I recently reposted a blog I had written for
Michaels 16th birthday. The point was a pivotal moment in the building of our
relationship as Step-mother and Step-son.   A few people responded
implying that I had caused long term emotional damage to not only Micael, but
to all my children. This verbal attack coming on the heels of 12 days of cards,
flowers, unending prayer, love, and support of thousands of friends. And a few


I would
never say for a second that I have been a perfect mother.  In fact, I am
the first one to admit, mothering the six children God entrusted me with has
kept me on my knees, short of begging God for daily guidance from the throne

The aftermath of the
last year with Michael has left us all spinning. Not just my husband and
myself, but his siblings, friends and his grandparents.  Wondering,
questioning, praying, and crying out for insight to shed some light on how to
love Michael through his pain.

 We experienced many anxiety-filled
sleepless nights, many long conversations weeping with our son.  We also had slamming doors and screaming, followed by tears. Then, worst of all; days
when we heard nothing at all.  We didn’t know if he was safe, sober…or
alive. We were all mad, we were all hurt, and we were all scared to death for
our blonde haired, blue eyed all American boy.

 When you love
someone struggling with addiction, you long for and at the same time dread
every phone call.  If you hear from him or see him, you know he is still
alive…your heart soars with hope.  That same hope is crushed destroyed
and then turns into stifling fear as you realize this boy that you love so much
is drifting farther and farther from the truth of who he is.

 We didn’t have much,
but we had faith…faith that we would get beauty for ashes.

   I believed Michael’s
story was going to change not just his life, but everyone he came in contact with…I just
knew it.  I just knew that some time in the near future my all American boy was going laugh with me over a
cup of hot tea about how awful life was THEN, and how amazing it is NOW.

I just knew our
Michael would rise up out of the chaos, and with our help, and The Fathers love…be
completely healed.

 I KNEW Michael
would marry his high school love, Alexis, and they would have 4 beautiful
little girls with his blonde hair and sparkling eyes.  I KNEW my grand-daughters
would come to my home for tea parties. I KNEW those little girls would work by
my side in our little herb garden with their brightly colored rain boots that
would somehow always be… just a little to big.  All, the while they would giggle as I told
them stories about their daddy when HE was a little boy.  I could see their grandpa, softer with every
passing year; tear up at the sight of them because they were living breathing redemption
of God, the redemption of Michael.

I believed it, I knew it.

The scenario I could
see in my heart will never be. That hope, that promise is left unfulfilled on this earth. 

Now, instead of dreams we are left with the mystery of an
unfinished life.  I do understand, I do not have the answers…I cannot
find the beauty, or the hope right now. All I can feel is the most intense agony
and devastating pain. I am no stranger to loss and grief, but this…this is
just cruel.

All I know today is, we all loved Michael; we all would have traded our lives for his without a
thought. And I know we all fought for him, every way we could.

No cruel words from strangers
could make the pain possibly sting any deeper. However, the kindness of friends
and strangers somehow make it possible to breathe in, and breathe out.

That is all we can do… Today.