Monday, May 28, 2012
A Day For Remembering
Day 269 of Sobriety
This picture was taken about three years ago, almost exactly a year before I started this blog. Here is what I remember about the woman in this picture. I remember that she had always struggled with alcohol but I'm not sure where she was in her struggle when this picture was taken. There were times she did really well, you could depend on her, and she was always the life of the party, but in the end those times were few and far between. I do remember her on this day though, it was two days before the young man in the picture, Matt, was headed to Iraq for his second deployment. She was at his house for his going away party. She always complained that she had trouble sleeping and I'm sure she had been up all night, unable to sleep and nursing wine. From the looks of the hairdo, it looks like she had probably tried to squeeze in a nap until the last possible moment and then jumped out of bed and thrown something on to make the 4 hour drive to Matt's house. She was nursing a hangover and Jack Daniels all the way there (thank God, she wasn't driving). I remember she was supposed to bring a cake and she didn't manage to get that done. I remember she did manage to bring two bottles of wine that she managed to finish off in the 3 hours she was there. I remember she made excuses and left early. She must have felt like shit, she sure looked like it. I remember she passed out on the way home.
Matt's mother left him when he was around 10 years old. In the beginning, she came back pretty often and the little boy never gave up hope that she would come home for good, but she never did and as time went on, she was gone for longer and longer periods. Her other children could no longer bear the pain of living in a house that reminded them of the mother that was no longer there and moved out of their home but Matt stayed. And waited just in case she came back.
A month before he graduated from high school he found out he was going to be a daddy and he was scared. He cried. He wished he had his mom to talk to. He tried to get in touch with her, but she wasn't there.
So he got a job and he worked nights and went to college during the day and he tried his best to take care of his young wife and son. But he couldn't. It was too much. He wished he had his mom to lean on, tohelp him out, to tell him what to do. He thought maybe this time she'd be there for him, but she didn't show up.
He joined the Air Force. It was the only way he could think of to take care of his family. He was a man now. He was 19 years old. He didn't need his mom anymore. But he still missed her. He still didn't give up hope she'd be there. If not for him, for her grandson.
It doesn't show, but he's scared to death in this picture. His wife has told him that she wants a divorce. He is going to war in a matter of days. He doesn't know what will happen over there. He doesn't know if he'll come back. He doesn't know what will happen to his son. He really thought his mom would show up that day. If he ever needed her, he needed her then. And he thought, if at no other time, surely she would be there for him on that day. But she wasn't.
So he went to war without her. Again.
What Matt couldn't know was that his mom was fighting her own wars. And she was trying so hard to get back home. Just like him, she never gave up hope, she never quit trying.
Matthew is my youngest son and today I'm honoring him by giving him his mom back. She's finally home.
P.S. This week I am driving down to visit Matt and his wife, Chantel (they remarried when he returned from Iraq), my grandson, Landon and my new granddaughter, Atalie Jolene. I don't know if I'll get the chance to blog much this week but I promise you I will be replacing that sad and horrible picture. I'll be replacing it with a picture of Matt and his mom, Me.