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.

16 comments:

  1. Tears of gratitude for you and your son. Mine is still angry and hurt. I pray some day I can write the same blog entry and take that new picture of a son and his Mom.

    Enjoy your trip, many blessings. Thank you for the hope my friend!

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    1. De nada (you're welcome). Don't give up, I'm not going to. My relationship with Matt is not back to where it was, and he'll never be the affectionate, happy-go-lucky kid he was, but the telephone conversations are getting longer and not so labored. I'm really praying that this visit will be a break through back to the relationship we once had.

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  2. Oh. My. God. What a powerful story, well told. What a powerful picture. What a powerful woman!! You did it!!! You pulled yourself out of that messy hole (and I'm not just talking about the hair) and found firm ground. In doing so you have become a white light for all your family, your son, his wife, their kids, and more. Your strength in what you have done to kick that demon drink will affect you and them in positive ways for years and years and years. Good on you, fantastic. Lots of love xxx

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    1. You have no idea what it took for me to put that picture on here. Your encouraging words always give me strength, Mrs D. You and me, gal, there ain't nothing we can't overcome.

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  3. Love how the tap is on.....

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    1. Ha Ha! I didn't notice, I will have to point it out to the cap'n it will drive him crazy. The kids and I swear at his wake we're going to have all the faucets running and the refrigerator door standing wide open.

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  4. I have no words except to tell you something you once told me...all that matters is that you're there for him now. Whole. Loving. Present.

    I don't know if I've ever meant this more...Namaste. I bow to you.

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    1. And I to you, my friend. We've got staying power, don't we?

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  5. How wonderful to have a face to Kary May! Am looking forward to see the new you too :-)

    I had no idea what to expect while reading your post, I got so focused reading that I eventually didn't notice anything around me (am at the office).

    It was such a heartbreaking post to read and I secretly shed a few tears behind my computer screen. And once I came to the end of the post my heart was busting with pride for you and your son. One has to love happy endings!

    Wow... you are such a marvellous woman - you beat the damn alcohol and came back. I hope you enjoy a marvellous time with your son and his family, your family. Lots of hugs to you!

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  6. "That is not the face of Kary May," she adamantly declared.

    I remember sitting at dinner once with an acquaintance who was well into her cups, she was often well into her cups, just like me. She kept repeating over and over, "This isn't me. This isn't me."

    Although she and I had a mutual dislike of each other, we probably recognized ourselves in each other, I had such empathy for her. I felt the same way.

    Thank you, riversurfer, for being here and helping me get here. Kary

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  7. OMG!!! Your story sounded like something out of "Redbook"! I loved it and God Bless you for posting the pic! I will pray for your son and his family! Have fun! L

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  8. Hi Kary May
    I am sorry if I am a repeat sender but I am not sur if my previous comments have gone through. Your posts are always inspiring. You and your family deserve to heal from the past and move on to your future together. You have so much to offer. I pray for peace for all for you.

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  9. Hi Kary May
    I am posting again to you tonight hoping you got my previous posts. Anyway thi one is about me. I am hoping you can give some words of encouragement as I am wanting to crawl under a rock and die. I live in a very small opinionated town and I have managed once again to make an ass out of myself . I went to Book group this evening and drank like a fish . Needless to say I was the only stupid foolish one. But, I know what set me off. I caught two of them snickering about me which prompted me to drink more. Why do I sabotage myself? Help! Now I have to make the walk of shame tomorrow and somehow get my car.
    My car

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  10. This is going to be a quick response because I'm supposed to be loading up the car. Make you walk of shame a walk of pride. Fix your hair, put on your make-up (only if you're female) and wear some nice clothes and go get your car. If someone makes a smart remark, just smile and say very sincerely, "I'm sorry I didn't thank you all for making sure I got home safely last night. Thank You." If they continue to make comments, don't join in, just smile and turn away and go home. This is what I did after the cap'n had to get another guy from the bar to help get me home and carry me in the house and upstairs where they left me on the floor because I refused to get in the bed, and then of course I promptly vomited all over myself. Read my blog about my demons, I wrote it sometime last March or April. And continue to hold your head high and the next time you see them do the same thing, but don't drink. Their going to continue to talk, they'll always talk but pretty soon they'll start looking at you with admiration.

    You can do this.

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    1. Thank you. Your advice means a lot to me

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  11. This post made me tear up. So painful and honest and beautiful. Hope you had a wonderful visit with your son and that you are able to rebuild that relationship like you both deserve.

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