The Meeting


Over the last year I have driven countless miles back and forth to Rehabs, well known and long established. These visits consisted of not much more than a 30 minute visitation routine with my son. We’d chat about the food, his roommates or maybe the current sports game. There was always the litany of promises about coming home and staying clean. Three or Four days later after he had detoxed, I’d make the drive one more time to bring him home. It was becoming an endless circle that was going nowhere.

Finally when he “sectioned” himself in September, the endless circle came to an end. There were no visits during the three weeks he was there. A few phone calls, but no visits, one of the calls came with a question…

“Mom will you come to a family meeting”

Now this was a first, a family meeting with a counselor.

“Yes of course we’ll come”

A day or so later his counselor called to set the appointment. Daniel seemed truly interested in my son’s well being and in his success. We would meet on Wednesday night.

All day I wondered what this meeting would be like, what would we hear.

We arrived at the appointed time, and sat in the long locked hallway waiting to meet Daniel and my son. A knot grew in my stomach as I waited to see him.

Would he once again try to manipulate us?

Would I cave in?

Would I be strong?

Lord God give me your strength, give me your wisdom to know what to do, how to respond, help me to listen and to show love.

I silently prayed.

A tall middle-aged man approached us and introduced himself as Daniel and we were asked to follow him. We stood and began the long walk through many locked doors, each time Daniel swiping his card to gain entry. Five, six locked doors later we were pointed to a door way to a small conference room. This last hallway we walked through it was apparent these were the patient’s rooms, two or three beds in each room,

White sheets

White blankets

White walls.

I quickly scoured the rooms for some semblance of my son’s existence there. As we entered the conference room, Daniel said, “we just came through your son’s unit.” My mother’s heart already knew it to be so.

I asked “will he be joining us?”

“Eventually”, Daniel said.

He sat there with a huge file folder with my son’s picture on it, thick with all kinds of documents. Had it been passed from Rehab to Rehab or was this just from the last three weeks, I wondered but never asked. He began by asking us “tell me your story”

I didn’t even know where to begin, what actually constitutes the beginning? We rambled for what seemed like an eternity re-living the past 11 years, moving from heart ache to heart ache. Loss upon loss, rehab story after rehab story till now. To the current line we have drawn in the concrete that he could not come home again. Our marriage was being strained; our little boy needed to stay safe and didn’t need to see his big brother live like this anymore.

A hard solid line.

No longer is one drawn in sand that can get blown away by manipulation or fear but one that is solidly formed.

“So where does he go from here? What are his choices? Are there choices?”

Daniel told us our son had chosen to go to a Sober House in the town just next to us. He chose this over a Half Way house. The Half way house comes with more rules, but with more helps. The sober living is less structured and with very few helps and with a price tag. One my son could not afford completely. Daniel also felt there was more of a risk for failure in a sober house because of the freedom attached to it.

Yes we would try to talk him into the Half Way house we told Daniel; obviously it would be the better choice.

A few minutes later my son walked in the room, after hugs and the “its so good to see you” the hard stuff began…

Daniel with my sons permission began to tell us about the hard work he had done, that most of the men could never get the place he had, he had began the emotional piece of his recovery. That he felt he found that place in his life where it all spiraled out of control and drugs were the only answer to cover the pain. As my son through tears uttered the words of shame and deep wounding tears filled my eyes.

I knew. I knew this would be the place.

My heart hurt deeply for him as he choked back the pain.

“let it out baby, let it out, It’s ok, I’m ok, your loved, so loved, to hell with who your father is or isn’t’, you are my son! Rick has longed to be your father, let him, let him in”.

Words of “Rick please forgive me for never letting you in” tumbled out of his mouth as he sobbed. The awful deep pain, spilled out, finally released.

In those awkward quiet moments I prayed in my spirit

heal my son, Lord I lift him up to you; heal my son” .

The meeting ended, his choice stayed with the sober house, which would begin two days later. He was transported to the sober house calling me that he had arrived and would I bring him some supplies.

Of course, I’ll stop to get you some things and be there after work”

30 days have passed, he’s still sober, he asked to get moved to a different sober house as there was drug activity in the house and he wanted nothing to do with it. The new house has more structure, more rules.

The meeting gave my heart hope, that he may just make it. That God will indeed heal my son, and his life will be a testimony that God can use to show His glory and His redemptive power.

Oh Lord let be so.”

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