I flew off into the air on Friday (the anniversary of 9/11....but I wasn't nervous. Im just sayin...) for the first time in more than 30 years to be able to meet my blogger friends, Barbara, Tori, and Joy.
It was so nice to meet everyone. Tori graciously picked me up at the airport, drove me all around, and let me stay the two nights at her house. I got to see Tori's remodel in real life (absolutely beautiful,) meet her husband and younger son (so funny, welcoming, and sweet,) and I got to meet and hug B, a young man whom I have prayed for daily for several years now. B, who through some miraculous, unexpected and difficult events, made it into treatment...against all the odds. It was emotional and I felt honored to be included in Tori's visit.
Meeting Joy, G-pa, Mason and Joy's other daughter Penny, was wonderful. It was like we had known each other all of our lives. Mason is adorable and I loved watching how these three (Joy, Penny, and G-pa) all cared for little Mason....everyone contributed and helped out. They have all joined forces to raise this one sweet little boy. It was a beautiful thing.
Barbara was very sweet and after all of the years we have talked online, it was so great to get to connect in real life. She has beautiful eyes and great hair! It was a rough weekend for her, but I so appreciated that she came and hung out with us anyway. I couldn't have imagined the weekend without her!
I feel like there were so many blessings during my visit. One was seeing how different we all are, how we all choose different ways to travel our journey, but we also have so much in common. Despite our different personalities, our different lifestyles, we totally got each other. There are things that only another parent of an addict would understand and we had that.
Another was when we met with my essential oil friend so she could share her oil healing story with us. She has weaned herself off of four years use of some heavy narcotic pain relievers for her chronic bad back. She was advised that eventually her spine will disintegrate like dominoes....all up her back and she will eventually need a morphine pump. She began using the oils, eating clean, and has now been med free for about 5 weeks. Her story is remarkable and I would love to have her write a guest post someday....but the part that got me, was when she explained what the withdrawal and detox was like, weeks later. This is someone who is not a drug addict. Her body was physically addicted, but she does not have an addicts brain, or the disease of addiction....and her perspective was so different. It was like all of the yuk, the rationalizing, the lies, the manipulation, the denial, all was stripped away and we got to hear the truth of what is physically going on underneath all of that. She said that weeks later she will have a panic come over her, shortness of breath, restless legs, beating heart and she knows its the withdrawal. She talked about the work she has to do to come down from that. Tori talked to her about PAWS.....post acute withdrawal syndrome. It was such a good meeting....and again....we are all so different, but so alike.
Meeting with Joy we talked about our girls a little bit. Joy told me about times of helping to nurse her daughter's open and infected wounds, cleaning, slathering with medicine, bandaging. As she talked I could just see Jesus. What a picture of unconditional love and grace being lived out day after day. Again, I felt honored to be able to hear her story, to be a witness to such selfless care and love....and ultimately forgiveness and acceptance of what is. It was another emotional moment for me.
I left feeling so blessed to have each of these strong and brave mamas in my life in whatever form that will take...online, real life, cell phone calls and texts. How lucky am I? These are women who work so hard to figure out how to live in two worlds....one where you love your child so fiercely and another where despite all of the love you hold, you have to let them go and allow them the dignity of reaching their own point of desperation. This journey is not for the faint in spirit.
Feeling blessed and always praying for all of us....