Saturday, February 13, 2010

Moment of Gratitude

I went to the gym three times in the past week, a record for me lately. I am maintaining my initial five to six pound loss.

Weeks seem like months lately. So many things crammed into them. My son and I had a trip Tuesday to the small town courthouse for his first bond appearance. I considered it quality time spent together. Looking past the initial chaos that ensued shortly after I brought him home I can see many beautiful things. First of all, to have a loved one in maximum security prison for almost 13 years takes a toll on a person. Especially your own child. It is hard to articulate. We dream of the day we can do simple things together, cook a meal, go for a drive, sit on the couch and watch a movie. Hug, touch, love, speak freely, have all the time we need. Give to each other. I had given up on some of those dreams over the years. Leaving a person behind in a prison is hard. The desire to set them free is so great that it is painful to even think about sometimes.

So, I realized some of those dreams, many of them in the past month. As I stood outside the heavy metal l door waiting I could hear my son talking to the guards while they got him ready to leave. He did not know I was coming and that he was going to be able to come home. I paced and worried something would go wrong at the last minute. But the door eventually popped open and out he came. I will never forget the sound of the popping of that lock. I have heard those locks so many times as we moved through the passages of prisons, feeling like prisoners ourselves, in order to spend a couple of hours with our loved one. I think we were both in shock but it seemed so natural, driving together to long drive home. I kept taking wrong turns and getting lost even though I knew the way. He used my phone to call family and friends. I remember him telling a good friend he was riding in a car, drinking a milkshake, talking on a cellular phone. Simple things we take for granted.

I got to take him shopping and buy him clothes. I got to bring him upstairs and knock on his son's door and surprise him with his father no longer behind the walls of a prison, or the glass of a visiting room window. I got to cook a big dinner that we all sat down together and ate. We had coffee together in front of the fire in the mornings on the weekends while the kids were still asleep. I don't want to forget these things and take them for granted. I never thought we would be able to do these things together.

Yes, there was the period when his addiction flared which I did not think we would survive, but we did. And things have calmed again and we all have help and support. I am learning to let go. Learning that as much as I love a person I cannot control their destiny, protect them from themselves, or manage their life and activities. I can still love them, and I can take care of myself. I work hard to learn how to do this until it comes naturally. I never have to go through anything alone.

I have gotten to know my son better. I have seen him loving and affectionate and patient. Even in the rough weeks he was always loving to us. He never lost his temper with me even though I was very confrontational, angry and verbally out of line. It made me look at myself harder and it made me want to be a better person. I still have not had the luxury of time to reflect on things like I used to but I have moments to take like now to see how there are good things happening. Life is not a fairy tale but it can have happy moments, and if we choose to look for them, to recognize them, appreciate them and cherish them, we can endure the hardship with more dignity and faith.

I did not know what I was going to write about today but I wanted to post. I feel like I have been through a tornado but the rebuilding of my life in the aftermath will reveal an even better life beyond my wildest dreams.

Yesterday I celebrated 21 years without drugs or alcohol. I was an addict and alcoholic from the age of 15 to 30. It's been a long journey but I am grateful today that I have chosen to stick with it. I understand many things and I have compassion for others because of my experiences. I try to use my experience to help other people whenever possible.

More will be revealed.


Vickie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annimal said...

I've been wondering how things were too. Glad you are pulling through this.
Do you blame yourself for your son's addiction?
I realize that is a horribly intrusive question and NOMB, but I know you can feel free to ignore it.
How are your Mom & Dad holding up?

Vickie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen said...

Congrats on your 21 years!! And so happy for you that your son is out. :-)