That blasted black bag.
It sits there in all its lonely glory, awaiting to be carried, slung, moved & re-arranged. Hoping for a final home that seems only a dream.
The bag has been drug around for months. Every holiday – in fact- for the last 10 months. Transplanted from it’s temporary base in a cold garage only to be reduced to the seat of a car, then many a cold tile hotel floor.
It’s contents of candy & shoes sit willingly and patiently awaiting their owner to adore them with greatfulness.
Doesn’t seem like much. But it makes this momma feel better. That is, if it’s ever delivered. I haven’t seen my boy for 10 months.
The future recipient of this bag, is a little boy who once spent days digging a moar- a canal really- to bypass the spring flooding that, in his mind, threatened his childhood home.
In reality, it was just mild spring run-off from the small fishing pond above our house.
He would rush through the back door of the house like a whirlwind, a muddy wind-of -whirl that is; looking for a treat or a drink or another tool to make his project more efficient. He would leave as fast as he came, leaving you perplexed but with a certain envy at his vigor and vivaciousness & curiosity at what drives them both.
The future recipient of this bag, once as a 23 year old hard-working construction foreman was driving home through a dark deep canyon over a rural mountain range. The work week of 60 hours was complete and he had a wad of cash in the front seat with him. He then rolled his huge $50k truck into a ravine where he had no service. He actually walked away from it without a scratch, up to the road where miraculously his electric personality drew in a morsel of service long enough to make a call to get help.
This would be the first of many appointments his guardian angels would make with him. And the first of many “wads of cash” that tumbled over the dark edge in his grasp.
This boy-turned-man-turned entrepreneur-turned-dad-turned substance use dependant; now owns no truck, no cash, no home and hasn’t seen his kids in over a year. The deals he once maneuvered with crane companies, inspectors, pipelines, & electricians are now replaced with deals for hits or points or whatever else will fulfill his audacious cravings that this monster has made him a slave of.
My little boy is lost.
I’m bringing him his favorite candy. The candy he always asks for when he detoxes or is clean. I want weight on him. I want the big brawny son I remember being proud of. I can’t even look at the pictures of him now. The ravages of drugs are not just some picture in a Don’t Do Drugs pamphlet. These ravages are visible front and center on the sunken-in skin and pale eyes of my beautiful first born son.
My strong, funny, determined warrior of a son.
My son who loves fully & completely. My son who feels deep shame. My son who is so embarrassed of the mess he made of his life that he stays locked in this self- determined prison. The ligitimity of his devotion to this disease is evidenced by the rough corrosive steel chains that bind him to the day to day depravity of that lifestyle.
Hence the black bag.
The bag that this mom hopes will breathe a wisp of life back into a boy who has lost his sense of everything good and healthy.
This cloth & leatherish vinyl bag, stitched together with my last threads of life strung with hope for my boy.
In it, some simple candy, his favorite, to remind him of the sheer taste of joy & pleasure of life outside of drugs.
A new pair of shoes for him to remember the privilege of a regular life, working a”regular” job and the wonderful places they can take him.
Further in the bag of hope, is a pair of gloves. New, stiff faux leather. The droopy finger spaces longing for human hands to fill up space and mold them to what they were designed to do. To remind him of his incredible talent. Of how his hands have not lost that talent and how they can make his dreams come true again.
I will find my boy. I dream of him running to the bag. His face full of adventure like that muddy little boy running in the house looking for treats.
My dream is he will accept the gifts offered as a hope that he is still worthy of a life of joy and self-respect again. That he will go back out into the world and take that shovel back. Take it and dig his way out of this darkness into the light of true joy and happiness.