Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kids and Parents

"Great kids come from great parents." This was a comment I saw on a Facebook post. Everything about this statement is complimentary. I am sure there is pride and gratitude. It is a well deserved compliment when we see children doing wonderful things for themselves and others. The praise is deserved.

But, what about the other side to my opening statement. If my opening statement is true then is it an natural conclusion that, "Bad kids come from bad parents." I have thought about the parents of James Holmes, the shooter in Aurora, CO. I don't know anything about them, they could be terrible people or they could be the most wonderful people in the world, I don't know. I'm sure we have all been at each end of that spectrum at moments of our lives. It is so strange that we can quickly attribute the actions of any person no matter the age or life experience to the success of failure of parenting skills. I'm going indulge in an assumption, I believe the parents of James Holmes are probably living a nightmare of heartache, just as each of us do when we hear stories our addicted children, maybe multiplied 1000 times over.

As parents of an addict where do we all fall in that spectrum? Where do you see yourself? How does society see us? I'm sure most of us know how many in society views us and our parenting skills. I bet every parent of an addict can cite examples and tell stories of "I would have..., They should have...., If it was my kid...." that tore you apart inside. Many of them may even come from family or close friends.

There's not a lot I can say here to change the perception of others. Sometimes life experience is the only way many of us truly learn and I wouldn't wish the experience of being the parent of an addict on any parent.

There will always be people out there that believe a drug addict or alcoholic is nothing more than a POS. I'm not wasting my time on those people. It's personal, that POS is my POS and regardless, I hate what he is doing of has done more than anyone but as a parent I can see past that and still love the person. It's OK to separate the two parts.

I'm not going to indulge in a lot of speculation but I am going to share one solid belief that I hold close and that I believe to be an absolute truth. If you are a parent of an addict and you are out researching and searching for help for yourself and your child. You are reading this blog. You love your children regardless of their illness. YOU ARE A GREAT PARENT. Great parents do what they have to do because they love their child even when they are suffering from a disease and doing things we cannot fathom. Great parents help themselves to be healthy, strong and loving.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Battling the Monster: Hero's

Last night I was at the the Kansas City Royals baseball game in honor of and courtesy of Susan Mayberry. She is the teacher at Basehor Linwood High School that I nominated and she won The Partnership at and Major League Baseball's, National Play Healthy Award for 2011. Susan is a teacher that goes above and beyond to battle the monster. She has me come to her class twice a year to speak about drugs and addiction. Last night the KC Royals honored her by selecting her to sit in the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seats. If you aren't from KC but maybe you are a baseball fan and already know, Buck O'Neil was a player in the Negro Leagues. He was key in forming the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame here in KC. Mr. O'Neil was one of the most respected people I have ever seen in KC. I'm sure if you polled KC people his approval and respect rating would be somewhere upwards of 99.9%. So you see to be honored in this way to sit in his permanent seat at Kauffmam Stadium is indeed a honor and big deal.

In this struggle of addiction in our lives I have found many hero's. It's time we recognize these people. 

I'm asking that you nominate a hero right here. There won't be any national award, fancy trips to New York or special baseball game seats. This is about recognizing someone or people that have helped you. It doesn't have to be someone that rides astraddle a horse publicly swinging a sword at this monster. It may be a loved one that has a good ear and an open heart. It may be that "rock" in your life. Maybe it is a stranger that touched you at just the right time. It might be a person that faced the monster and won or someone that fought a gallant battle. 

I am asking for your nominations, who and what they have done for you or others in facing the monster. Names aren't required. After you nominate them and your recognition is there for the world to see your appreciation, send them a link to this post. Everyone needs to see that they are loved and appreciated.

In a world where crisis and tragedy dominate the landscape it is time we allow the light of good to shine brightly.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Owen Paul Thom
8 pounds 2 ounces
2:42 pm    7/16/12

Mom, Dad, Brooke and baby are both doing very well. Grammy and PaPa are doing pretty good too.  Owen entered the world wide awake and has been absorbing everything his whole life. Wide eyes and alert. Been passed around to everyone and he seems to be a very friendly, personable and likable guy.  ;-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What Happened to My Blog

The dog days of summer are here with a fury. This week it has cooled slightly, 90's, but I see in the forecast it will be back over 100 next week.

Work is crazy, we are very busy and I am hiring people. Can't believe some of the applicants when I tell them they must take a drug test. Why do they waste everyone's time and money when they know they can't pass. It just puts my folks in the plant in a bad spot because they must wait longer to get more help.

By next Tuesday we will be grandparents again. The doctor has told Leslie to either have that baby by Sunday or else on Monday the baby's choice to come out on its own is over. Leslie and Paul are old school, everyone will know what it is when it arrives, even mom and dad are waiting.

It's so routine with Alex that there is nothing to write about for us. Darlene is babysitting often because he is working overtime every Saturday. What a change over a few years ago.

I am reading others blogs and I hear so much heartache. This thing never seems to end.

Maintaining this blog is not what it once was. There just isn't much to write as when the drama and crisis was never ending. That's what I mean by what happened to my blog. It's not productive writing for anyone when it's the same normal routine day after day. Long ago I titled an entry SSDD (same shit different day) about all of the shit that seemed to rain down every day on us. That would be the title of most of my entries now except SSDD is normal and peace instead of the other.

Reading others blogs and commenting I see so much from parents going through all the same things Darlene and I experienced. So many times I refer them to links on whatever I wrote in the past. I feel guilty just referring them back to my past posts but this stuff really doesn't change, unfortunately. The worst thing is that there is no set formula for success. The only thing I found that works for sure to do exactly what I was told to do on day one but took me over five years to try. Take care of yourself, you can't fix it and no addict ever gets clean because of or for Dad and Mom.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


The Partnership at is working with CHPA (Consumer Healthcare Products Assn.) to develop a digital media campaign intended to increase perception of risk and social disapproval of cough medicine abuse.  In most states OTC cough medicine is an easily accessible high and one that kids see as being “harmless”.  We want to prevent kids from going down the road to addiction by providing them with credible prevention information in places where they may not expect to find it. 

Objective:           Create 6-10 video testimonial videos for the website (a teen targeted website). 


We would like the interviewees (ages 16-23) to be in recovery and have abused OTC cough medicine to get high at least once.   We do not expect that DXM was the drug of choice, but we want the interviewee to be able to speak to the experience and why others should not think about abusing cough medicine. 


We would prefer to shoot in one region (NY, CA or TX would be ideal).  However, if there are several people willing to speak to us in another region we are open to traveling.


We would like to shoot and launch videos in July. The interviews should not take longer than 30 minutes each.

If you are interested in this project please contact Becky Vance at: