Today I am shopping in the grocery store and casually ask the butcher for some help. He was very helpful with not only the bacon but also some large wild caught shrimp. Makes me hungry writing this, but that's not the point of this story.
We continue a casual conversation and he mentioned he just lost his 23 year old son and was having a hard time. I ask, and prefaced it with I didn't want to pry or be too intrusive but what happened. He explained to me he died from a heart condition. The valves in his heart were gone and he died while doctors were operating on his heart.
I expressed my sympathy. I cannot imagine in any way how hard that must be. I went on to explain I was only being nosy because I know so many, too many people that have lost their child at a young age to addiction. I went on to apologize in that I didn't want him to think I assumed the same was for his child. Then I told him how lucky I am to not have lost my son because he was a heroin addict but has been clear and sober since July 2010.
His eyes welled up and his voice broke. My son was using drugs with needles and stuff. He never mentioned the drug of choice but he said, the needles and drugs are what destroyed his heart.
He went on to tell me it is so hard and they are in counseling. I gave him one of my cards I give out when I speak with this blog address.
He also said they have no one to talk too. He said "Whenever I mention it to a friend or someone they don't understand......they don't understand at all. "
Here we are are two 60 year men standing at the end of the meat freezer in the aisle of a grocery store with tears on our cheeks and in our eyes.
He stared at my card....."Your name is Ron?" Yes it is. "Can I call you if I need too?" You can can call me any time.
NO ONE IS ALONE IN THIS!
If you can't talk to a person, find another person. There are too many people suffering with no support. As I tell all of those young people, hands of help are extended all around you. Take the first step, reach out and grasp one of those hands. It will be good for both of you. This goes for all of us no matter our age.
I leave the grocery store after shaking this mans hand and sincerely telling him he is not alone.
Pull into a favorite vegetable stand for some home grown tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe and berries. I here a woman's voice, "Ron Grover, Ron Grover". Around the tables and counter comes a person Darlene and I had coffee with 7 years ago because they reached out to me after reading this blog and discovering we only lived 10 miles apart. Our sons shared this same issue.
After two encounters not one hour apart I come to realize I have ignored writing for too long.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE