Monday, April 13, 2009

My daughter, my life

(I wrote this on Saturday and hadn't intended to share it with anyone. I may delete it later, it is so raw and hard to share)

Last night I drove my daughter to her home, clear across town.  I live far south, she lives far north.  I picked her up from the facility where she has her weekly supervised visitation with her two children - of whom my ex-husband now has custody.  


I try to pick her up on Friday nights after her visitation.  It is just too terrible for her to leave her children and then sit and wait at a bus stop - to go nowhereinparticular.  It is too much for a person like her who looks so tough, all covered in tattoos, but is as fragile as antique lace.  

She hasn't had a drink or a drug since January.  Oh, maybe you say that is not so long.  And I know that is true.  But it is almost 90 days when I have had my daughter back in my life.  It is 90 days when she has not been close to death.  90  days when she has not put herself into ridiculously dangerous compromising situations.  90 days is a lifetime of wonderful phone calls, text messages, dinners together, conversations, and sitting next to each other at AA meetings.  

I haven't had my daughter this close since before she got "sick" at the tender age of 14.  She is now 30.  It's been a long damn time.

I don't know how she has lived through it all.  I know how I have.  The Grace of God, and only the Grace of God.  

For all the stories she has told me through the years... I am struggling with this last one.  Her last drunk.  I pray God it is her last drunk.  

She got drunk.  She was trying not to use meth.  So she was drinking.  And  shooting heroin.  And on her last drunk, she overdosed on heroin.  She said she knew it, and she didn't want to die, but it was too late to do anything.  

When her lips turned blue, her "friends" told her she had to leave.  She couldn't die at their house.  They might get in trouble if she did.  So they threw her out.  She made it to a parking lot and somehow called her boyfriend.  He came and picked her up.  That is the end of the story as I was told it. Oh, yes, I do know there is more.  And I don't need to know.  I so wish I didn't know the parts I do know.  

This is too much knowledge for a mother.  There is nowhere for this information to live inside me, so it is just bumping around.  It bumps into other things.  Things where it doesn't fit.  I hope in time the edges will get bumped off, and it will be able to live here with the rest.

I have my own stories.   They seem so old.  It has been so long.  Their edges are all gone.  The pain has gone out of them.   And I am grateful for that.   By the Grace of God.  Only by the Grace of God.

So, I drove her back up north.  It was only after 6:00 p.m., so we took back roads.  The highways would be still too congested.  We wound our way through neighborhoods.  I used to live on the north side.  We drove past places that used to be AA clubs, and now are huge shopping centers.  We drove past places where I used to live.  We drove past places where old boyfriends used to live.  So many memories for me.  I kept most of them to myself.  How could she ever know that I am just like her?   I am her mama.  She doesn't know.  She will someday, but for now, she doesn't even need to know.  

She just knows that I am her mother, that I love her unconditionally, and that I am a reliable person.  I am a sober person.  God reigns over my life and showers me endlessly with His blessings.  That's what she knows about me.  

While I have been writing this, her ex, her children's dad, called.  He is also sober.  Clean and sober.  Clean for over 2 years, and sober over 1 year.  And hasn't had a cigarette for 41 days (for someone with COPD, this is pretty important).  We talked. He asked for my support, because he is moving to this side of town.  I told him he could count on me.  

And then I told him how grateful I am that he is sober and that my darling daughter is sober.  I wept as I told him this.  

There is no limit to God's mercy.    

22 comments:

Ed G. said...

God bless you - I can't seem to think of a thing that doesn't sound trite and you have heard it all before...

I'm glad you're there for them - may God continue to give you the strength, the grace, and ability to contribute.

From my own experience, it's hardest to reach your kids with this solution.

God bless & aloha...

dAAve said...

A tough part of your journey as a mother, but at least today the news is pretty good.

Steve E. said...

What a story...not a story, but a life, lives of real people. Living as best they/we can at a given moment.

And what beauty, to see spiritual growth in others, and how much more this all means when it is my own family.

