A mother wrote, My son is in active addiction. Last year, one day before Thanksgiving, he called home asking if he could come the next day to our family dinner. I asked everyone, including his brothers, and we all agreed we wanted him here. He brought flowers: two for me, and two for each of his grammas. I am grateful that our family was able to see that even though my son was in the throes of addiction and all the ugliness that goes with it, our son and his heart were still there.
My reflection: This entry reminds me of the time when I had a bilateral mastectomy and Jeff, still in active addiction, wanted to help me. For as chaotic as his life was then, I decided to find something positive in that moment, the humanity still present inside this child of mine. I asked him to wash my hair in the kitchen sink because I couldn’t raise my arms above my head. He washed, dried and styled my hair. He asked me if he had done a good job. I wrote:
I could see in his face the concerted effort this task required of him, but he never gave up. My son, my chameleon son, this was the tender child I remembered, the kid I knew, and I wondered how could such kindness be contrasted with such self destruction; the polarity, the duplicity was undeniable. But I looked at my boy who was now a young man and I replied, with a smile, “Yes, Jeff, it’s perfect. Better than my hairdresser in fact.” He returned my smile, going along with this loving game, played with a hair dryer and a brush.
Today’s Promise to consider: Beauty is all around us, but we need to open our eyes and our hearts to see it. Within the beauty, there is hope. Today, I choose to stay in gratitude.