Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Fullness of Time

When I was pregnant with my son, I had a number of ultrasound exams. They measured the circumference of his head and the length of his femur to determine the due date.  His measurements were inconsistent.  I was given a due date of May 1st and then I was given May 30th.  I was so determined to know when this would all occur that I asked God for a sign.  I had one of those devotional books where each day had a reading and a story.  I read each day from May 1st to May 31st hoping to see my sign.  On May 14th, it was mother's day and the story had something to do with the blessing of being a mother.  I skipped right over that day and paid no attention to it.  I could not find my sign.  My son was born on mother's day.  I'm sure God had a little chuckle.

Now I wait on my son for another reason.  I wait for him "to find in the power of our saving God strength for a radical life change." (Pope Benedict's prayer intention for November)  I wait for him to return to God first.  I wait for him to seek treatment and I wait for him to return to his family last.  I have found myself growing impatient from time to time.  I don't find myself panicking.  I do feel calm.  I do feel peace.  I must remain patient.  I must remind myself that if things go too fast, then both my family and my son may not get some great lessons that God has planned for us all. 

Today my devotional books are called, In Conversation with God,by Francis Fernandez.  Today's reading reminds me that, "we lose our peace through sin, through pride and by not being sincere with ourselves and with God.  Peace can also be lost through impatience; when we are unable to see the providential hand of God in times of difficulty and contradiction.  Today, I am paying attention.  I am listening.  I am willing to wait.  I am reminded of Romans 8:28; that in everything God works for good for those who love him.  I am even hopeful.  This is advent.  I feel it heart and soul. 

My son e-mailed me today.  He wanted me to mail him a coat.  I decided not to respond.  I decided that most adults,  who had chosen to cut them selves off from their families would take what they needed when they left.  He has chosen this path.  He was told the consequences of this choice.  I will not take that away from him.  I have the strength and confidence to do this....thanks be to God.  He is the only reason for this gift of peace.

So, I will wait for the fullness of time to arrive.  I will marvel at the number of people who are helping to carry us along this journey.  They are checking on us.  They are praying and praying and praying.  The gifts just keep coming.  We are so lucky. 

I am so thankful for this peace.  I am thankful for my friends and my family.  They are so good to us.  I pray for all of you who pray for us.  I pray for those who face addiction.  I pray for my son to learn every lesson that God has for him.  And, as always, a prayer for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sunday, November 28, 2010



Today is the first Sunday of Advent.  It the beginning of the liturgical year.  This is the season where we wait for Christ.  We are trying to understand the waiting from the standpoint of those who awaited the actual birth of our Lord and hopefully will learn to prepare ourselves for the time when he returns. 

Most people are busy at this time of year,  very busy making lists for cards and gifts.  They plan special holiday menus for family gatherings.  They are waiting until the big day when they can present those they love with something that was just picked out for them.   We are trying to prepare every detail for the Christmas that we see on television and in the stores.  If we were truly preparing for Christ, then instead of those tasks, we'd be preparing our souls to get ready for Christ.  We'd be prayerfully making a list of our sins so that we could offer them in confession, where in return we'd receive the gift of absolution.  We'd be lifting our hearts to God's will for us.  We'd try a little harder to say yes to all of the hard things that God might want us to do.  We'd be living to serve.

When we serve God, we always seem to receive gifts in return.  They are the most amazing gifts of all.  They are not anything we would ever imagine.  They are impossible to describe in a way that shows how great they really are.  My favorite modern day servant was Mother Teresa.  She lived her life for whatever God wanted her to do.  He told her to serve the poorest of the poor.  She founded her mission on Christ teaching that whatever you did to the least of these, you did unto me.

Mother Teresa cared for the dying, the lepers and orphans.  She saw starvation and poverty that most Americans will never see.  She warned Americans that their poverty was far greater and harder to deal with than the poverty in India.  "The spiritual poverty of the western world is much greater than the physical poverty of our people', she said.  She felt that there was a loneliness and emptiness among so many of our people.  There is an absence of God.  There are drugs and abortions and greed.  All of these things are a desire to fill a void that only God can fill.

