Hope Floats- in The Desert

Photo by author

I squeezed the foam earplugs between my fingers and stuffed them into my ear, leaning my flushed, tired face against the cool airplane window in relief.

As the foam expanded, the sounds of the chattering women behind me slowly faded- thankfully. I wanted silence.

I watched the snow-covered tips of the Oquirrh Mountains get smaller and smaller.

I was headed to Phoenix for a much-needed reprieve/retreat with a group of Moms of children with substance use disorders.

The thought crossed my mind of what I would say if someone asked me where I was headed.

I mean it’s not exactly a proud moment like it would be if I said, “Oh, I’m going to an event for Moms of sterling scholar students.”

If I were going to a childhood cancer retreat, it would likely be met with support and sympathy.

As it is, I usually just say “vacation” if I’m doing anything substance use-related.
Of course, times are changing a little. When vulnerability is exposed in the right circumstances, you will immediately find “someone who knows someone” with substance use disorder.

Some social media recovery Influencers -who reach a lot of people, are helping with their memes on understanding addiction; but the service they deliver is misleading at times.

What others think is not my concern right now. I am in survival mode, hoping to advance to Thrive-mode soon.

Photo by author

As I landed at the Pheonix airport, I was met with several flashing billboards advertising a casino or similar:

Reclaim what is rightfully yours-You do you!” 

Wow, YES!!

That’s what I needed!
I needed to reclaim my peace, my sanity, my sense of direction!

I wanted to feel empowered in my co-dependency so that it turned to healthy pro- dependence, just like the book of a similar name.

I wanted relief from my emotions being based on someone else’s actions that I obviously couldn’t control.

I wanted to feel joy again even as my son is still deep in his addiction having lost everything he worked so hard for.

I wanted to stop this suffocating feeling of disappointment and pain that HE must be feeling.

I wanted to not care so much, or at least act like I didn’t care so much.

I wanted my little family back. I wanted my youngest son to UN- Disown me for “helping the tweaker”. I wanted our family to go on trips and have loud funny parties without there being an elephant in the room. I wanted to be able to talk about my oldest son without tip-toeing on eggshells.

To say his name again.

To say it with relief and admiration at what he’s overcome. 
To just be free of the chains of addiction that not only grab the victim but also everyone who loves and knows them.

Yes, I know that’s a lot to expect from one conference or one weekend.

But it’s a start. It’s moving forward.

It’s meeting women that all have something in common. People who you don’t have to hide your situation from. People who you don’t have to bite your lip or hold back your tears when they talk about how well their kids are doing.

Ah yes.
Sun, water, fresh air, bunnies, quails, even cacti were my heaven this weekend.

Photo by author

The logistics of traveling and inconveniences of housing with no hot water didn’t stop me from sucking in every ounce of strength and wisdom from these women.

Don’t be fooled by broken hearts and contrite spirits. They can do wonders with grief and pain. These women taught me perseverance, grace, love, and faith in the unknown.

Women from all areas of America, from different faiths-and at least ONE with no faith- came together and worshipped in their way, to thank God and accept and honor his will with grace.
Women who have lost a child to substance use, taught ME about hope. How could that be? How could someone who has experienced every mom’s worst nightmare teach about HOPE?

With grace and God’s help, that’s how.
People who have the worst pasts often end up with the greatest futures.

As my weekend ended and I said goodbye to these ladies, the most often phrase was “Let’s keep in touch”.
With social media these days, that’s easy to do. But the reality is, we will all go home to our situations. We will cry and yell and dream and hope. We will feel alone and forsaken at times.

It’s up to each person to find their peace, no matter what they are facing.

As I was leaving, one of the younger ladies, who I felt such a pull to- for her faith and talent; pulled me aside with a piece of paper and said, “I’ve been praying for you and I came up with the color green and the flower lily because I think your heart is PURE and I love you.”

I rushed away, through the  5 hours of security, flying, ubering, and made it to my neighborhood. As I trudged up the driveway, tired and worn out, I looked down at my flower beds lying bare in the cold dirt. There amid such brown barrenness, I see the Green tips of my spring Lilys and tulips braving through the frozen ground.

Hope eternal.

Blessed are the pure in heart. (& we ALL are pure on heart).
Thank you, Brianna.
And God.

Photo by Tonyevans.org

A Simple Driveway

ᎳhᎽ ᏆhᎥs ᏢᎥᏟᏆuᏒᎬ mᎪᎠᎬ ᏆhᎥs mᎪmᎪ ᏟᏒᎽ

It looks like just a house.

