A mom wrote to me: My cousin’s son is 22 and battling alcoholism. She just visited and, even though she didn’t want to talk about it, I could see the pain she was going through. As a mother of sons, I am grateful that my sons have never had a problem with alcohol or drugs, but I know that it is the luck of the draw. Addiction can happen to anyone. It’s everywhere and it affects families in every walk of life.
My reflection: This mother’s words brought back a difficult memory for me. In Stay Close, I wrote, Grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, no one knew what to do. During the Christmas of 2006, when neither son came home for our large Italian family gatherings, my brothers didn’t know what to say. They didn’t even know whether to invite me to the festivities. The cousins were confused; could they ask about Jeff or would it be kinder to leave him out of the conversation?
Today’s Promise to consider: Research says that for every one addict at least four others are affected. Addiction’s consequences are far-reaching and destructive. Those who love us see our pain, even without us saying a word. They don’t know whether to talk with us about the problem or to stay silent. Addiction is confusing and suffocating. Today, I’ll be communicative and compassionate with my family and friends as we stumble together down this road.