I have so loved Mother Teresa.  I felt like I had learned so much from her teachings and yet right here in my own home, my son is one of "the least of these."  He is spiritually impoverished.  I am learning first hand just how difficult this type of poverty is to deal with.  I am learning how little I really knew and how little I had really centered my life around Christ.

Along this journey, I have met a lot of alcoholics and addicts and their families.  They are some of the most wonderful people I've ever met.  I would have never looked in their eyes before to try and see the eyes of God, like Mother Teresa did to those she served in India.  I would not have learned that it is most rewarding to do these hard things.

I am waiting for my son to hit bottom.  I am waiting for him to want treatment.  I am waiting for him to return to God.  But, while I wait, I am going to prepare.  I am going to take inventory of my sins and work on a plan to serve the spiritually poor.  I am going to pray and study and wait.  I am going to do what I can.  As this gets tougher before it gets better, I am grateful because this means that we are moving closer to the bottom.  We are moving closer to a place where miracles that only come from God can occur.

Today I am so thankful for God's presence in my life.  I am thankful for the many gifts that God gives.  I am thankful for this season of anticipation.  I pray for all of you who pray for us.  I pray for my son to softly hit bottom and have the courage to go back to treatment.  I am so thankful for the example of Mother Teresa.  And, as always I pray for Henry and all of you who have faced addiction.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


There are a lot of ways to look at things.  Perspective is powerful.  Limited knowledge can certainly affect perspective.  Faith can counter that lack of understanding.  This is a very different Thanksgiving.  My history of Thanksgiving has gone from one filled with parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandmother to today filled with only my husband and two of my three children. 

I loved Thanksgiving growing up.  My dad always built a huge roaring fire in the fireplace.  My mom cooked for days.  We anticipated my favorite cousins coming into town.  We watched the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade.  We ate until we couldn't move.  We played and laughed and talked.  When my mother died, it was such a sad holiday because we were trying so hard to replicate something that we couldn't.  Then, we tried to wildly change it so that it would be different.  When my dad died, we stopped gathering as a family.  My brother's and sister's children were starting their own families. 

Now, my children are older.  My daughter came home from college yesterday.  My senior in high school has a break from high school.  My son has been told not to call or come home unless he wants to go to treatment.  My feelings about this have wavered between those of being a little sad to those of peace.  I think that they have settled on those of being grateful.  I am trying to stop reacting and just act.  I pray for guidance. 

That may seem very strange, but I now have a very different perspective.  Perspective is based on your view of things.  It is based on the limited knowledge you may have about something.  Before, my idea of caring for my son meant protecting him from himself.  Now, my idea of caring for my son is to allow him to learn the lessons for himself.  The lessons that God has for only him.  My idea of caring, when I get a little sad, is to remember that I have helped to perpetuate the place that we find ourselves in.  God can teach and heal and love unlike I will ever be able to. 

I am so thankful on this Thanksgiving day that God has given me the courage to give my son up.  I have placed him in the hands of God.  I have such faith and hope of the goodness that can come from our heavenly Father.  I am so thankful that we have learned what our problem is.  I am thankful for the first go round of rehab.  I am thankful that our family is seeking counseling and attending meetings.  I am thankful that we are healing individually and as a family because this will help my son to heal.  Oddly enough, this great family tragedy has made me see that I can only put God first.  I thought that I was before, but my eyes have been opened. 

This day is so very different.  It isn't anything like the Thanksgiving pasts. It is new and fresh and one where I am seeking the will of God for this day.  I don't want to forget my history.  It is filled with dear memories.  I just know that life isn't static.  I can now accept that.  I am thankful that I can throw away these crazy Hallmark card notions of what Thanksgiving "should" be and will focus on just giving thanks.  The rest will fall into place.  Resting in the hands of the Lord is like being a child again and being taken care of.  I like not having to think too much.  Waiting gives me time to pray and think and hear the words in my heart that my Lord has for me.  Thanks be to God. 