Some cement.

A fence

A few trees

But it’s more than that to me.

To me, this house represents success. It’s represents hope. It represents forward motion. It gives hope to a sense of normalcy again. It screams “Please validate me even while I’m in this darkness!”

Specifically, I’m talking about the driveway made of brand new cement. This represents the seemingly long lost talent and grit of my entrepreneur son who did a downhill slide into addiction in 2019. And I don’t just mean bunny hill slide. I mean Matterhorn, Revelstoke, and Whistler- Blackcomb kind of slide.

The kind of slide that takes everything you own away. New house, huge business, over 20 vehicles, 2 campers, and last but certainly not least, a 12 year marraige and 2 precious kids.

Why?” You ask? “ Why would anyone ‘choose’ to lose everything?

Of course they don’t.

They only chose the first part. The part about having a drink to take the edge off the day. Ya- know? Like you and I can.

They only chose to lessen some back pain from working 60 hours a week.

They chose to take a pill to finally be able to sleep the whole night through. It was slowly, gradually, until they realized they became sick without it. Until they realized that they were spending more time trying to not be sick than living life. They were telling more lies than they’d ever told in their life, just to avoid being sick.

By the time they started having the negative consequences of their substance use, their brain was so hijacked to get more and more that they couldn’t care. Not didn’t care- Couldn’t care.

As Gabor Mate stated in this article: …The addicted person

“ suffers negative consequences as a result of, and yet has difficulty giving up”.

Dr. Gabor Matè

He won’t even argue the disease versus choice because he believes

“Addiction is neither a choice nor a disease, but originates in a human being’s desperate attempt to solve a problem: the problem of emotional pain, of overwhelming stress, of lost connection, of loss of control, of a deep discomfort with the self”.

All I know is the devastating effects of this ‘condition’ because my family has experienced them daily. The deep pain, anger and confusion permeats everyone around the addicted loved one. So any, I mean- any -progress, to get back into being a functional member of society, is celebrated with a big sigh of relief.

This driveway and the work involved in prepping it, forming it, pouring and leveling it, is an amazing accomplishment.

Today, I choose to be extremely grateful for this picture of this simple driveway.

It represents HOPE.

Hope for more driveways. More work. More contracts. Less court, less drugs, less shady friends.

Hope to climb out of the darkness of addiction and back to the amazing dad, husband, sun, brother, uncle and friend my son IS!

As this Christmas Day comes to a close, I’m now filled with my usual sense of melancholy and sadness.

I’m so happy my son is alive today. I did NOT want to lose him on Christmas. Yes, there was an empty chair at our parties as I wrote in my blog this week. All in all, it’s another day in the life of a Mother of an Addicted Loved One.

This same Article is on medium with a few minor changes.

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 🇺🇲

“Because of Covid”

“Because of Covid”

How many times a day do we hear “Because of Covid?”

I’ve never wanted to die. But because of Covid, I sometimes do.

No, I don’t have Covid. Nor do I want it. No, I don’t think it’s a fake virus. I think it’s a virus.

A relatively unknown virus. That kills.

Almost everywhere, a million times a day you hear “Because of Covid.”

It seems to be a “reason” for ANY thing that can’t be done due to covid, no matter how trivial; even things which don’t seem to correlate “with Covid”.

Confusing statement? Exactly. Proves my point.

What makes me sad, and angry & shocked, is the power this virus seems to have. It’s like a cancer eating away at everyone’s sense of judgement for freedoms and even affects their relationship with their families, who may disagree.

The seemingly invisible ability to destroy families, businesses, traditions, values, vacations, jobs, housing, decency, human nature, bonds, and holidays feels eerily familiar.

See, there’s another Pandemic that doesn’t get near the attention because of a preconceived judgement that certain humans aren’t worthy of basic needs.

Resurrection of Me Instagram

I care about covid, I do. But the lack of attention and empathy for the ongoing opiod epidemic that came crashing into my life two years ago, has me rattled.

I mean, we could compare the two death rates and all, but it would always end with the same statement: “Well, addiction is not contagious, addicts knew the risk, they’re not innocent, they brought this onto theirselves”

That’s awesome.

Another painful jab to a mother’s hurting heart.

So pain is now judgementized?( I’m aware this may not be a real word- but it fits)

I thought pain was pain. Suffering is suffering.

