Against A Crooked Sky

As I drove through the windy canyon, the familiar rolling hills of my hometown gave way to the rows of turkey coops dotting the fields. The wide open blue country sky was a welcome reprieve from the city. 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 shy 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

A Wisp of Magic

I was told once “Don’t ever lose your magic”.

I remember saying,”what magic?” (Because I certainly never thought of myself as ‘magical’)

They said: “The magic of when you’re deep in thought yet have that sparkle in your eyes with a wisp of child-like joy.

Or when you hurriedly bandaged up the cuts of your dog that got in a fight before your kids could see the trauma.

Or when you laugh at yourself falling off a rock.

I thought about that. Laughing, joy, carefree. Finding the magic.

If I could pick one word that describes my ‘persona’ the last few years it would be consumed. Not with magic but with saving my son and my family.

It’s been the most horrendous, exhausting journey I could ever imagine. Do I blame my son? No. Many others already have that role. My role, my character in this version of life seems to be the one who holds onto hope. With every last thread I can get my hands on, I hold onto believing in the power of miracles. Dare I say- the gift of magic.

You know, the funny thing about that magic is that it is always there like a never-aging friend. It can be plucked off its low-hanging fruit of life. However, most people don’t know where to find it or even that it even exists at all. As we get more bogged down with problems and life’s hardships, we become blinded to finding joy.

There are two superhighways to find it. I have spent my life walking the fine line of the division of the two. Trying to balance the responsibility of woman hood with the joy of childlike fun.

Like a pendulum clock swinging side to side, I spent so much time over the years seeing both of the sides of the spectrum and meeting in the middle the best I can. Both sides pulling at me with their energy of everything I wanted the most at the time.

The innocent childhood hopes and dreams gave way to new hopes & plans now riddled with so many expectations.

These expectations, interspersed with blankets of fear and mountains of tears, left me questioning the innocence and joy of life.

My heart now beats in the middle of all this, wondering how to maneuver the pain of the last few years with the possibility of living out my years in peace.

Yes, every day is a choice.

A choice for peace.

Discovery

A few months ago, I wrote a story about a place in Texas that I visited called Natural Bridge Caverns. 61 years ago, Clara Wuest from New Braunfels, Texas stood on a spot on her farm and asked God to help her raise her 2 little boys alone after her husband died trying to milk a cactus, sort of. Little did she know what was underneath.

This story was similar to this newer cave that was discovered, recently in another country:

https://fb.watch/6UoAZvH75E/

The reason these hidden treasures appeal to me- other than normal treasure hunting curiosity- is because one day we are just walking around with certain elephants on our shoulders, or the opposite: not a care in the world; & the next minute our world drops out, literally, from us.

“They” say – whoever “they” are- that we are all one paycheck away from homelessness or one argument away from divorce. I could apply this to substance use and say “one h..¥¥ or one bottle away from losing everything & ruining family cohesiveness and family functions, but my sarcasm isn’t even funny today. So ignore that comment.

Yesterday was my son’s 35th birthday. For one year, I have prayed he would make it to 35. I even made all my passwords reflect that hope. So imagine that I woke up to his continued “missing in action” in Las Vegas of all places, and had the feeling to call the Clark county morg.

Yup, that’s where we are. I’ve called Emergency Rooms once before, and the booking report is on my home screen, but never this. As the answering service paged the mortician on call, I find myself wondering like Brandon Novak states repeatedly:

“How did we get here?

Luckily the very nice mortician, who must receive worried mom calls alot; informed me there was no John Doe’s in the last 24 hrs.

This debilitating fear.

Addiction loves to shroud us in it’s victimhood and make us go dark & despondent with brooding thoughts of death and destruction. I mean, we really don’t even need the thoughts- we can SEE the devastation with our own eyes in our precious children.

But we don’t have to stay there.

So how do we turn this fear into hope or at least some sense of inner peace?

