Something’s Happening to Me

When my son was about 3 years old our family spent the weekend in the Poconos at a lovely resort. We were there for part business, part family fun. The condo we stayed in had a Jacuzzi Room. The kids couldn’t wait to try out that HUGE tub.

On our first night there I ran the water for them to take a “bath”. I added a bit of shampoo for bubbles and turned the jets on. My two daughters ran to change into swimsuits to bathe with their three year old brother, but my son climbed right in. Not much time had passed when I heard a small voice coming from the Jacuzzi room…

“Something’s happening to me… something’s happening to me”.

I walked into the room to find my three year old standing in the tub with bubbles up to about his ears. It was a preciously funny site. I have told and retold that story many times over the years. It always hit me what a profound statement that was for a child to utter regarding his surroundings.

Fast forward 21 years, my son, now nearly 24, and the profoundness of that statement hits me yet again as I watch him work toward his recovery. Not 70 days ago my son was actively using a mix of drugs that quite frankly should have killed him. Today, I see a young man changing before my eyes. Something is happening to him… never before in this winding, difficult journey of active addiction and clean days have I seen such a change. There is something drastically different.

This weekend we were at a family gathering, celebrating my sisters 50th birthday. She is much loved by all of my children. My son wanted to be there, I wanted him to be there. I knew there would be drinking and I warned my son of such.

He told me “mom I’m good don’t worry, I know I can’t go there”. In the past he would have laughed it off, insisted he could drink and for me to mind my own business.
This was so different… there was a steadiness about his response that I wasn’t expecting, but was thrilled with its existence.

As the party progressed, a few people there over indulged, people my son has looked up to over the years. I watched my son pull away from them and spend his time playing and swimming with the younger cousins, even starting a football game.

I took it all in, watching this man/child break away from his addictive habits of the past. In my mind’s eye I could hear again that little voice “something’s happening to me, something’s happening to me”. This time it’s not about being covered in bubbles, it’s about walking further down the road of his recovery, a few steps more than he’s ever been before.


Doors are meant as a means of access. When a door is opened, access to what lies on the other side can take place. One must open the door to access what lies on the other side of it.

This past Thursday I went through many doors as I waited to finally see my son after 60 days of separation/incarceration due to his relapse into active addiction.

As I left my house I prepared myself before I even opened the door to go. I knew there would be the possibility that he may refuse the next step. Our last conversation was good and he seemed confident in taking the step, but I had no clue what had taken place in his mind since then. I prepared my heart and my mind for the possibility, knowing I would have to stand firm in the event that would happen. Home would NOT be an option. Before I opened the door of my home to head to the court house… My resolve had to be in place.

Opening the door to get into my car meant I was heading to see him. I was choosing to move toward him, to place myself in a vulnerable situation where my heart could be broken. I have promised him that as long as he is moving toward recovery I would move toward him. I will not participate in his active addiction, but I will be there to support him in recovery.

Once at the court house I went through several doors, each moving me closer to the reality of seeing him for the first time in 60 days, each door bringing me closer to the reality of his freedom. I waited inside the courtroom, sitting on the edge of my seat for just even a glimpse of him each time they opened the sliding wall partition that separated the prisoners from the courtroom. Finally they called his name and the sliding portioned opened. There he stood, peering over the shoulder of his attorney scanning the room for my presence. Briefly our eyes connected, but his attention snapped to the judge who asked him to raise his right hand.

Even though I had been told by his attorney how this would play out, there was that moment of doubt as the judge pondered the request. My son standing with ear bent to the whole cut in the glass waiting to hear the judges words, me sitting with my ear inclined toward the judge. Would he go along with the Probation officer and attorney or would this door be closed. My greatest fear was that the judge would not grant the freedom necessary to move through the door that was waiting for my son, and the wall partition would close, leaving my son broken behind that wall. While he was in jail, the necessary doors just wouldn’t open for him to move forward in his recovery and I was half expecting the same.

As the judge finally granted his freedom, the wall partition did close, but I was directed to a new door. One in which my son would walk out a free man, free to pursue the New Door that was waiting for him. As I walked (half ran) down the four (double) flights of stairs I praised God for the New opportunity that lays waiting for my son (if he chose to walk through the door).

I sat on the bench in the hall for what seemed like an eternity, I talked to a friend on the phone to help me pass the time, constantly checking my watch. The attorney said 10 – 15 minutes, it had been 17… finally there coming down the stairs was my son, freshly shaven, trimmed hair with a wide smile. We hugged, tears welled up in my eyes. It was so good to see him, clean, free from the affects of opiates.

As we walked out of the door of the Court house I looked at my freed son and said… Are you ready for the next step…

He looked at me for a few moments and I thought for sure he was going to give me a song and dance with a new concocted plan, but he smiled and said

“can we just get coffee first”.

We drove to the nearest Coffee shop where he woofed down a breakfast sandwich and ice coffee in record time… then we went on our way to the Door that had been opened by the very hand of God.

I did not sense one moment’s hesitation in my son, each step of the process as we walked through the door, were shown around the house and as we went through the interview I sensed a relief in my son…that this door just might be the place where he can begin to put his addiction to rest.

Many doors will open and close in our lives, some doors will be more weighty then others. But in order for any door to make a difference it must be opened, so that we gain access to what lies inside and allow it to change our lives.

An Unexpected Door

After nearly 60 days of being incarcerated; on Thursday my son will be “free”. His words tonight were “I’m scared”. He has never been fond of the unknown. Thursday he will stand on a new step, standing before a door that has literally been opened by the hand of God.

Up until Monday morning we had no clue where he would land after being in jail. We have tried so many doors to see if this would be the one or that… which one would open in time so his feet would barely hit the street. Each time we thought he had found a spot the door would close shut. Unable to be open by human hands. No matter what I did on my end, or he on his, the door just would not budge.

Neither of us knowing that what God has instore was exceedingly and abundantly more than we ever asked for or hoped for. (Eph 3:20) A door opened, and it was a door that neither of us knew existed. A small program, one that believes in mentoring, one built on the foundation of faith in God… its door opened. Not because of anything I did, or my son did. It opened because God himself opened it.

Now my son will walk through it, afraid… but committed to walk through it none the less. Yesterday when the door opened, along with it the flood gate of tears that I have held back for quiet sometime came with it. And those tears lifted praise to the heavens, for it was from those heavens an unknown door was opened…
It is with hope I wait to see what God has in store for my son on the other side of that door and what life lessons we will both gain in the wait.