Today I was killing 20 minutes in a local Starbucks in between jobs. A young man came and sat down at the table next to me. He clomped up in his big boots, slopped his leather jacket over the back of his impossibly small chair, laid his motorcycle helmet on the tiny table and proceeded to just sit for a few minutes and drink his sugary iced coffee drink.
Next came a woman probably in her 70's, hair dyed a lovely shade of deep auburn with just a hint of grey roots showing at the top of her little head. She wore a fuchsia fleece jacket with matching fuchsia lipstick....she was adorable. She asked if she could share his table... "its super crowded today!"
She proceeded to talk his ear off and he proceeded to politely (and sweetly) listen. She spoke of how freaking cold it is outside and she would imagine its even worse for him on a bike. "Do you wear long underwear? If not, you should." LOL I was trying not to LOL and was just watching his face. He answered that no he did not have any long underwear but it was in fact very cold out there riding around. She told *us,* yes, by then I was in... she told us about her dream to cook in a commercial kitchen. Of all the crazy things! But that was her dream and she was heading off to cooking classes in a bit. She told us about an opportunity she had had to use a "french water oven." She explained how they are used and that soon we all will be using them.
Then she asked the young motorcycle rider, "So what are you doing here?" He forthrightly and honestly and courageously I might add, explained that he was killing time until he went to the classes he had to begin to attend today because he had been arrested for a DUI. He said, "Yep, she's going to cooking classes and I'm going to DUI classes because I got arrested." Then we heard about her husband who had died 3 and a half years ago who had taught traffic school classes. "Oh my gosh...you've never driven until you've driven with a teacher of traffic school!"
We all had to go our separate ways after just a short time, but what a treat! 3 lives intersected for a few minutes. I patted my DUI friend on the leg and wished him luck and told her that she had made my morning with her pursuing of her dreams. A simple blessing in my day.
The holidays are upon us. This could be a post all unto itself....but I am so swamped right now....I gotta say it while I can. I have had years where I just wanted to crawl into a ball and not get out of bed. I have had years where I bravely, if I do say so myself, pulled myself together and decided that the show must go on. I have had years where I was ok and despite our disjointed and broken family, decided that we would celebrate the best way that fit for us. We could manage a simple celebration because we always have things to be grateful for. There are always good things in my life.....even when one part would feel so tragic and painful.
You remember last year I posted a picture of all of us at big brothers. That was a really wonderful Thanksgiving. My girl was clean about 8 weeks, for the first time in several years, looking healthier than we had seen her in a long time, we were all together, everyone got along....it was so fun. This year has been filled with multiple relapses, multiple ups and downs and all arounds and all that goes with all of that....yet here we are again. Another year has gone by and it looks as if it will be a happy, clean and sober Thanksgiving. We all know how quickly things can change...but for today I will plan on a happy Thursday until I am shown differently. IF I am shown differently. It has certainly not been a straight shot to this second happy Thanksgiving. Which is what I have come to accept as my life. I have 4 kids....it is a rare time that all four are doing alright all at once. They always have something going on....relationship issues, contemplating transferring schools, finances, moving, changing jobs, struggles with algebra, depression (yeah, we are all predisposed) ....the list can go on and on. Nothing is ever a straight shot in my world. It really makes living one day at a time imperative.
With the above said, I would encourage....I know we aren't supposed to give advice, so we can call this "encouragement" ... as sad and as heartbreaking and as disappointing as this time of year can be, whatever your circumstances, remember that YOU count too. If your holiday is reduced to only you or a few of you, you deserve to have a beautiful day filled with whatever will bring you joy DESPITE what your addicted loved one is doing or where they are at. Going on to live despite your feelings of loss, allowing our addicted kids to live out their choices, their compulsions, is the definition of "detaching with love." We get to choose what we will do with each day that we are given.
With that said, my heart really goes out to each of the families that are in such heartbreak right now.
I had a friend call me a few days ago and leave me a voice mail. The bottom line was that she had heard her daughter's voice and she knew now that "she's alive." It broke my heart.....in this world that we share here, our mothering gets brought down to the most primal level. "My child is alive....ok, I can breathe."Just for today, let us all breathe deeply, let us look for the good, let us allow our hearts to feel gratitude despite the tragedy that some of us live with.
Love to all of you hurting mama's out there. You have freely loved me when I felt like I couldn't lift my head.....I want to gently hand some back to all of you.
I am prayin!