July 4, 2012
As I watched some beautiful fireworks last night, I found my mind drifting to my son. I wondered how long it will be before he will be able to enjoy another 4th of July and watch fireworks. I remembered how much he enjoyed going to the park and watching the fireworks every year, and how excited he was when he got to light his first firecracker. He used to love the fountains and the snakes. He loved the cookouts we would have and the visits to the lake. We have a "cutest baby contest" every 4th of July at a local park. My son was a beautiful baby with blonde curls, dimples, long eyelashes and dark brown eyes. When he was one year old he won the trophy, and I was so proud. My beautiful boy.
So as I watched the fireworks and thought about my son, it struck me once again, that admitting to myself that he is an addict set off a mourning process. I still go back and forth between the stages. I remember the first year of holiday celebrations following the death of my sister, my brother, and my father were so hard. The empty chair at the table, the smiles that would no longer be seen, the laughter that would no longer be heard, the hugs forever gone. Painful.
As we celebrate a holiday that represents freedom, my son sits in jail. Seeing him in jail for the next few years is going to be hard. Really though, he has been a prisoner of a different kind for the past few years-a prisoner to addiction. It took his smile, his laughter, and his joy for life. Someday I know he will be free from his physical prison, the one with bars and guards, and fences. I pray, today, that he will also manage to forever break free from the other prison, the prison of addiction. A prison that has no bars or guards, but holds him captive just the same.