A recovered addict had this to say about us Moms:

Shared with permission

Disclaimer: I do not agree with the word enabling as it has negative, guilt-inducing connotations AND it means different things in different situations, so I cut out the middle part….

“I see so many mothers in this group with broken hearts and it honestly kills me. I was in active addiction for 15+ years and have been in recovery for 8+ years. One of my biggest regrets, through it all, was the heartache I caused my parents and my daughter. My brother still struggles with addiction today and I wish I could help him! I wish I could bottle up how good it feels to be in recovery and pass it on to every struggling addict. Recovery can only be received by a person that is ready. No amount of begging, screaming, talking, crying will ever work unless they are doing it for themselves. We can place our loved ones into treatment by court order or they can be placed there as part of their sentencing, but until they want it to stick, it will not………….. Love yourself as much as possible. Live and enjoy the life that you have left. You are killing yourselves for ones who will not save themselves. Let your children know you love them and when they are ready for treatment, you will be there. This is a battle only an addict can win. You can be a part of their addiction or their recovery, but not both. Also, We DO recover!! It takes some longer than others.

My prayers are with you all and if I could be of any assistance, please let me know”.❤️- Tamika Watts


I want to highlight the take care of yourself part. Hold onto hope and live in your peace, despite the chaos around you. Just like the discovery of the ice caves in my story, you never know when that moment will come that your life will be changed. You could be standing over a GOLD MINE while worrying about how the ground looks or looking at all the weeds. They say complaining brings about more of what we don’t want and gratitude brings about more of what we do want. The challenge is trying to find that gratitude in the middle of dire circumstances.

Where is my hidden cave of gems? Is it gratitude waiting in the darkness for me to discover it? Am I losing diamonds because I see too many stones? Am I unable to see the blessings of strength & perseverance because the prize isn’t in front of me, all shiny and being worshipped?

I’m in darkness regarding my son’s illness.

I don’t know the outcome, yet as of right now – there’s hope because I haven’t been told otherwise. If I can get out of my head & not jump to catastrophe thinking, I might have some moments of peace for my gratitude to expand.

It is in gratitude that we find true happiness. 

Bamboozled

You WANT so desperately to believe them…

You NEED to believe them….

Your SANITY and PEACE depend on believing them…
Not to mention your ability to get a good night’s sleep….
Just for tonight…

Until you are lying there and the realization Hits you….

You’ve been bamboozled again…
You’ve become addictions 550 million- possibly- billionth second-hand victim of the big lie of the day…or hour…

Your sweet child…
How many lessons on lying & doing what’s right did you try to instill in them?

At our house, we had files of “Family Home Evening” lessons. Lessons on life & integrity & honestly.

None of it seems to matter now…

Lost concepts in the wind…

Years of fixing nutritious meals, bandaging boo-boos, Dr’s visits, and volunteering for the “fluoride treatments” at school.

As the tears fall onto your cool sheets, you feel that familiar sense of dropping into the abyss of darkness.

The feeling of powerless & dread.

As you beg someone, somewhere, anyone, to save your sweet little family.

For the 💯time…

You realize that YOU can’t.

You can’t do this again.

Because tomorrow is a new day.

Tomorrow just MIGHT be THE DAY. The day he calls and says “What was that place you told me to call?

Mom, do you really think I could do this?”

And you have to be ready.

You can’t be tired.

You can’t have swollen eyes and scratched up arms or bitten nails.

You HAVE to be healthy and strong…

You have to be the one with hope…

You HAVE to be able to turn pain into gold…

To take every evil lie that was told to you and turn it back onto its master.

To not be victim #550 billion.

To empower yourself and others to rise above it…

To shine over all the darkness…

Reign Supreme…
Shine like a diamond under all the pressure….. 💥

But just for tonight…

I need sleep.

So I pull myself out of the dark place…

Even if tomorrow doesn’t work out….

I CAN be at peace tonight.
🌛🌜