(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.