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Empty Chairs

This time of year is bound to drudge up painful feelings for those who have lost a child or have a prodigal son or daughter who is lost in addiction or otherwise estranged. The happy music, with families dancing around the warmly decorated fireplace, is almost too much for moms like me who are worried sick about their child or children.

We go through the motions of forced shopping, baking, decorating, even if it’s the bare minimum. We think no one will notice, as long we do our “due- duty”.

But they do.

My husband sees the pain on my face as I order gifts online, knowing that I can’t order anything for my oldest son.

He sees me plan our family Christmas party which is a 35 year tradition, knowing that ‘the boy’ won’t be there.

My other kids notice the endless memes I post about “sitting with someone in their darkness” and “help the homeless, it’s someone’s brother, son or Dad.”

They long for the days when I wasn’t so hyper- focused on the “least happiest child”.

Hell, I long for those days! The days before addiction hit our family. I watch with happy tears, a video from Christmas 2016. My son, in his brand new custom- built- by -him house with it’s cobalt blue Christmas lights shining brightly along the perfectly planned ranch beams. It was the picture of success. A successful business, a beautiful family, a warmly decorated house, with plenty of presents under the tree.

My son happily unwraps the gifts in the “saran wrap game” we were playing. He slams it down in true bigger- than-life style that was all his own. Everyone laughs! The sounds of his little girl gleefully giggling at her daddy breaks my heart.

How long has it been since she saw him? 10 months now. How she must lie in bed and wonder what she did wrong.

I hate hate hate this disease.

And no, I will not argue about the cause of this nightmare. Disease or choice.

To me it’s doesn’t matter. Pain is pain. Even if I didn’t have a loved one experiencing the horrible consequences, I’m not going to play judge or jury on someone’s life.

No one would choose the consequences of Addiction. They wanted the benefits of a drink or a pain killer. They didn’t want the excruciating torment that follows.

So here we are. The holidays again. How to be in the spirit? ⛄🎄⛄🎄

My nurse practitioner friend, whom I did confide in, said I needed some stabilization meds, but how can I take the very thing that started this nightmare? 💊.

Yes I know.

Even my professional sense says that it’s different. I won’t abuse them. I’m not going to get addicted to antidepressants.

But I resist. You see, I have this underlying Hope.  This theory that every day he’s alive means that EVERY DAY could be the day he chooses recovery and ‘ I ‘ will be all better.

With the law bearing down on him, you would think.  But his wretched master is a cunning one. “H̷E̷” (the wretched master) tells the most outrageous lies EVERY damn day. And my smart, quippy, entrepreneur son believes them!!!

My son, believes that just one more day will make everything ok. One more day of👹 u̷s̷i̷n̷g̷👹, then he will be ready to stop. But that day never seems to come.

So meanwhile, I have to find a solution.

I’ve always peached gratefulness, but where was mine now? When my little baby granddaughter sends me a video singing

🥶”千尺ㄖ乙乇几” 🥶

in true 2 year old free-spirit form! 🎶👯🎶👯🎶; My heart melts. I Must find a way to ᴍᴀᴋᴇ sᴘɪʀɪᴛs ʙʀɪɢʜᴛ again.

I can’t let others drown in my misery.

Even if my going through the motions means I add a little song to those motions.

What if I add a beautiful handmade ( dollar-store) ornament to each of their gifts?

What if I actually bring the JOY that I so desperately want myself to my other equally deserving beautiful family members?

What a beautiful thing. To create pleasure out of such pain. I think they call that alchemy….

I call it JØɎ.

In gratefulness we find our true freedom 🇺🇲

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