During the years of my daughters addiction sometimes she would go missing for months at a time. When I ate, I wondered if she had enough food. When I pulled the covers up at night, I wondered if she had a blanket… It cracked my heart wide open and it was during that time I unearthed a depth of compassion that I never knew I was capable of. There were a series of events that followed but the first was in NYC. I was approached at the train station by a young man around my daughters age, who looked like he’d been pulled under a few times in the current of life. He was bruised and cut and as the distance between us shortened rather than turning away in fear my energy expanded and when we met eyes the words just flowed, “How can I help?” He was someone’s child , yet, in that moment he was my child.

On my train ride back, I wondered if that stone of kindness would send ripples circling into the mighty river of children lost to addiction. I wondered if someone would cover my sweet daughter with a blanket or just turn away.


  1. Sherry Hawn Reply

    I adored this writing, so beautiful, despite such a painful story. Thanks for this gift. It fed my soul.

  2. Heather Tindall-Daniels Reply

    The heart hurts and sings at the same time. Thank you. Blessings

  3. Heather Tindall and Sherry Hawn,
    I feel grateful I could offer something you found meaning in. Much love .

  4. Paula Richards Reply

    Over the past 4 1/2 years I wondered the same. Every robo call was answered in fear that I would miss a call about hospitalization or my daughter’s death. Our story continues as she reaches 2 months in recovery. She works the program, making NA meetings and me getting her there in person or by Uber. I work the program too, one minute, one hour, one day at a time…always learning, always hopeful of moving to the next one day.

    • Lisa Lawston Reply

      Paula, your words bring back memories of fear and hope and the endless commitment that defines a mothers love. Stay strong-get support-take care of yourself… do all the things I forgot how to do because hindsight brings clarity. Sending love to you and your daughter.

  5. Alex - Melinda Reply

    This was so beautiful I hope one day she sees and understands your love. I remember when my mother passed I too learned about the depth of love that you are speaking of. I don’t have children so this was new to me. It is amazing what we learn on our journey. I can’t thank you enough for sharing with us. Please keep the sharing going. I feel as if I know her.
    My husband went out after 20 years and is now back. He let his sponcer borrow money and now refuses to go back using that as an excuse. I worry so much but as stated one minute, one hour, one day we walk along. My thoughts are with you and both daughters. Alex (Melinda)

    • Lisa Lawston Reply

      Alex, thank you for your beautiful note. My daughter, Zoe, died in May 27, 2018. I’m sorting through the experiences, the grieving, the love, the pain. She was 28.

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