Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Heartwrenching E-mail

I received another e-mail today that everyone should get the chance to read. No matter how deep the despair about the addict you love, hope.

After the e-mail I am going to post what Darlene wrote me back after I forwarded it when she read the e-mail.


I don't know if you will remember my husband and I, but we met you when you spoke at Church of Resurrection some time ago. I have been wanting to email you for some time now but have not been able to put the words together. Our son Travis was killed in a car accident on his way back to Pittsburg State University on April 21st. He had just had his 23rd birthday 4 days earlier.

We had been living the same nightmare you are going through. We had been living in fear and living in grief for our son for quite awhile. He had been using heroin and trying somewhat successfuly to go to college at the same time. He was in the court system, he had been to rehabs, he was clean, he was using, he was clean, using etc. You know the story. He was out late, on his way back to school, fell asleep and ran into a semi head on. Travis and the car was destroyed. Nearly nothing left. He had to be identified by dental records. He was alone in his car and the semi driver was not hurt at all. That part is a blessing.

The reason I wanted to tell you this story is that no matter what living hell we were going through, it was better than this. At least during all the chaos and pain of his addiction, there was hope. We thought we had lost our hopes and dreams, but in reality, we still had hopes and dreams for Travis. They may have been different, but at least we could hope. I think that is what ultimately keeps you going. Now we just have memories, good and bad. We are left now with overwhelming grief. He will not have the chance to turn his life around. No hope for him in THIS life. Our fear of his addiction and all its ramifications is replaced now by extreme sadness. Again, no hope.

It is my wish that perhaps this story will help you understand that in the darkest of times during your son's addiction, you understand that you do have hope. Dreams can still be realized as long as you still have you son. I don't think that I ever thought in this way when Travis was still with us. I guess I just thought of all the pain we were all going through.

As you know, as a parent of an addict, you feel if you can help even one person in anyway get through this painful situation, you want to do whatever you can. I continue to read your blog and wish I could write as well as you. You have been so awesome to share and inspire the way you do. Keep hoping and dreaming even as hard as the situation is. You son is alive and has a chance. Blessings to you and your family.


OMG she is the pretty lady, with the husband, that I talked to for so long & then you join in, remember, We felt we had so much in common because the boys were nearly the same age. Both had gone to Pitt and doing the exact thing. Trying to go to school, but kept running back here for "stuff". I know she is right. We have thought the same thing, that at least we have hope. HOPE is very big, cuz we do still have our son. My heart cries for Vicki and her husband. I know that will always be in the back of their minds- could he have gotten better, could he have turned his life around. OR was this the blessing, because he would not have gotten better? That of course will be the big question in their minds, forever. I am glad she wrote and let us know. Just when we were giving up, she reminded us, that there is still "HOPE" for us, for Alex. "HOPE", that things can get better!

My heart goes out to Vicki and her family, they do not get to have any more, HOPE :(

I am sad, for sure, now, D

Thank you all for sharing and allowing me to post your words.


jackandaisy said...

this is a hearbreaking, heartwrenching story to read. i can relate on every level. and it scares the crap out of me. it stirs up the desire to help out, aka enable. i hate this disease with a passion.


ChaiLatte said...

These parents have lived our worst fears... I have no words, but my heart breaks for them. Thank you for sharing with us.

Wait. What? said...

She makes a valid point, that many, many parents dont understand fully. There is hope, it is their choice, but you can always hold onto hope.

VJ said...

How very kind for her to share her story and remind us of the hope that is still possible.

I have personally spoken to three mom's whose children died due to drugs. I was unable then and I am unable now to convey my sympathy adequately to the parents who have lost their child to this insidious disease.

In prayer for all families.

Barbara said...

I am so sorry this family has suffered such a horrible loss. Her words say it all....those of us who still have our loved ones have hope. I am thankful she shared this with you and with us, its a good reminder that life is fragile and we need to appreciate the moments we have.

Syd said...

Such a sad thing for these parents. Such a terrible loss. But her message is a good one. In the midst of the worse pain, there is hope. When hope is lost, then I think that I will also be lost.

Tori said...

There really are no words to express how terrible I feel for her and her family. We are blessed. As much as I hate dealing with the craziness of his addiction when he had his motorcylce accident last week all I could think about is what would I do had we lost him. I have dealt with many nights of not being able to find my son and thinking the worst. I remember very clearly the feeling that I had those nights but I am lucky it wasn't a reality for me. We do and should continue to have hope for our children and always tell them we love them. Her post was a strong reminder of this.

Anonymous said...

I think you have to be really careful with hope. Easy to cross the line between hope and expectations. "Cautiously hopeful" is what one of my Al-Anon "students" called it. I like to think of it that way. I really don't want to expect that my son's life will ever change. But I do hope it might some day. One of my sons' friends passed away from a heroin overdose a few months ago. Some of them are still with us and actively using. I guess there is always hope, as long as it is minus the expectations. ~Hugs~ T

clean and crazy said...

i shared this earlier today. this is one of my biggest fears and why i have empathy for parents of addicts. i am an addict. but i am clean and by the grace of god go i.

i used to have reservations in my recovery, you know the one thing that could happen that would make me use again. my reservation was that i could not live if my daughter died. i was afraid of the pain and of not wanting to deal with it.

two years ago in february a friend in recovery had a baby girl and she brought her to an event where we all got to hold her pretty little fuzzy head. bella was an absolute joy to hold. a week after the event i got a call that the baby was dead.

i was so distraught that i just held my babies so tight. then it hit me like a mac truck, this is what we sign up for when we choose to bring a life into this world. this could be part of the package. all the grief and joys are part of being a parent.

you give me hope, you give me hope that there are parents who put their children first. parents who protect their children and love them unconditionally. you are part of the 'no matter what' club.

you are my heros, you and the mother who wrote this letter, able to share her pain to help others. i pray that i am as blessed that i may follow in your footsteps, you are the ones who come before me so that i may be a better mother.

thank you for sharing this and i am grateful you have hope today. i feel so lucky to only have quit using one time, over 5 years ago.

LisaC said...

I've always believed, and will continue to believe, that as long as they are breathing, there is hope. I'm so sorry for Vicki and her family's loss. Yes, there is hope for Alex; and there is hope for every one of our loved ones that is active in addiction, in recovery, in relapse or some horrible place in the middle of all of this.

And there is still hope for Vicki and her family. It is different now. It is hope for the ability to eventually focus on the good memories, the times before drugs came into the picture; and that's what they need to keep in their hearts.

Anonymous said...

I can't think of a sadder event than the death of a child. I pray daily for all parents whose lives have been shattered by the disease of addiction and I pray that all parents will find their path to peace and serenity.

Addiction--Mom trying to Detach with Love said...

This just tore at my heart, but also lifted it with the message of hope. My prayers go out to Vicky and her family. Thanks for sharing this message.

Erin said...

There is no greater nightmare for a parent than this..... Tonight, I will have HOPE for my precious son.

A Mom's Serious Blunder said...

Truly a mother's worse nightmare, that we live with on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing this post...