Wednesday, October 24, 2007


My son presents a conflicted story of tenderness and grief. He's one of the most lovable and charismatic people I've ever known, and yet his life is a cycle of tragedy and wasted dreams. When I saw him this morning through the glass at county jail, he looked more undone than usual. His expression seemed almost frantic, and even his clothes seemed unkempt and crazy. I feel so sad for him, and I beg God to let me help, yet I always run against the same damned obstacle: my son gets to choose his course in life, even if it quite literally kills him. Nothing I do can assure his recovery from this endless shadow of the soul. Other times I beg God to at least let me know what will happen, but I cannot see the end of this painful road. As much as I hate to admit, the old saying is true: only time will tell.

To make matters even more depressing, I also saw one of my son's former girlfriends. She arrived at my house after spending several days driving aimlessly in a borrowed car. She said she was trying to avoid going back to her user friends. She wore a spaghetti-strap blouse, revealing a multitude of scabs and sores across her upper chest. Her face looked withdrawn, gaunt, and utterly exhausted with life. And to think she's not even 20 years old! How tragic.

Sometimes the pain of it becomes unbearable. Every day we live with death, or at least a tangible possibility of death.

Even so, I force myself to find beauty in the world. Of course, I never have to look far. Just this morning, I saw the most amazing red leaves contrasted against a white picket fence. Only a few moments later, I saw the sun rise through the fog. It's all so simple. Beauty lives all around us and within us. What would I have to pay to get my son to see the beauty in life, rather than the dark insanity of his drug-addicted world?

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