So life went on as I guess it should be. You living by the sea with your Lisa and me home immersed into finding a new direction for my life. I had spent so many years trying to keep you straight that I had forgotten that I too had a life that needed attention. So even though it was so hard to pry myself away from the old routines, I stopped calling everyday and little by little started to stretch that cord that kept us springing back to each other. I have to admit Matt, it was starting to feel like what a normal relationship between a mother and her son should be. You, now a man, living life away from my constant supervision. Now this Lisa was where I used to be. Except deep down I knew you my son were too afraid of bearing your truths to this woman who you felt so lucky to have. You still never understood how amazing a person you were. For whatever reason, you still didn’t think you were worthy of happiness and no amount of praise and love would ever change your mind.
So I got down to the business that was my life. My work with the babies kept me busy during the week. Belle and Dewey were my constant companions on the weekends. Now, instead of the beach I would head to the park with my pups. Oh, yeah, Let’s not forget about Match From Hell.Com. So now my life has it’s own rhythm. Working my 12 hour shifts, dating, Oh Yeah Me! and finding new places to explore with the pups.
There came a time when I started to enjoy having the house to myself. I remember arguing with you about how to put your dishes in the dishwasher and that we didn’t have a little elf that grabbed the laundry off your floor and miraculously placed it in the washer.
I started to notice that your calls came only during the week. I just kept hoping that you like me had found some rhythm that made you feel productive and fulfilled, and that your weekend time was spent enjoying time on the sea you so loved. I still remember listening to how you said your words, your clarity, the sound of your laugh, still wondering if and when the demons would find you again.
Our lives though still intertwined were now heading in different directions. You working at a job you loved with people you called your extended family. I remember coming to visit during the week, surprising you at the garage. At first you looked shocked, then that smile spread across your face and that Hey Mom! came falling out of your mouth. I tried to just relax and enjoy your company, but continued to look for those heart breaking signs that would alert me that you were standing on that slippery slope again and I had to grab you and pull you back. You looked thinner than I remembered, I silently hoped you were following my advise and trying to eat healthy or that Lisa didn’t allow pizza and wings as your daily diet. Your eyes looked clear. You were so proud to show me around the garage and introduce me to your boss, Charlie. I remember his wife being there and hugging me telling me how you were just like a son to them. Matt, you would never know how much that meant to me. Another mother to keep watch over you. When you walked away I grabbed her hand and said, please keep an eye on him for me. I worry and I’m so far away. She looked in my eyes as if she knew and chills gripped my heart. Oh God, had she seen what I have experienced most of your life. I couldn’t betray our secret but her eyes bore into my soul like she had been where I was and together we formed a silent pack to keep you away from your demons. I left to walk on the beach leaving you to your job as cars needed fixing and that was what you did. My heart felt heavy. Warning bells sounding in my brain. My key to your house in my pocket, I turned the car around and headed to the house by the sea. I once again, praying that my instinct was playing with me and my paranoia was leading me out of control. Matt, even though I wanted to believe with all my heart that you were clean, all those years of your deception was so ingrained in my soul that even before I pulled into the driveway, the tears started to flow and that helpless feeling wrapped its arms around me as I sobbed in my car.
Being the mother of an addict is an endless journey of what if’s and whys and my precious boy our ride was no where near over. I remember my hand shaking as I turned the key pushing the door open. My need to keep you safe and find the truth was more powerful than my guilt of once again invading your space. I looked around hoping to slip in unnoticed. Your neighbors all knew me Matt and I was hoping to do this without you knowing that my trust was as changing as the wind. Your house, our little house by the sea looked abandoned. I flashed back to our week of detox and saw the dirty dishes, the moldy food the unkept home that we both so loved. I remember feeling like I walked back into the storm. I couldn’t leave a trace or move a plate. I wanted to sweep the place clean, let the house know it was still loved, but as I crept quietly through I knew you like you knew me, you hide, I seek. Ok Matt. Game on!!!!!!` ““““““““““““““““““““““““““