Against A Crooked Sky

As I drive through the windy canyon, the familiar rolling hills of my hometown gave way to the rows of turkey coops dotting the fields. Years ago, raising turkeys was the main livelihood for the country farmers. As a child, I would help my dad drive the trucks between the feeders to fill them up with grain. That little blonde girl roaming the countryside, looking for another adventure; seems like a million eons ago.

I had been making this trip more and more recently. To see my boys, all three of them- in the same town together! Finally, after many years of living in different parts of the state, they end up just 2 houses apart. Jobs, families, and that creep- addiction had separated our family and torn it to shreds. But the last 3 months were a true miracle. My eldest son had done a complete 180 and turned his life completely around. It took a brush with death- a new scary heart diagnosis, but it still was his choice.

His new mindset was completely focused on becoming legal again, resolving his court cases, trying to reunite with his kids, and forging a new career where he could meet all his financial obligations. Well, that and surviving heart disease too.

Most of those went smoothly but not effortlessly, although he has a way of making it seem so.

My goal and purpose with this trip and others was to enjoy every second I had with him and my other kids.

I wish I could capture the feeling of opening up Facebook and seeing my son doing life. Eating out, going to the lake, kayaking, riding ATVs. Things they had done together 4 years ago, now seemed like nothing had ever come between them.

I wish I could take this feeling of relief and gently hand it to every hurting Mom. I wish I could share my splintered heart whose gaps are being filled up with small mementos of my much-awaited hope.

Hope that I spent years clinging to. Yearning. Aching for moments that I have now. Along with it comes tinges of guilt. For those who are still suffering.

Maybe it's a bit like survivors guilt.

I vividly remember the anguish. The sleepless nights. I see certain pictures and it all comes back. The endless worry and feelings of powerlessness. The minute to minute panic of the perpetual other shoe dropping. I felt like I was running, running against the crooked sky.

Now I finally see the rainbow. The light at the end of the tunnel. The bliss of joy. Of relief.

I know that this good fortune could run out at any time, so it’s all the more reason, why I am covering myself in it. Soaking in his victories and just loving on him any chance I get. I think I’ve hugged him more in the last 3 months than 36 years. If only I could package up those hugs. Package up his essence, his joy. His smile every time I see him.

One of his little nephews asked if he was always so fun and pleasant, and we told him yes, he was. Later he can be told that sometimes drugs mask these qualities and that’s what the last 3 years were like. For now, it’s healing time.

I had this written on my chalk painted wall for an entire year.

If I could gift this feeling to other hurting Moms, I wouldn’t wrap it in a fluffy tissue bag with a pretty bow and a tag that says live, laugh, and love.

Instead, I would give them a bright glowing golden heart with the message: hold-on, hope-on, and heal-on.

A heart of intention, covered in precious dew drops of the tears of a thousand moms mourning the child they once knew. The dew would glisten and shine brightly to lead the way to give them hope. Hope that everyone’s heart can heal. I would pass its energy onto trembling hands that have no idea what’s in store.

I would cover those trembling hands with all the love and faith I could carry, gently warming them into a slow breathable calmness. Telling them to trust, to hope, to have faith that there is someone who loves them and their child even more.

Someone who has them gently wrapped in the palm of his hands ever so strongly, knowingly.

When the pain is almost unbearable, and they feel alone, they can hold on to that heart and connect to their loved one, wherever they may be.

When you can't see the light, the Rainbow. You can't see any way out. Come back to your heart. That's where the God of your understanding lies. That's where your peace is. 

💘
As my friend Joanne so lovingly states:
That's where your safety lies.  That's where your child is safest.
In your own heart 💜


https://mailchi.mp/d56448346eba/lovewins

Not My Child

Overdose Awareness Day

For all those who see all the purple banners today representing overdose awareness day and you scroll on by thinking:

“I’m glad that doesn’t affect me, I’m glad I taught my kids better” or “Someone should have got them help”.

I applaud you. I do.

I am sooo glad that you have never had to watch your beautiful child turn into someone you didn’t know,
I’m sooo glad you’ve never had to get a call from the inmate phone system asking if you’ll accept the charges as you swallow the lump in your throat.

I’m soooo glad you’ve never had the experience of watching your 28-year-old, Once 220 lb- now 160 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 detox.

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.

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 is at.

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 chronic, progressive, fatal illness that teaches him lies & makes him do crazy things but he’s NOT crazy & this IS NOT happening because they are unworthy of love or did something wrong.

I’m glad that you would never tell a dying lung cancer patient that they shouldn’t have started smoking. I’m glad you would never tell a diabetic patient that they only get ONE chance to get their blood sugars under control, and then they’re on their own.

Or they should just get over this pesky illness that’s inconveniencing everyone.

I truly am.

Because I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on anyone. I would never want anyone else to lay awake at night, unable to stop the tears, wondering what they could have done differently.

I wouldn’t want anyone else to wonder if today is the day that THEY get 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 without any devastating effects.

Great genes, or coping skills! I wonder if you could help teach those to others? Obedience to life and all the rules, like you have done your whole life, must feel great. I’m sure you love your wonderful life.

What say you? Oh, your life isn’t perfect? I must have missed that part when you were shaking your head in disgust, or when you were rapidly typing with your two thumbs on the Narcan post that your tax dollars shouldn’t have to pay for others’ dumb choices.

In that case, we should start looking at ALL the programs funded by taxpayer money AND also the local hospital programs for heart disease and diabetes, HIV, many of which are the result of personal choices and they DO affect others in their own way.