I am so grateful today.  I am still praying for my son to recognize that he has a problem.  I am still praying for him to return himself to God.  I am still praying for him to go into treatment.  And, as always I will pray for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ebb and Flow.........

Growing up, my visits to the beach were limited to the atlantic and gulf coasts.  There is truly nothing as restorative as a beach vacation.  It is a vacation that stops the hurry and hustle and for me, helps me to feel God.  How can you look at the magnificence of the the ocean and it's tides and not see God?  It was not until my forties that I visited the Pacific beaches of southern California.  It is so very beautiful.  The waves are massive compared to the waves I'd seen before.  The power of it all is breathtaking.

 It was on this beach that I first attempted to surf.  I have always thought of myself as a fairly coordinated gal.  I did gymnastics and cheerleading in high school.  I can water ski and dance.  I can stay on a horse....most of the time.  So, I thought this would be no problem.  There seems to be three separate parts of surfing to master.  First of all you lay on your board and paddle out away from the shore either guiding your board over the waves or diving under them.  This requires a lot of strength.  The second part is the ability to go from laying on the board and jumping to your feet in a crouched position.  The third part is the ability to drive your board in the direction of the wave you wish to ride...or catch the wave.  I'm sorry, I don't really know the surfer lingo.  Anyway, these are three separate skills to master and timing and balance must accompany each of the three.  So, coordinating all of this at one time is quite a feat. 

Jesus taught many lessons in the form of a parable.  A parable usually describes a setting, describes an action and then shows results.  It is much like an analogy.  I often wondered as a child why He taught in this fashion.  I really felt like I needed some straightforward directions with a few pictures....please.  Now, I am beginning to think that He taught in such a way so that we could  pick up the lessons from God through the miracle of His creation.  I think that there are lessons everywhere if your eyes are open. 

I've finally let go.  I find myself paddling out to the unknown.  I've ridden over a few smaller waves.  I am diving under the larger waves.  I don't know if I'll be able to pop up on this board or not.  It takes timing and courage and no second guessing.  I am at the mercy of the power and strength of the sea.  It is a foreign concept to imagine myself putting blinders on and boldly popping up and letting the wave take me where it wants.  There can be no stiffening up or you will surely fall.  You must use the strength of your body to work with and not against the force of the wave.  This is how I see God's will.  I don't know where it will go.  I don't know where it will take me.  I just know that I need to pray and be still and listen.  I know that I need to trust the ride and move myself with the direction that God is sending me.  I know that I can't hesitate or my lack of faith will throw off the timing of that wave. 

The ocean is in a constant state of ebb and flow.  The rise and the fall of sea levels are caused by the combined effects of gravity exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the earth.  God is His grace knows our human weakness and gives us many many waves to catch.  He gives us time to gather our strength.  He allows us to fail so that we hopefully learn what not to do next time.  The biggest and hardest lesson for me is the total trust.  The total let your body move with the current that is God.  I don't know why that seems so frightening.  I don't know why we ever imagine that we can do better than the One who moves the ocean. 

The next time I go to California, I'm taking an official surfing lesson.  I'm a simple gal who needs a concrete example to help illustrate the feeling of letting go so that I can learn to ride the waves that are God's will.  I want to keep learning.  It is so exciting to feel like you see a glimpse of the hand of God.    I want to look at the world daily and find the parables that God has placed in our daily paths if only we can be still and quiet long enough to see them. 

My son is now having wonderful opportunities to face the natural consequences of his actions.  There is no safety net of Mom or Dad.  He is learning what he should have been learning long ago.  The only difference between then and now is that we aren't contributing or getting in the way.  God is now allowed to show my son these lessons or parables.  Thanks be to God.  This paradigm shift gives me freedom and hope.  Today, I pray for my son to learn from life's daily lessons.  I pray for the wisdom for him to accept his addiction and truly deal with it.  I pray for those who are sick and suffering and as always, I pray for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Wait

We've let go.  Now we wait.  Waiting requires taking no action.  It involves quiet anticipation of the unknown.  It involves continuing to live our lives as normally as we can minus one family member.  It is a little sad as we approach the holidays.  It is a little relief to not continue to fight a losing battle.  It is what it is.....whatever that is. 