Mary, thank you SO much for letting me/us see into your life tonight. It helps whoever reads, to have more faith, hope, and LOVE.

We MUST NEVER limit God's power, nor His mercy. These are His gifts to us, His children.

Mary Christine said...

I am not here to pass the message to them, just to be mom. But thank God I can be a sober mom and an example - I hope good.

louisey said...

What a wonderful loving mother you are.

Findon said...

Thank you for the post Mary. I hope things continue to work out and thank you for the nice comments. Take care all of you.

wendy said...

thank you so much for sharing this Mary - it brought tears to my eyes and now I'll probably be a little weepy for the beginning of my run. as a mother speaking about her daughter's difficulties you've provided me with a point a view that I needed to read.

I didn't understand why you were so happy for me when I first told you about going to AA, but reading this and watching other people around me staying sober has helped me to get it a little more.

Thanks again. Hope you have a good day.

Syd said...

I'm glad that you shared this. It is raw but it is truth. The love that you have for your daughter is beautiful.

Hope said...

Thank you for this. I'm learning to just be a mom. It's been a long time coming.

Scott W said...

Continue to hold on. She has her path and you have yours. It's nice to hear those paths are running side-by-side for a while.

Patty said...

Amen, to all of it!

Trailboss said...

I am grateful you didn't hit the delete button. It helps to hear stories like this in order to stay strong with my son. I also spoke w/my x-husband last night about our son. The sad thing is that my X is NOT sober. It makes things hard.

Prayers for you and your family from Kentucky

Pam said...

Yes my little dew drop, there is no limit to Gods mercy.
You know so well what a benefit the gift of desparation is. Maybe God let you get a little glimpse of hers so you would know that her heart is right for him to swoop in and fill her with the same grace he poured all over you.
Ninty days of daughter time is so awesome.

Kim A. said...

I have shared in alot of Alanon meetings that the invisible umbilical cord that connected me to my son was a tough one to cut. Brought me face down flat on the ground when I was finally ready to let go. I am so grateful you can hug that child and tell her you love her and she hears it. That is the miracle..just for today.

namaste

Scott said...

i will keep this simple... you and your family are, and will be in my prayers...

God Bless, and thank God for sobriety

Kate said...

This brought tears in my eyes. God bless. Keep strong.

Alive And Smiling (Jim) said...

How lucky they are to have you in their lives. I'll keep you all in my prayers.

Naomi C. said...

It may not seem long to many people but believe me, coming from another heroin addict, the amount of time your daughter has abstained is an amazing feat. Reading your blog hurts me, as I know exactly how I was killing my mother. If I didn't pick up the phone, she thought I was dead. Every pay day she thought, is this is? My friends were never friends and she knew this- would they leave me out on the street if I OD? Uk doesn't seem to be so hardcore on overdoses that occur in over drug abusers company. As in, here, when we "go over" we ring the ambulance, the police aren't called unless the person dies, therefor we have no fear about ringing to get first aid, and even if they do die, if the person is an addict, nobody will get charged if it is proved the people didn't inject them and neglect them when they got ill.

I am so pleased your daughter is doing so well, I can't imagine how wonderful it feels. God Bless, Hope she keeps up the good work x

raino said...

jeesh. honestly i am speechless. i have no words. hugs.

A. Miles said...

Thank you for sharing this.
I am glad she has you as a sober Mom.

I only wish my mother knew so much about the suffering I have pushed past and learned from--I feel like we would be closer.

Kathy Lynne said...

i should not have read this at work....

bless you and your family

Mister B said...

Thank you for being so open about your personal experience with this cunning, baffling and powerful disease. Your story has touched the hearts of numerous others here including mine. I have been blessed with a prolonged period of sobriety myself and have received so very many blessings as the result of a loving and forgiving God. One of the greatest of all is that my son is now about 7 years sober. We were once where you and your daughter are now. Always trust that God knows what he is doing and do believe in miracles. Let's trudge that road of happy destiny together. Alright?