I’m sure you’re normally a compassionate person. I used to be you. I was compassionate AND caring! I donated to the local children hospital fund. I ran in the race-for-cancer cure fun run. I donated coats for the homeless drive every winter when my kids were little. I left cans on my front door for the boy scout food drive.

But when driving by the guy on the corner, avoiding eye contact with him; I just KNEW that he was only supporting his habit and I had all I could do to not say out loud, “Just GET A JOB!

I understand, I do.

Never, ever, did it cross my mind that I would be walking into a police station to pick up leftover evidence that they had from a drug bust. Never, ever did I think I would be watching a nurse drain a cyst off my sons arm and watching him scream in pain. Never, ever did I worry every single day that my sons life would end, except maybe when he was a baby and had a high fever and was vomiting all night.

See, I’m not really that much different than you. The difference is, I’ve had the humbleness bug forced upon me for a few years now. I don’t hold it against you that you have missed that bug.

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

Shame and embarrassment are keeping people from seeking 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 from overdose or poisoning.

Addiction affects every aspect of society whether directly or indirectly. If you don’t have anything to offer to help stop this nightmare, then please please offer your compassion and time. Even if you don’t understand how it gets to this point, you can still give
HOPE to a suffering addict or a kind word to the family of a person with a substance use disorder.

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 are NOT the enemy.

See, 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 a little part of this ongoing and progressive epidemic to get rid of judgements and stigmas so we can forge practical, affordable solutions for all. 
This IS everyone's problem...

It’s ok to NOT understand the complexities of this disease and to not have a solution!

You can still give that person holding a sign on the corner, a $5 McDonald’s card to let him know that yes, someone does give a damn today- no matter what their motives.

Without hope, everyone suffers.
🤗🍀🙏💔💕💜☂️

Not My Child

Overdose Awareness Day

For all those who see all the purple banners today representing overdose awareness day and you scroll on by thinking:

“I’m glad that doesn’t affect me, I’m glad I taught my kids better” or “Someone should have got them help”.

I applaud you. I do.

I am sooo glad that you have never had to watch your beautiful child turn into someone you didn’t know,
I’m sooo glad you’ve never had to get a call from the inmate phone system asking if you’ll accept the charges as you swallow the lump in your throat.

I’m soooo glad you’ve never had the experience of watching your 28-year-old, Once 220 lb- now 160 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 detox.

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.

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 is at.

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 chronic, progressive, fatal illness that teaches him lies & makes him do crazy things but he’s NOT crazy & this IS NOT happening because they are unworthy of love or did something wrong.

I’m glad that you would never tell a dying lung cancer patient that they shouldn’t have started smoking. I’m glad you would never tell a diabetic patient that they only get ONE chance to get their blood sugars under control, and then they’re on their own.

Or they should just get over this pesky illness that’s inconveniencing everyone.

I truly am.

Because I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on anyone. I would never want anyone else to lay awake at night, unable to stop the tears, wondering what they could have done differently.

I wouldn’t want anyone else to wonder if today is the day that THEY get 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 without any devastating effects.

Great genes, or coping skills! I wonder if you could help teach those to others? Obedience to life and all the rules, like you have done your whole life, must feel great. I’m sure you love your wonderful life.

What say you? Oh, your life isn’t perfect? I must have missed that part when you were shaking your head in disgust, or when you were rapidly typing with your two thumbs on the Narcan post that your tax dollars shouldn’t have to pay for others’ dumb choices.

In that case, we should start looking at ALL the programs funded by taxpayer money AND also the local hospital programs for heart disease and diabetes, HIV, many of which are the result of personal choices and they DO affect others in their own way.

I’m sure you’re normally a compassionate person. I used to be you. I was compassionate AND caring! I donated to the local children hospital fund. I ran in the race-for-cancer cure fun run. I donated coats for the homeless drive every winter when my kids were little. I left cans on my front door for the boy scout food drive.

But when driving by the guy on the corner, avoiding eye contact with him; I just KNEW that he was only supporting his habit and I had all I could do to not say out loud, “Just GET A JOB!

I understand, I do.

Never, ever, did it cross my mind that I would be walking into a police station to pick up leftover evidence that they had from a drug bust. Never, ever did I think I would be watching a nurse drain a cyst off my sons arm and watching him scream in pain. Never, ever did I worry every single day that my sons life would end, except maybe when he was a baby and had a high fever and was vomiting all night.

See, I’m not really that much different than you. The difference is, I’ve had the humbleness bug forced upon me for a few years now. I don’t hold it against you that you have missed that bug.

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

Shame and embarrassment are keeping people from seeking 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 from overdose or poisoning.

Addiction affects every aspect of society whether directly or indirectly. If you don’t have anything to offer to help stop this nightmare, then please please offer your compassion and time. Even if you don’t understand how it gets to this point, you can still give
HOPE to a suffering addict or a kind word to the family of a person with a substance use disorder.

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 are NOT the enemy.

See, 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 a little part of this ongoing and progressive epidemic to get rid of judgements and stigmas so we can forge practical, affordable solutions for all. 
This IS everyone's problem...

It’s ok to NOT understand the complexities of this disease and to not have a solution!

You can still give that person holding a sign on the corner, a $5 McDonald’s card to let him know that yes, someone does give a damn today- no matter what their motives.

Without hope, everyone suffers.
🤗🍀🙏💔💕💜☂️

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.