Prayer is my source of strength.  It is all I have and probably all I had all along.  Yesterday on Oprah, she did a story on a healer in Brazil, who others refer to as John of God.  He sees thousands of people each day, three days a week.  He takes no money as he says that he isn't doing anything, only God.  She had a scientific journalist and a medical doctor from Harvard on the show.  Both guests had been to visit this man while he was healing others.  Both guests came away with different views.  They both felt that there is so much in life that we can't see.  So much that we can't measure or explain.  I have no doubts.

Prayer is just such a thing.  It can't be understood, measured or seen.  But it's power is huge.  It's healing is unexplainable.  So, while I wait, I pray.  I pray with faith.  I pray for what God wants in this situation.  I know what he wants will be so much better than what I can imagine.  I have stopped looking at the usual routes.  I have stopped expecting the usual prognosis.  I am expecting far greater.  My faith is intact.  I just pray for patience.

On this day, I am thankful for the quiet peace that only God gives.  I am thankful for all of the support that surrounds me and my family.  I pray for God to return my son to Him first and me second.  I pray for those who are sick and suffering.  And, as always, I pray for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Peace That Passes All Understanding

M. Scott Peck describes Satan in his novel, In Heaven as on Earth, as a beautiful voluptuous woman with long flowing hair.  She wore form fitting clothes and was everything he could ever imagine having in a woman.  To him, Satan, being ever so subtle, is capable of knowing our weaknesses and manipulating them.

For some, Satan might come in the form tremendous power.  For others, it might be great wealth.  It seems as if for those who are not struggling with addiction, to be similar to a drug of choice for those who are.  I think that Satan takes our human weaknesses or desires and morphs them into an area of temptation.  I think my area of temptation has been my son.  It has been my sick notion that I somehow had influence over him while he is under the influence of his addiction. 

I think I had an epiphany the day that we cut his phone and told him not to call unless he wanted treatment.  It suddenly occurred to me that if my son was not willing to come home where his financial needs would be met, that his motives for being away were not ones of independence, but ones of isolation.  I was also finally able to admit to myself that any interaction that he had with us, was motivated by something he wanted from us.  He never really called to see how we were doing.  He never cared that we worried.  He did not think outside of himself.  My son is gone.  He is lost inside the madness of addiction. 

When he called to ask why his phone didn't work, his voice sounded foreign to me.  He reminded me of the snake in The Jungle Book movie who is able to contort himself into something you think you want if you are not fully paying attention.  Addiction feels and looks like my best imagination of Satan himself.  So, as I talked with "my son", it felt good to keep repeating, "Don't call unless you want to go to treatment."  When he asked if he could call on Thanksgiving, it was easy to say, "Not unless you want to go to treatment."  My strength multiplied every time I said it as I imagined myself saying....Get behind me Satan!!

I have finally, honestly realized that I cannot fix or control this.  Only God can.  I have finally, totally given this to God.  It gives me an indescribable joy in my heart, in the midst of this terrible circumstance.  My mind questions my sanity.  It is as if God has given me a secret gift that he has yet to reveal to me.  It is a feeling of advent.  I don't know why, but I feel like only good will come and I am waiting, peacefully.  God knows what I need far better than any want I could ever imagine.  Perhaps because I really let go, this is the gift of faith.  This is the faith that God is handling this.  Relief forces have taken over which are properly armed and equipped with omnipotent intelligence.  This is the only power capable of stopping this madness. 