I was taught as a nurse that pain is what ever the PATIENT said it was….. Not what pain YOU think they have. ( Thanks to studies sponsored by Purdue—which helped contribute to this epidemic in the first place)

How come AIDS was a valid disease even though it usually resulted from a person’s choice? (With no push from drs and pharmaceutical companies that it was ‘harmless’).

So are WE playing God by deciding who’s worthy of treatment or sympathy?

It’s an honest question.

“No we’re not playing God, it’s just that addiction will always be around, this virus NEEDS our attention NOW.”

Do you know what else needs attention? An innocent little kid who needs her daddy back. What else? A man who has lost every single thing he worked for 15 years to get and now he shaking miserably in the bathroom of a speedway not knowing where to get his next fix so he’ll stop vomiting. A mom, who night after night, cries herself to sleep wondering where she went wrong. A mom who begs a God she never quite believed in before, to please save her son.

Maybe that’s all I want. Is sympathy.

I get it.

I haven’t lost anyone to Covid. Close, but not quite.

But I guess I kindof resent the fact that those who have lost relatives to covid are getting the mass media coverage like crazy. Softly dramatized stories about how much their relative suffered in the hospital and the heroes who took care of them.

Let me be clear. I’m not downplaying anyone’s experience. I’m just saying that if their loved one was suffering with a substance abuse disorder, they probly would not be used as a ‘ story’ in order to further the need for a certain point to be made, such as mask wearing or any other pubic service campaign to persuade people to take it “more seriously”.

We” (mamma’s of addicts) ARE taking it seriously. Like you, every aspect of our lives has changed, how could we not?

But we have been masking up for years. Hiding behind the stigma of Addiction. “We” can now see some of the hidden agendas that are being indirectly and sometimes directly played to families suffering with their grief.

This is done by using that pain as a “message” by having it come from the tear- stained face of a family member pleading with people to Pleeease care!

Do your part!!

“DO YOUR PART! DON’T BE SELFISH”

As they drive by the homeless person in their shiny car.

Look, I KNOW it’s human nature to have a CAUSE or a tribe to further the need of place our pain and blame onto someone or something else when we feel out of control. I mean, you could say I’m doing it now.

I could mention that I’ve been in “isolation” for years with my own mask. Covering up and quarantining our family secret of this addiction.

It’s one of those things normal people don’t understand.

But I attest to you, the pain of this other pandemic, is real. The fear of the unknown Is real. The dread of receiving “the call” is on my mind every single day.

When I see how far people have jumped and caved and twisted and turned for this virus, Yes, I’m jealous. I’ve written letter after letter asking for assistance with the nightmare journey of addiction. Famous people, entertainers, influencers, politicians, netflix documentary lawyers. I rarely get a response.

What did I want them to do? I don’t know. Whisk him away to the indies for a swanky rehab I guess. Who knows? I just want the pain to stop. Mostly for him. But that requires money.

The money thrown at this new powerful virus is hard to watch. 1-2 million for billboards for masks?

I’ve resigned to the fact that “because of Covid,” No one can really help. Especially when people are in constant chaos about the state of the world and the safety and future of themselves and their families. So I trudge through each day on a wing and a prayer. ?

Praying that “Because of Covid”, or AFTER covid, some miracle may happen to bring my son back to life.

Life before Covid.

Life before addiction.

I just hope that AFTER covid , it won’t be too late.

Anticipatory Grief

ƛ͙ Ɗ͙ƛ͙Ƴ͙ Ɩ͙Ɲ͙ Ƭ͙Ӈ͙Є͙ Լ͙Ɩ͙Ƒ͙Є͙

A person with a substance use disorder.

Is the correct title.

But today. It doesn’t matter. My son is lost in the chaotic world of addiction. He’s in pure survival mode.

And so am I.

The middle of the night awakenings are wearing on me…. Checking my phone for “the call”.

Apparently its called “anticipatory grief”

I don’t care what its called. I hate it.

I sink back into bed glad for one more day of hope.

Hope that a miracle will happen. That he will have a spiritual awakening. A moment of clarity. That he will suddenly devote his life to recovery as hard as he has devoted to his addiction.

My heart sinks a million feet when I get a glimpse of his pictures.

That boy. That all american boy that I’m just supposed to not talk about.

Detach they say.

Let him go. Let him hit rock bottom.

That phrase makes me laugh. Not a laugh of joy. Of sheer terror. Rock bottom? Losing a million dollar business, 1/2 million dollar house- hand built by my talented driven son; 2 beautiful babies who don’t know their daddy. His dignity, his respect. His livelihood, his honor, his dreams, his reputation, his honor.

