The Choice Between Hope and Despair

I have not posted a blog for a few weeks. 

The relapse of my son, Caleb, hit me harder than I originally thought.

Part of me knew it was a possibility since the pattern has been 22 years in the making. Still, this time, it felt different. I wanted it to be different.

All the ducks were in row.

We had hours of conversations identifying challenges and strategies. Supports, more than ever before were in place, rebar reinforcing the plans. Family and friends rallied. Caleb felt his intimate relationship was stable. The different approach exemplified by the First Nations court process extended an olive branch. The transition and rehab house and program seemed eager to embrace the First Nations spirituality that has proven so helpful to Caleb. He was to be in a house with an elder whom he trusted completely. And plans beyond recovery hovered on the horizon, shining, holding the promise of a new day.

Then, less than a week in - or out, the steel cords of the plan began to snap.

And he rode the toboggan down the addiction hill faster and further than ever before. Out of sight. I was primed, ready to hear his final scream as he went over the cliff, one overdose too many.

So I haven’t felt like writing. Probably I should have. 

The sense that I have nothing to say and there is nothing that can be said are sure signs of despair, signals that hope has been off-loaded in favour of resignation.

My wife, friends and I have been a month in Italy. I left some emotional and spiritual baggage there.

It is time to acknowledge the current of sadness, grief and despair.

It is time, yet again, to choose hope, time again to recharge the fountain pen, open the journal and wonder again about the sacred dimension of life.

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