Sunday morning. The air is dense, a weary fan blows air around the room as another steamy day awakens. My immediate thought is to check the phone sitting inches away on the nightstand. I know already that there is nothing there because a mother’s heart is intuitive.
I look anyway. It’s been three weeks since we’ve heard from him. Every day I convince myself that he is safe….he’s in a program. But I don’t know this for a fact. His last call was from a hospital where he was trying to get a bed. I tell myself that if he were in the streets he would be calling for help, but the phone is silent. I can only pray.
It’s hard to describe the agony of parenting an addict. I almost said mothering, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the silent grief of fathers. I have had the heartbreaking experience of living through what it’s done to my husband, me, us….our family. Parents and families watch their beloved disappear into a place we cannot see or even begin to fathom.
The war that addiction wages is turned inward and reduces everything into nothing. Once healthy bodies become riddled with illness, perfect teeth annihilated, intelligent and loving minds reduced to one pervasive thought: the next fix. To add insult to injury, it also somehow manages to isolate you from family, friends, colleagues, and even neighbors.
Imagine the conversation. We can’t bear to so we suffer silently while friends and family watch helplessly or become angry and withdraw. Even this is preferable to sharing the agonizing details of our daily, repetitive, unspeakable lives. The comfort of Sunday settles around me as I think of others heading to church and praying to a God they cannot see: that is the beauty of faith. I am thinking of a miracle of my own, and though I cannot see it, I do believe it is possible. I have to.