Rock bottom?

A disease so powerful that it can make a man not care anymore. A drug so damn strong- thanks purdue- that it makes him lose 100 lbs in 6 months because food is an inconvenience compared to it’s euphoria.

But it’s not even euphoria anymore. It’s chasing the dragon….

Just trying to keep from getting sick every day.

And I chase my own dragon.

The dragon of despair….. Then a rush of relief….a glimmer of hope…..dashed with a sickening wave of disappointment.

But despite all this. I hold on. Because as long as I’m the mother of an addict, there’s the teeny tiny sliver of 🌠ⱧØ₱Ɇ🌠that I could soon be the mother of a recovered addict.

If You Really Want to Help Me

If you really want to help me, learn all you can about my disease. Let me know you ᑕᗩᖇE.  Listen to my fears.

Ask me how I’m feeling without giving solutions. Don’t remind me of how I’m constantly screwing everything up. Trust me I know.

Let me know that this life, these drugs ᗪO ᑎOT ᗪEᖴIᑎE  ᗰE

Let me know without a doubt that there’s a ᗷETTEᖇ ᗯᗩY & that I don’t have to live in constant struggle.

Tell me ademently & Without a Doubt that I ᗩᗰ ᑕᗩᑭᗩᗷᒪE of climbing out of the tunnel of darkness.

Assure me that there’s ᒪIGᕼT outside and I have the skills to find it again, no matter what lies go around in my head.

Most of all tell me I deserve to be happy and fulfilled again. I deserve to be ᖇESᑭEᑕTEᗪ & TᖇᑌSTEᗪ
again. And that there is ᕼᗩᑭᑭIᑎESS without drugs.

Mostly though:

Just ᒪOᐯE ᗰE TIᒪᒪ I’ᗰ ᗰE ᗩGᗩIᑎ💙

© Samanthawaters

A Deep Dive

Before I discovered Addiction so intimately within my own family,  I would have written off this Video as just another religious kook.

But when you are dropped to your knees with such utter powerless & deep despair, you find yourself seeking out a God, any God- real fast.  The sheer pain & fear along with the loss of someone you love dearly Even though that person is still alive, is humbling to say  the least.

After basically going through the 5 stages of grief with the loss of this relationship, you start to actually have some compassion for them. Or at least I did…..or do. That s kindof where I am now.

My son. I miss the son I remember & love sooooo much. And even though I’m incredibly grateful that he is still breathing, the son I know & knew is not available right now.

He has an out to lunch sign on the door.

When I finally came to the realization that my adult child isn’t the sweet, innocent perfect person I had held onto believing for so long, I was devastated.

So to watch that passionate Addict turned evangelist video tell me that in God’s eyes they ARE! It was refreshingly freeing!

They ARE still worthy!

They ARE still loved immensely! And the biggest blessing Is that they CAN CHANGE at ANY time!

Hope.

HOPE is a wonderful thing.

It’s all we got really.

Having a bad day? Hope gives you a new day tomorrow.

I’ve heard addicts say that is what they lacked the most( & needed from people) more than anything was hope. Because their illness tells them that it’s too late, they’re too far gone, why try anymore. Just get high and numb out then everything will be ok.

I am hoping that I can begin  to have this kind of Christlike compassion for my boy and other addicts. Even when they don’t ACT as if they should deserve any mercy, they are still human beings having a horrible existence right now. Having to lie, cheat, steal to support a stupid evil powerful drug that has held them hostage for way too long.

Jesus is always available. If only we would seek HIM.

I can’t imagine losing your mind that way, your Freedom, your family, everything you once cared about to become a slave to a THING.

Can you imagine the freedom, the love, the sheer JOY of being saved? Of having that hope spread through your body with more power than any Evil drug? Can you imagine how that would feel?

Consider the powerful artist painting above by Stephen Sawyer. It’s titled “Calvary”; meaning “it’s a pain that we associate with not only great sorrow but great victory.”

One interpretation in THIS article states that at this point the addict isn’t feeling any pain but it hurts Jesus when we hurt ourselves.”

He wanted to demonstrate that “When you’ve done it unto the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.” In my past religious teaching I would have taken this as a ” oh well then it’s too late, I’m worthless because I have sinned against God & his son. But isn’t that the whole point of Calvary?

