Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Notes While Waiting on the Wench

Her name is Rita. It looks like we won't know too much about where she will hit until late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. Much like the personal storm I am weathering, I look at this hurricane and I wish so badly that it would just fizzle out, that no more harm would be done, and yet I know, the storm is coming, and someone is going to suffer because of it. May God grant us all the grace to weather this and all other storms.

I have a sister who lives on the Houston side of the edge of Galveston Bay. She will be leaving soon. Batten down the hatches and hang on tight, my Texas friends.

The drama of the (national) weathermen and the (national) newscasters is sometimes a bit over the top. I understand that is sometimes necessary to get the message out about the serious nature of these storms. But at times, I find myself sighing and saying a hearty amen to the words uttered by General Honore from New Orleans yesterday--"Let's not do stupid, reporters". I find my local weathermen and newscasters to be of far more practical help in times like these.

On a more personal level, thank you all for the encouragement, and the prayers offered, and the hope, concerning my son and our family. It is not an easy road to walk, that is for sure. And it isn't always easy to admit that is the road you are walking on.

The doll in this photo is a much loved doll that belongs to my youngest daughter. She named her Hittie-Hittie. My daughter carried her everywhere and the poor doll suffered many mishaps along the way, but you can tell when you see her that she was greatly loved. Maybe my caption is wrong. Perhaps, at times, love costs us all some wear and tear, and maybe, sometimes, love does hurt.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

It's Supposed to be Good News

Please understand that I know the place I write from today will change. I really did not intend for such dark and personal stuff to make it into this blog. I intended for it to be a bright place where I had it all together and ruled my court with such aplomb that I would be admired throughout my small corner of blogdom. But alas, though new life does rise, it is not always a pretty sight when it happens. Sometimes it is messy and confusing and exasperating.

On Wednesday, September 14th my son’s charges were expunged by the juvenile drug court in the state of Louisiana on Wednesday, September 14th. He received a certificate, a “keep it simple” bracelet, congratulatory handshakes and encouraging words from his probation officer, his counselor and the judge.

Like this new and clean roof topping off an old and apparently vacant house, the day presented me with an incongruent picture. Yes, my son did what was asked of the court (basically, most of the time, eventually) and completed the program, but underneath it all, there is still the decay and the dark and boarded up places that will not allow the light to shine in.

I wonder why anyone would put an expensive metal roof over a house that is clearly unlivable?

Next week he will turn 18, and if the darkness overcomes him again (and it will), he will face the adult court system. He is here now, at home. I don’t know if he will go back to work with his grandfather. I know that he can’t stay here and sleep all day and run the roads at night. I know that I can’t continue to give him money every time he asks for it, know I can’t continue to fall for his “poor me” act which is designed to gain my sympathy. I know I can’t stay up waiting for him to come in and then get up and go to work the next day. I know that I can’t keep obsessing over what he might do next.

I wake up in the middle of the night, thinking he is beside my bed and calling my name and he is not there. I get up and call to see where he is and when he is coming home because he is now later than he said he was going to be and I fall into worry and despair. We are a textbook example of a codependent relationship, he and I.

I keep hoping and praying for a miracle. I hear well-meaning people (family) tell me that their God, “your God, Annie”, is big enough to heal my son of this disease. They fuss at me for a lack of faith. And my heart breaks a little more, because I have not lost my faith. What I wanted to say, what I started to say, was that though God may not provide a miraculous and instantaneous cure for my son, I do believe He will continue to move (and has moved) with my son through this disease. I am no expert, but I have studied the problem; the disease, and lived with it long enough to know that there are very few “miracles” where addiction is involved. But knowing the facts of the enemy that you are dealing with does not mean one has lost their faith. My son faces a life-long battle. That is discouraging, but it does not rob me of my faith in God.

Some days I hope and pray for worse things, selfish things, I am so tired of the pain. I struggle now with resentment toward my son for continuing to stay out late, for continuing to expect us to finance his running up and down the roads, for continuing to live “on the edge” by staying here and hanging out with his druggie friends, for not considering the needs and wants of the rest of the family, for continuing to put me through this, for continuing to break my heart when all he has to do is decide to make better choices. And yet, it is not as simple as that.

Some days I valiantly fight self-pity and the tendency to be overly dramatic about it all. On other days I withdraw and wallow in self-pity like a pig in a sun-warmed mud hole. Some days I deserve the words of my exasperated husband, words that sting and echo through my ear for days—“that’s life, quit bitchin’ about it”.

And though I know better, there are times when part of me insists that it was true, what my son said two years ago when he beat on his chest and cried “mom, you don’t understand, there is nothing there.” At times, I think it is true of my own self. But it isn’t. We are both alive on the inside, the pain at least serving to bear witness to life.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday Gator Blogging

Well, cher, this is the last of the Mohicans, er, gators, if I do not get out sometime this week and snap some more photos. Maybe I will and maybe I won't.

I know I've been quiet lately. I am in a bit of a negative and depressed (and contemplative) funk at the moment. (Silence--an unintended consequence of growing up with principles like "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".)

One of the fun things about blogging is that you can write about intelligence tests in January, and wonder about the answers to some of the seemingly silly questions on those tests, and wake up on a morning in September, nine months later, to find that someone named Anonymous has taken the time to answer your question in your comment section. Thanks, Anonymous!

Which brings me to another thing I have been wondering about. Some bloggers know where their readers come from, and what kinds of search words/phrases people use to find their blogs. How do they do that?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Friday Gator Blogging

Chef Gator, ready to add a little spice to someone's life. (Twice I have tried to upload a photo I took of a dead gator that was on the side of the road last Monday, but it does not seem to want to upload. I guess that is a cosmic sign that it is just too gross to display.)

I am fixin' to* have to go take some more photos of these "Gators on the Go" statues if I want to continue my series. Secretly, I have been marking my time to see if
Princess of Everything (and then some), who was my inspiration for this series, runs out of fiberglass cows before I run out of alligators!

*fixin to, a quaint Southern expression that I tend to use too often-- fixin to--the real trouble is that I am always fixin' to do something and never quite get around to getting it done. What do other people say when they are going to do something, but have not yet done it?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


These are scenes from the route I usually drive to visit my son. I never pass on these roads without drinking in the beauty of this part of Louisiana. Though this area is geographically very near, it is not all that familiar to me. I must admit, most of the time, I fly through, appreciating the sights on the run.

This past Monday, I took the camera along and stopped at various spots on the road to take pictures. I've mentioned before that water conjures up mixed emotions within me. I am both afraid of and fascinated by its power. With all the news of the devastation water can bring, I felt the need to see water again as a tranquil force. I needed to stop and see that water can bring peace.

The first two pictures are of a draw bridge. The last four are of a bridge over the Mermentau River. We were lucky enough to see two tug boats pushing barges by.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Friday Gator Blogging

In honor of my youngest daughter's first high school marching band performance. No, she does not play the piano, though she does play something almost as unwieldy, the trombone. She's nervous about trying to play and misstepping.

The show is all Eagles songs. I have told her I will probably cry when they play Desperado. The lyrics bring out the melancholy side of me....

Come down from your fences,
open the gate
It may be rainin',

but there's a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you

(let sombody love you)
You better let somebody love you
before it's too late