. By the time the story got to me, it was full of holes. He spent
half a day in the ER having his arm set and the rest of the holiday in and out of a percocet haze. We did make it to the 5:00 Christmas Eve service at church;
he looked like a million dollars in his coat and tie and slept through most of it.
He spent Thanksgiving and Christmas 2011 in jail, was out for a while and will be in jail again this year. Some consistency.
At least I know where he is and that he’s safe.
Last week, the Denver facility prepared a special Thanksgiving meal. On the phone that afternoon, he said “Mom, it wasn’t exactly your spread, but it was OK”. Knowing that his South Carolina grandparents would be in Virginia for the weekend, he wrote to them individually and mailed the letters to our house.
My mother’s birthday was Thanksgiving Day and he wished her Happy Birthday and told her that he was sorry that they couldn’t be together to celebrate.
My father’s letter had the same thoughtful tone.
The third letter was to me:
I just wanted to tell you that I love you. Thanks so much for being there for me through this difficult time. I promise that I am working hard to better myself so that the next 50 years for me are worth living. I have reached the end of the road for this disease. I miss you and love you more than you know ! Love, your son.”
I ordered his Christmas presents online thru a Holiday Package Program.
A $75 maximum order for canteen items from Louisiana sardines to moisturizing soap. These are luxury items that cost extra and can be purchased if the inmate has money on his books or through this program. I’ll also order a few more books through the internet to arrive by December 25.
I have learned not to look too far into the future.
I am thankful for the gift of perspective.
For today, all is calm ……