The artist went on to say “The Temple of God is within you …and … IF WE ALLOW IT – we can create a magnificent home for the Presence of God in our lives.”

I think there are many ways to interpret the message, one being that Jesus will take all our pain away if we only reach out.

Please pray for ALL who are suffering. 🙏

God bless us all.

©Samanthawaters

NOT ᗰY ᑕᕼIᒪᗪ

For all those who see the purple banners during overdose awareness month or see the videos of people with substance abuse disorders passed out and you scroll on by thinking, “I’m sure glad that doesn’t affect me, I’m glad I taught my kids better” or “someone should have gotten them some help”.

I applaud you.

I truly do.

I am so glad that you have never had to watch your beautiful child turn into someone you didn’t know.

I’m so glad you’ve never had a call from the inmate phone system asking if you’ll accept the charges.

I’m soooo glad you’ve never had the experience of watching your 28-year-old, 240 lb son thrash around in the back seat sweating, then freezing, begging his own mother to please take him to get drugs to stop this sickness, as you’re trying to take him to rehab.

I’m sooo glad you’ve never had to see a dad in a restaurant with his kids & have your heart ache so deeply that your son isn’t with his kids, that you go out to your car and burst into tears.

I’m so glad you don’t have to sit down at a delicious meal & feel a twinge of guilt knowing your child hasn’t eaten for days & wondering where he even is.

I’m so glad you’ve never had to see your precious grandkids celebrate a birthday & not knowing the words to tell them that their dad has a progressive illness that teaches him lies that he doesn’t have to be a dad & that’s it’s NOT because they are not worthy of love.

The innocent victims of substance abuse disorder

I’m glad that you would never tell a dying lung cancer patient that they shouldn’t have started smoking, and they should just get over this pesky illness that’s inconvenienced everyone and just get a job!

I truly am.
Because I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on anyone.

I would never want anyone to lay awake at night, unable to stop the tears, wondering what they could have done differently.

I’m very glad you haven’t ever got THE CALL.

I’m very glad that you taught your kids to make better choices, & that you’ve never broken the speed limit or took a drink, or had something so traumatic in your life that you just needed to get through the pain for a minute… And if you did, luckily you were able to stop or walk away with any devastating effects.

Great genes, or coping skills!

What about helping teach those to others?

Obedience to all the laws and principles is great and admirable and yes it does make for a safer and all- be- it more productive life.(I mean who doesn’t want to be perfect) but not if it makes us look down on others who-for whatever reason didn’t go down that ←→ path.

This problem IS everyone’s problem.

Addiction affects every aspect of society, whether directly or indirectly. From the homeless to the prisons to the overwhelmed court system with possession charges taking up so much time. Stringing people through the system costs taxpayers almost $100 k per inmate.

I don't want one more parent to have to bury a child due to drugs or alcohol, but the only way that's going to happen is if we ALL take on this epidemic as our problem, & truly make an effort get rid of judgements and stigmas which bring MORE SHAME to all involved. 

Shame and embarrassment are keeping people from seeking treatment.

We need to create practical affordable solutions for all- while eliminating the waste & fraud in treatment.

Even if that means opening our mind up to alternative treatments such as Harm reduction.

The death rate is frightening and it IS AN EPIdemic as it affects the core of the family structure, jobs, crime, the jail system, and little kids who grow up with the stigma of a parent in jail or who has died.

If you don’t have any idea how to help, how about start with the words we use, such as junkie, tweaker & worthless. These are shaming and hurtful to the families & children of addicts. And don’t forgot, under that hardened core of a dysfunctional chaotic addict, is a person in pain with zero healthy coping skills. The least we can do is not to add to it.

Or what about not arguing about insulin needing to be free. Maintenance meds are not usually free to anyone, but AED paddles and Narcan to revive-not treat, are free to EMTS.

Other people in pain aren’t the enemy.

It’s going to take all hands on deck to help stop this nightmare, just like the virus grabbed everyone attention. This epidemic existed long before that and will continue after. Most of the typical solutions are not working anymore, and needs to be revamped with new attitudes and ideas. These ideas must start with compassion not disgust. Not sarcastic answers and opinions on why they started.

Please offer your compassion and time. Even if you don’t understand how it progresses to such a dysfunction of incarceration or homelessness, you can still give HOPE to a suffering addict or a kind word to the family of a person with a substance use disorder.

You can give that struggling person on the corner, a $5 McDonald’s card to let him know that -yes someone does give a damn- today…

Without HOPE, everyone suffers.