Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Mourning Shall Rejoice

So my last post was a mournful one. Self-pity. Whaddya gonna do?

This post is rejoiceful!  My son, Dan, now 21 years old, completed his 1.5 year program in Recovery Court!  Yesterday they had a court hearing for all the Recovery Court people. And when it was Dan’s turn, lo and behold, he was greeted by: his current judge, his original judge, his parole officer, his counselor, his NarAnon sponsor, the people who worked in the jail when he was there, even the prosecuting attorney.  Even the judge’s clerk … and it was her day off.  They all came to congratulate Dan on a job well done and to give testimony, on the record, of what an inspiration it has been to watch him grow and heal.

I wish I could have been there. But his dad was there, which is good. I’m tearing up just writing it.

In this case, for my boy, “The System” worked.  The system I often railed against came through, partly because the program is a good one – a real example of the “it takes a village” philosophy.  So I hope that program continues to be supported.  But the program only works because of the people who run it.  They did their jobs with heart, and they — plus the hand of God — saved my son’s life.  And he has touched theirs as well.

I’ll write an official letter to someone there to express this, but I want to say it here: Thanks to all public officials who are in their positions for the right reasons, doing the best they can for everyday citizens.  Whatever I end up owing the IRS…it’s nothing compared to the gratitude I owe to all the people who walked beside my son at a time when I had to walk away.

God bless us all.


Hi Friends. Mind if I vent?

I did a first run-through of my taxes this morning and it looks like I’m going to owe money. Owe money?? Oh yeah…I didn’t plunge head-first into poverty for the right reasons.  Let’s see, first, I got divorced. Then, I worked part-time jobs so I could be home as much as possible for my kids. Of course, I did overuse credit at that time so their lives wouldn’t change too much. Then I took money from my retirement account to pay the credit….

OHHHH…then my boys became heroin addicts. Rehab. Stolen goods. Stolen money. Oh yes…then moving cross-country to help my daughter – I took a loan from my remaining retirement funds for that. Couldn’t find a job. Tried real estate. Bad timing. Took a low-paying part-time job. Still couldn’t pay the laon on the retirement account so … I defaulted, making all that money = to an early distribution = taxes and penalty taxes because … I’m not 55 yet, I didn’t take it to make mortgage payments (oh yeah, the house I didn’t buy because I knew I couldn’t afford it), I’m not a displaced *this* or unemployed *that*. 

The result is, I have $400 total in my bank right now, and I just might end up owing the IRS $1500, and the state of South Carolina another $350.  Great. I make $950 a month.  Awesome.

I’m going for a long walk by the beach to pray about this, but right now, I’m feeling the vibe of the Volcano!

p.s. Thanks, just needed to vent. I know that this too shall pass and someday this will be history. But I’m not feeling the love at the moment.

A Community Affair

I believe in the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Love they neighbor. Be Jesus to the world. But can I help everyone who asks? Can anyone? The situation in my old neighborhood challenges me – and moreso my ex – to ponder this.

When my boys used heroin, it wasn’t just them. Almost their whole group of friends (not the girls as far as I know, but the guys) became addicts. I can easily name eight of them … maybe ten. And it probably reaches further than that. We’re talking about a middle- to upper-income suburban community; the place where people move to get away from this stuff.  But I digress.

Recently, my ex came home from work to hear a phone message from the mother of one of my son’s childhood friends.  This young man is now in the court system for charges stemming from his drug use. The mom has seen how well my son, Dan, is doing, and she asked my ex if he would be willing to meet with her to talk about it all.

Here’s the thing: This young man has been trouble with a capital “T” ever since we first met him (which was when the boys started kindergarten). He was in the court system before they were out of middle school … before any of these kids were using drugs of any kind. And the family has always had a reason why the things he did were not his fault.  There is a deep root of co-dependency there beyond what either me or my ex feel able to step into.

So my heart aches for these people, but I’m going to be honest: I pray for this young man and his whole family but if I did not ever see them again, and if my boys did not ever know this young man in their lives again, I would be fine with that. I feel heartless! I’m not heartless … I’m just a little bit afraid. I’ve been lied to by this boy way too many times – before heroin and after. And they’d all have to show me that they are honestly and wholeheartedly working a serious recovery before I could reach out in any way. My ex feels the same. And yet we struggle with the decision to stay detached from them because we know how important it’s been for us to have people give Dan a chance, you know?  I guess it’s all in God’s hands.

Heroin.  Addiction.  Lord knows it’s a communty affair.