Friday, July 31, 2009

Bittersweet

Some days are so difficult that I start to question why I chose to have children. The stress in my life is so incredibly high right now that I often find myself thinking about how different life would be if I had remained childless. I am ashamed to admit that there are days when I wish I had taken a different path. To remedy these feelings, I look through old photographs. And then, I remember. Justin's first fourteen years were the happiest of my life. My daughter, at twelve, still brings me so much joy. She is the reason that I get out of bed each day. I need to work hard to provide her with some sense of normalcy. As much as possible, we hide the anger, the tears, the fear, so she can look back at her childhood and remember something other than her brother's problems. I worry constantly that she may choose the same road as her brother. I do not think I could handle losing both of my children to drugs. I pray each day that my son will find his way back to us, his family, because then I will be able to look at photographs like these without tears - only smiles and fond memories.



This is me, my son and daughter exactly twelve years ago. I remember the overwhelming love and pride I felt as this picture was being snapped. Happy twelfth birthday daughter of mine. Happier days ahead.

13 comments:

  1. Beautiful family portrait. Our kids are always a blessing - no matter what. :-)

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  2. I want to seriously cry. Instead, I'll "talk" to God, and ask Him if He will help out here and put your son on the "fast track" (no pun intended)...IF it be His will.

    Peace for you, Hannah.
    I loved your comment on my blog...

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  3. Prayers for you dear one.
    I'm in total bedlam around here lately. I admit, I've even said out loud to my husband that "I should never have had children. I am a total failure". It's one thing after another. Then I need to crawl out of myself and TRY to continue doing the right thing while parenting (term used loosley)my 17 yr. old son. I was listening to the words of Mark Schultz' song "He's my son" on the way home, broke my heart. I DO know your pain.
    "He's My Son"

    I'm down on my knees again tonight,
    I'm hoping this prayer will turn out right.
    See, there is a boy that needs Your help.
    I've done all that I can do myself
    His mother is tired,
    I'm sure You can understand.
    Each night as he sleeps
    She goes in to hold his hand,
    And she tries
    Not to cry
    As the tears fill her eyes.

    Can You hear me?
    Am I getting through tonight?
    Can You see him?
    Can You make him feel all right?
    If You can hear me
    Let me take his place some how.
    See, he's not just anyone, he's my son.

    Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep,
    I dream of the boy he'd like to be.
    I try to be strong and see him through,
    But God, who he needs right now is You.
    Let him grow old,
    Live life without this fear.
    What would I be
    Living without him here?
    He's so tired,
    And he's scared
    Let him know that You're there.

    Can You hear me?
    Am I getting through tonight?
    Can You see him?
    Can You make him feel all right?
    If You can hear me
    Let me take his place some how.
    See, he's not just anyone, he's my son.

    Can You hear me?
    Am I getting through tonight?
    Can You see him?
    Can You make him feel all right?
    If You can hear me
    Let me take his place somehow.
    See, he's not just anyone.

    Can You hear me?
    Can You see him?
    Please don't leave him,
    He's my son.

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  4. Hannah,

    It is a sad posting I just read. All of the cliches in the world won't help but you have to take care of yourself first. I know the pain your feel. I have had the same thoughts. Two wonderful daughters and then my son. 15 years of his joy then the drugs. He is 21 now, been clean for about 3 months. He is still not back to his "normal" but he is alive and working his way back.

    I have never felt as much pain as I felt while watching my son use. Not until I began to understand I could not fix this or stop this or even convince him to stop. I began to find some peace. It still hurts when I think of him maybe using again. The way I finally was able to let go of some pain was to realize that my role as a father was to try and keep him alive. It was his job to stop using. When I realized that it opened up a lot of other options that "kept him alive" even jail if necessary. Only he can decide to stop using, just try your best at keeping him alive.

    I would also advise to you expose your daughter to this pain. She is young and she does not have to go into this life. She is young enough to see and understand. Show her your love and explain her brother is sick and the sickness can be avoided very easily.

    My experience is when I write it helps me, please continue to write and never fear to contact us if your need too. I'd be happy to talk to your husband too if he wants too. There are not many dads writing on here unless they are former addicts. Sometimes it is really hard for a dad or a husband to write especially about a son.

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  5. Lots of people feel exactly like you do right now and felt exactly like you felt when that photo was snapped. You are not alone. We have our children for a season. It is very difficult when that season seems to end too soon. God bless you. Pray.

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  6. hannah, i will take the same path that steve is. i will pray for the fast track.

    i just came back from preaching a sermon about Gods Love. That dear one is my rest.

    thanks for your thoughts on my side of town, appreciate you.

    You are Loved
    Brother Frankie
    A Biker for Christ

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  7. I have to admit...and I feel ashamed to say it but I sometimes wonder why I had kids. Perhaps I'm just not the natural mother type?
    My kids are still young, my son is pretty easy to handle but my daughter...oh boy she is a different story.
    So why I am I ashamed to say this..because they are still young..I have no addiction problems with these kids as yet (I guess time will tell).
    I feel your pain, will be praying for you.x

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  8. Hi Hannah, my daughter is also an addict and we have been traveling this journey for the past 7 years or so. She is 20 years old now. When I first stumbled my way into an Alanon meeting, i was completely broken. Totally at the end of my abilities to fix anything with my precious daughter. That was the beginning of my healing....finally acknowledging that I didn't have the answers. I couldn't fix her. I know its hard to believe but there does come a day when you become grateful to have traveled the paths that we mom's travel with our addict kids. She and I have had more *good* worked into our lives through the trials we have faced, each in our own ways. It has been painful, and terrifying at times, but good has come out of it. I have you in my prayers. Keep coming back.

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  9. I have been gone for the last 10 days and just now have had a chance to get caught up. Your posts are so honest and touching...I did cry.

    I hope you do find your way into the rooms of Al-Anon. There is more hope there than you can even imagine. It's a wonderful tool to focus on the good in your life...for today. Happy Birthday to your daughter...SO much good in your life! God bless you Hannah.

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  10. Overwhelmed by the comments showing such love and support. Thanks for the lyrics Cindy - I had not heard that song before and I watched it on you tube - it is heartbreaking. Al-anon again, thanks for your honesty. I think sometimes people try to hide how difficult parenting truly is, even when your kids are young. I'm going to an Al-anon meeting on Thursday. I'll let you all know how it goes...

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  11. It has taken me a long time (8 years), but now I totally accept that God has given me these two children, and each has been a blessing in their own way.

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  12. Hannah, the photo and post really touched my heart. I don't have children so I don't know the level of anxiety and pain that parents feel. But I do know that you love your children with every ounce of your body and soul. That's what parents do. I hope that you will find an Al-Anon meeting and attend. It will help to share with others who are trudging the same road.

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