Cutting the last ties was so frightening before, but now, I know that any contribution in any way would be my helping to continue his habit, my helping if he were to overdose and die, my helping if he were to go to jail, my helping to sustain a life absent from God.  I will not be a party to that.  As, my friend said, it's as if I'm telling Satan himself to GET OFF MY PROPERTY!

This is truly a peace that passes all understanding.  Thanks be to God.  When I went to mass this weekend, the celebrant was a Father of Mercy priest.  How appropriate.  He talked about the fact that he rivaled St. Augustin in his shenanigans.  He did not attend mass for 10 years.  Now he is a priest.  God in His goodness keeps giving me hope. 

Today I am so thankful for the amazing gift of faith and hope.  I am thankful for the closeness of God on my journey.  I am thankful for prayers from too many people to count.  I pray for my son to come to the place where he sees addiction for what it really is.  And, as always I pray for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Split the Baby

Today is a day that I have feared for a very long time.  It is a day that used to make me beg and plead with God to help me to avoid.  But, in His goodness, He has prepared me for this day and I mainly feel relief.  This is shocking to me on many levels.  But, when you finally trust, you are given clarity.

It became apparent to my husband and I that addiction is who we've been dealing with, not my son.  When someone has a problem with addiction, drugs are their god, their father, their mother, their brothers and sisters....their everything.  All interactions between the addict and anyone else are motivated by a need to get anything they can to continue their habit. 

Unsure of where to draw the line while letting go, my husband called a counselor who advised us to cut all ties including his phone, which I was very nervous about taking away, because this was for me, so that I could check on him.  He also advised us to tell him not to call us unless he was ready to go to treatment.   So, today with hands shaking, I dialed the cell phone company and asked them to disconnect the phone.  The lady explained that there would be all sorts of penalties for ending the contract early.  I told her that I knew but that my husband and I needed to stop enabling our son.  She was very kind after that and helped to shut the phone off immediately instead of it taking until the end of the billing cycle. 

Then I had to wait.  I was so nervous about his phone call.  I knew that he would call and be mad.  I knew that it would be hard to tell my son not to call me.  I didn't know how I could do it.  Then, I started to get these thoughts.  I know they were directly from God because they came from nowhere.  I started thinking about how I've struggled to truly hand my son over to God.  I have handed him over but not totally let go.  I've fed him, helped with laundry and called him.  He doesn't call me....unless he wants something.  I started thinking about Soloman and the two harlots with the two babies.  One of the babies died in the night and the women fought over whose baby had lived.  Soloman suggested that they cut the baby in half and the real mother said no let him live, give him to her.  Soloman knew that she was the real mother.  I've been asking God to split my baby......until today.  Today God gave me the courage and wisdom to know that I had to give up something that I really don't have in the first place.

I talked with my son.  I told him not to call unless he wanted treatment.  He tried to manipulate but I didn't bite.   I was strong because I wasn't talking to my son.  I was talking to addiction.  I hate addiction.  I will not back down from addiction.  I'm mad now.  I'm fighting for my son. 

I am thankful on this day for God's amazing grace.  I am thankful for clarity, understanding and courage.  I am thankful for all of the wonderful folks who are praying for us daily.  I pray for my son to fight addiction as hard as I intend to.  And, as always, I pray for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Instructions for Letting Go

My vocabulary is increasing these days.  It now includes a lot of words that I thought I understood the meanings to.  There are words like enable, detachment, codependent, manipulation, martyr, and a host of others.  I think that we really only scratch the surface of our understanding of most terms.  We might have an idea of what something means in  a particular situation but maybe we don't fully understand all of the parts and pieces of it's meaning.  Then there's the next level of understanding a word, there's how we use it. 

When you really need to understand how to deal with a very difficult situation, you must be careful that you are handling it in the most appropriate fashion.  I am no longer enabling my son's addiction.  This means that no financial support is offered.  This means no excuses are made for the addict.  This means we don't make sure they get up on time, pay bills, go to meetings or anything else. 

