When Your Father and Son are Considerate of your Feelings.
I have only three men in my life, and one died nearly a month ago. The other two are a tale of things opposite, yet ending up the same, if only for a few days.
Back near the end of April my son confessed to us he was back on his drugs. This after being out of a live-in rehab for two years and coming to live with us. We even had him running a business as a part owner, one he seemed to genuinely love doing, being a natural for it really. The dirty little secret he revealed over dinner that horrible night was that he was also dealing drugs out of the workplace, a building we owned, one they could have easily confiscated if he were busted there.
To his credit (if ever that word applies), he came to us to tell us of his problem. It definitely was a huge problem, but he had no idea the solution, our forced solution, would be to fire him from his job, and ask him to move out of our home. Tough love. The scenario wasn’t pleasant, the night at dinner impossibly full of gut wrenching and heart killing pain. A mother's nightmare being revisited for the umpteenth time.
My son now lives in a motel, somewhere, I don't ask. But on the night of the Sunset Farewell to my husband, he came home, to be with me and a few select friends to celebrate my husband, his step-dad's life. I know he was devastated by the loss of this honorable, loving, funny man; the one who trusted him, known him for 30 years, and always treated him as his own, denying him nothing. What is ours is yours son. But on this night he was very distant, more than usual. He did not mingle much with people. In my own excruciating pain and those of our friends gathered, I would go to him, hug him and I could feel his pain. These were such big pains to not be able to help him with. Yet I needed help with my own pain, I needed my son.
But he found some help for the pain the very next day, in his mistress, Meth. Dearest Meth had seduced him yet again, when he was at his weakest. Subsequently that day he was arrested and taken to jail for possession and intent to sell...or however this new felony reads. Had I not cautioned him that since he was living in a motel, especially in the “hood”, he was ripe for a bust and he needed to stay clean? Of course I did. But an addict is an addict; they give in to a moment and spend the rest of their time making excuses, lying and trying to “beat the system” or score more.
I didn’t hear from him for eleven days. Eleven long days of grieving for my husband and being worried about my son...because my son didn’t bother to tell me he’d been busted, nor did he tell me the police had confiscated his cellphone and this would be the reason every time I tried to call him (to cry on his shoulder, or get some kind of comfort or whatever he could have offered) I heard the message, “This person no longer can receive messages”. It was because he was sitting in jail and the police were scrutinizing his every incoming call. I found out about this (initially) when I went online to check the status of his upcoming sentencing (Oct. 14th) from all of his drug cases from the past...I saw his latest arrest and jail time, and that he was out on bail, bail paid for by? I know it wasn't me. I can't ask.
Be careful what you look for is the lesson I learned, the hard way. The answers are not always what you expect.
He didn’t want to burden me with this news, was his “excuse” for not checking in with me. Then, when did know, he wanted to meet me for a dinner in a neutral restaurant, not alone with me, his mother, but with two other people of his choice. His uncle, brother of my deceased husband and his wife. This slight/hurt piled up on top of the others... but still I went, on the night after my husband's reunion, for him, for us. It was not very pleasant, to say the least.
So, he is back on the streets, now going to a daily rehab program from 9-3. He has a new cellphone, and his sentencing is a mere two weeks away. Maybe eight years or more in a state prison awaits him. It breaks what is left of my heart.
Yesterday my father called me. He too is living in a motel, and has been for a few days. It seems his wife’s son, a schizophrenic in his mid-fifties, was supposed to move into his own place last April. He hasn’t. He is living with his 84 year old mother and my soon-to-be 87 year old father. There is a great deal of pressure in that home, though my father and step-mother love each other, daddy felt he had to leave to impress on the son how important a cool down period is. I am secretly relieved, as her son has a gun and knife collection under his bed, a brilliant mind, but a twisted one. He is the sort who bullies his mother and my father steps in to protect her. The same sort you see on the news after a tragedy occurs and the neighbor is interviewed on television, "They were so nice, quiet...I never would have believed....".
Guilt...it is pure guilt which my step-mother feels...because her son is brilliant yet deranged. She is too close to see how harmful this combination is. My father isn’t, and he removed himself. No, he and my step-mother have not stopped loving each other, no they will not be living apart long...but I worry. I’ve lost two of the men in my life and now my daddy, in the winter of his years, finds himself in a motel down the street from my son.
Never mind the fact I have a whole empty house, and would appreciate the company of my father, even having dinner with him. He didn’t want to add to my burdens. He supposedly will go home today.
What irony...my burden is oddly heavier with their roads paved with good intentions.
(CK Dexter Haven's very poignant post inspired me to share this with you today. I have a dream son too.)