REACHING FOR THE RED BALLOON: A LESSON FROM MY DAD

Yesterday was the thirteen anniversary of my dad’s death. He was a tough, Italian man, who fought for his country, his family and those he loved. He learned from an early age how to work hard and achieve his dreams. The photo above is of an oil painting he said represented his life. After serving in World War 2, he worked on the docks in New York City and his dreams were like the red balloon, high above him and out of reach. Through grit and determination, he eventually caught his balloon, teaching me that hope and tenacity are critical in overcoming adversity. I needed this lesson when addiction entered our home and took over my son.

My reflection: This painting hangs in our foyer and is a steady reminder that dedication and determination are essential for those of us whose loved ones are battling active addiction. We can’t give up hope.

Today’s Promise to consider: The red balloon represents a healthy life for my addicted loved one. Addiction tries to rob us of our dreams, but I will remain hopeful and stay the course with love and determination. I will continue to reach for the red balloon, stay strong and pray.

 

 

 

 

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Hetty
Hetty
5 years ago

Thank you as always. Do you know the name of the artist who made the painting and gave you hope? Hetty

libbycataldi
libbycataldi
5 years ago
Reply to  Hetty

Thanks, Hetty, for asking, but I don’t know the artist. Dad found it and bought it – the story of his life in an image. Yours in hope. Libby

shelley
5 years ago

Libby, I just found you. I just received Stay Close yesterday. I have the last page opened on my desk, highlighted.

“Hallelujah, Jeff will be different this time. Jeff will live and be productive. Yes, Jeff will live.”

I insert Noah. He’s 19.
“Hallelujah, Noah will be different this time. Noah will live and be productive. Yes, Noah will live.”

Noah is Jeff, but he’s my second boy. Third in the birth order, boy girl boy girl.

I’m almost done with my memoir. I would like St. Martins’ Press too. I met Brenda Copeland a year ago and I love her.

You’re writing is brilliant. I love your voice. I wept on the first sentence because i love first sentences and also because my son is a heroin addict.

Love you today. Thank you for going before.
Sending love and abundance and awesomeness to you.
xo Shelley

libbycataldi
libbycataldi
5 years ago
Reply to  shelley

I join you in faith and love. “Hallelujah, Noah will live.” Congrats on writing your story. It takes all of us to join together and reach out our hands. My love to you and Noah. Libby

shelley
5 years ago
Reply to  libbycataldi

Thank you Libby!!!!!! So much. xoxo

Pat Nichols
5 years ago

Enjoyed this post! It should give us all hope, we need hope. In addition and like your father, we must prepare ourselves for future battles with the disease. If not, it will destroy ever finding the red balloon.

libbycataldi
libbycataldi
5 years ago
Reply to  Pat Nichols

Dear Pat, You and I have been together a long time as we learn about addiction and fight against it. I stand with you in hope and faith. Libby

JOY2
JOY2
5 years ago
Reply to  libbycataldi

I miss you all but I am here often. I have found it hard to come here since Barbara left us. Our family still in recovery and has much healing … but always this space is a ray of light

Suzan
Suzan
5 years ago

Thanks Libby, it’s just what I needed to see this morning. I’m reminded of reading The Red Balloon children’s book to my kids, the little boy determined to catch an ever out of reach red balloon. My little boy, now 36, relapsed on meth yesterday, on my birthday. But now I see that red balloon and I will continue reaching for it with hope, fierce love, and faith. This morning I was up at dawn trying vainly to “meditate”,feeling so empty and alone. I rifled through a little drawer of mementos and found a photo of padre Pio. Looking at his kind, gentle face comforted me as though I had a friend near me and I was finally able to pray. When I read about your dear Italian father and his determination it felt like a synchronicity, a message from padre Pio – don’t give up! I may sound like a crazy lady but you’ve all been there, desperate for reassurance. Thanks Libby.

libbycataldi
libbycataldi
5 years ago
Reply to  Suzan

Dearest Suzan, I understand the feelings of desperation and loss. My mother had great faith in Padre Pio and, like you, was a prayer warrior. He brought her comfort in times of deep despair. I’m so sorry your precious child relapsed yesterday, on your birthday. I’ll stay close in love and prayer. Keep believing. As my son once told me, “If you quit believing, who will believe in me?” My love to you, Libby

Ajia
Ajia
5 years ago

Love the story about your Dad. I am sure he was a wonderful man and a great father. I am sure he was always proud of you and your boys. Miss you, my dear friend. ❤️

Nanci
Nanci
5 years ago

Thank you so much, Libby, for sharing this beautiful meditation. I will never look at a red balloon the same way again. I am so grateful for your weekly meditations as they continue to teach me about love, hope, strength and the power of prayer.
Love,
Nanci