Detachment is when you step away from addiction in order to take care of yourself.  This is a hard one for moms.  It's hard to step away from the mom role.  My son is an adult now.  As a counselor told us, "he's been raised."  Stepping away not only allows you to take care of yourself, it also allows the addict to be responsible for himself.  In the past, we've manipulated many situations to help him succeed.  This isn't true success. 

I could go on and on with this new vocabulary list I'm having to learn to impliment, but, my big question as of late was, where is the line between walking away and loving unconditionally.  I found this in some of my things from rehab.  I am not sure who to give credit to, but it is good and helped guide me. 

TO LET GO........

To let go is not to stop caring,
It's recognizing I can't do this for someone else. 
To let go is not to cut myself off,
It's realizing I can't control another. 

To let go is not to enable
But to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is not to fight powerlessness,
But to accept that the outcome is out of my hands.

To let go is not to try to change or blame others,
It's to make the most of myself.
To let go is not to care for, it's to care about.
To let go is not to fix, it's to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge,
It's to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to try and arrange an outcome,
But to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To let go is not to be protective,
It's to permit another to face their own reality.
To let go is not to regulate anyone,
But to strive to become what I dream I can be.

Today I pray for the ability to let go with love.  I pray for my son to desire radical life change.  I pray for all of my friends and their struggles and as always for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Amazing Power of Prayer

I find myself truly in awe of how much our Lord provides us when we ask.  I was having one of those days where you can feel the fear creeping up from your toes to your stomach, forming knots in it and all the way to your chest which is feeling squeezed so tightly that you can barely breathe.  I was thinking of all of the things that my son does or doesn't do that remind me how much addiction has taken from us.  I was wondering if he would ever really be a part of this family again.  I wondered if he would ever really grow up and be a responsible adult.  Would he ever have hopes and dreams and goals?  I was looking at how big the gap seemed to be between my son and others his age.  I felt defeated.  I was wondering if there was anything I could do to help him in any way to  head in the right direction. 

I began to pray and read my Al Anon steps, especially step one, and I realize that there is nothing that I could do.  Now, It's hard to know that  there is nothing to do but sit back and watch someone flounder.  Then I went to my meeting.  This is where God speaks to me almost directly, it feels.  Our leader began talking about how much harder it was dealing with addiction with a child than it was a spouse and that what she had come to realize was that when she left things alone, she wasn't messing up God's plan.  She went on to say that the addict is where he is supposed to be, not where I expect him to be.  This is the route that God has plotted for him to take.  This is where I must be faithful and remember that he is in God's hands.  This where I must have the courage to stand back and stop interfering.  This is where I must continue to pray. 

Today I am most grateful for conversations with God.  I am thankful for his calming reassurances.  I pray for continued vision and strength.  I pray for my son to have a strong desire to fight his addiction.  I pray for all those who battle illnesses.  I pray for my family to find comfort during this difficult time.  And as always, I pray for the soul of Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Beauty of Gray Hair

My best friend of sixteen years has had gray hair, or at least a shock of gray hair, for most of the time that I have known her.  Her shock was really very pretty.  I used to give her a very hard time for worrying about the fact that she had gray hair.  Then one day, I saw enough gray hairs on my own head to literally shock me.  I couldn't believe it.  How dare they land on my head.  When I mentioned this to my friend, she just laughed.  I told her that it was okay for her to have gray hair but it was another story all together if I had gray hair.  For some reason, I could only see myself as a young person never changing.  I couldn't see myself aging. 

Our society seems to think that youth and perfection, whatever that is, are to be strived for.  We dye our hair, have plastic surgery, try to dress way too young and pretend that all is perfect in our world.  I wonder what we think we are changing by hiding our real authentic lives and selves. 

Growing up, I had this vision of what my life would look like.  It was probably some homogenized cookie cutter version of what I thought perfection was.  It has taken some time and some life experience to rethink things.  I remember seeing Bette Davis being interviewed on the Today show when she was quite old.  She had obviously had plastic surgery and had dyed her hair, she had thick blue eye shadow on and it was really quite a sad spectacle to see.  I thought about the fact that she was probably someones grandmother.  My grandmother had gray curly hair.  She had all of the appropriate wrinkles.  She didn't wear makeup often and when she did it was very light.  She was soft and comforting and safe. 

Our lives, the ups and downs of them, and the process of aging leave their marks.  I don't really think about them being scars as much as smoothing away our rough edges.  Like a saddle that is broken in, life's experiences make us more supple.  They make us more understanding of the importance of life.

Facing the beast of addiction has certainly stripped away a lot of unnecessary worries.  Things that used to bother my husband and I in the past, are hardly worth mentioning.  Things of beauty that we used to miss in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, are now noticed and savored.  One of the gifts of this struggle is vision with clarity. 

If you've ever seen the photos of Mother Teresa you will see many many wrinkles.  You will see a body which is hunched over from years of living a life not filled with luxury.  What you will see is a radiating smile or a peaceful prayerful face.  I think we miss the beauty in our everyday lives.  Beauty is not about perfection but more about trying to do the right thing in spite of the difficulties.  Beauty is in the day in and day out prayers.  Beauty is in the everyday hum drum.  Beauty is when your faith grows just a little bit.  Beauty is in even the tiniest miracle.  It is all around us.  The more we reach out to each other in our struggles, the more we learn to love.  The more we love, the closer we are to God.  The closer we are to God, the more peaceful we become. 

I'm by no means happy that my son is an addict.  But, I guess I had to hit bottom too, to understand so many things.  So, today, I am thankful for all of the lessons I am learning.  I am thankful for my gray hairs and wrinkly neck, because it means that I have lived.  I am thankful that I am learning to look at souls instead of bodies.  I am thankful for more things than I can list here.  I pray for my son to fight his addiction every single day.  I pray for all of you who life is smoothing away your rough edges, and I pray for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Quiet the Monster

My biggest struggle involves my imagination.  It can go all sorts of places that I never want it to go.  It is a fruitless waste of energy and time.  Yet, it is a struggle to turn it off.  Once it starts to spin, it goes faster and faster until I have to physically stop myself by sitting down, thinking about exactly why I've become so fearful, trying to slow my breathing and praying. 

There are days where I do okay and then there are days that for no apparent reason I tend to go to the dark side.  I understand that this is a result of my not turning this over to God and the fact that I haven't accepted that I can't control this.  I have to constantly remind myself to "Let go and let God".  At my last Al anon meeting one of the ladies had a great acronym.  FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. 

I really liked that .  It is very hard to focus on doing what I need to do.  I have been trying to change and control my son for such a long time that even though he is off trying to take care of himself, I am here spinning and imagining possible scenarios as if it will somehow influence things.  I am as sick as the addict.  I am in as much need of change as he is.  I am really a slow learner. 

One of the things I'd been wondering about was what to pray for.  I know I pray for God's will and I know that God gives free will....so, exactly what do I pray for?  Then, I read a blog of my best friend's son and this was the topic for November 1, 2010.   This month, Pope Benedict's prayer intentions are for the victims of drugs or other dependence that they may, thanks to the support of the christian community find in the power of our saving God, strength for a radical life change. On All Saints Day...a day that 12 years ago, my mom left this world, this was the post.  This was an answered prayer, because I think I worried that because God gave free will and an addict is at the mercy of the drug, that it would be hopeless.  Writing that sounds awful, it's just one of those twisted thoughts that fear creates. 

I have hope.  I think that prayer is so huge.  This blog is my continuous prayer.  I find peace with each and every post.  It is the peace that passes all understanding that only comes from God.  Today, I feel hope that my son will beat this.  I really do.  I know it will be a long process but with God and prayer ALL things are possible. 

Today, I have a prayer of Thanksgiving for answered prayers.  I am thankful for hope and prayers.  I pray for my son to have the strength to radically change his life.  I pray that I give him the right support so that he can do that.  I pray for all of you who struggle and as always, for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.