Mom

I was hanging out at the halfway house where I had recently graduated. Even though the director despised me, I had still managed to make some friends there and would frequently visit those who were still residents and staff. It was a Sunday. August 24, 2014. My friends and I were all jacked up with draft fever as the upcoming football season grew near. I was sitting in the office with a friend of mine as we made our selections for our fantasy football league teams. It was an exciting time, things had been going quite well. I had actually started to feel like myself again. I was staying busy, actually enjoying life, even volunteering at a local non profit radio station. I had made some good friends and got back into the swing of life, doing things that young men are supposed to do together. Making our picks and talking smack about the other guys’ picks, mostly because we wanted that particular player. It was a good day. My phone rang and I looked down to see ‘Mom n Dad’ on my screen. I silenced the ringer. I was in the middle of something very important, this was draft day. The winner would receive right around 200$. This was the war room. My phone rang again. I answered, what’s up dad? My father informed me that my mother was having some stomach pains, and that it didn’t seem too serious, but he wanted to make sure she got looked at. He would be taking her to the E.R to see a doctor and would keep me posted. My mother was quite often seeing doctors, and so this was no major cause for alarm for me just yet, so I told my dad I loved him, and to tell mom the same, and to keep me posted. I finished up my draft picks and started my regular Sunday night walk home. I settled in with some Comcast and too many cigarettes, and my phone rang again. Mom n dad again. I answered. My father explained to me that mom had been “taken back” and that they were “working on her”. My heart dropped. What the hell do you mean, they’re working on her?!? His details were vague, and I could tell he was just as shocked as I was by all this. Well, son, she fell non responsive on the way here and I had to call an ambulance to come and get her, they won’t let me back there, I don’t know what the hell is going on. I am sure(I sure hope) she’s going to be alright. I could tell he had been crying, but was doing his best to be strong while talking to me. I could hear the fear in his voice by the way it cracked and shook as he tried to calm my anxiety. He told me he loved me and to say my prayers, that he had to go for now, and he would keep me updated as much as possible. I hung up the phone and just buried my face in my hands. And cried, and prayed. My mother was such an amazing person. Such a loving and caring woman who had always worked so hard to provide for me and my brothers. She had a heart of solid gold and a loving spirit and personality that often prompted others to tell me just how lucky I was to have Cindy as a mom. She was my biggest cheerleader in my battles with addiction. Such a loving and understanding supporter in all that i did. We had been living in different states- Indiana and Georgia for a while now, and a huge motivating factor in somehow getting my life together was so she could have us boys and her grandchildren all under the same roof again some day. She used to always call into my radio show and pretend to be someone else and compliment my show and request songs, we had caller I.D but I would play along, I didn’t have a whole lot of “call in support” so it was nice to know my mom was listening and proud of me. She never missed a show. This was not happening. Not now. Oh God not now. My eyes are wet and stinging even as I write this.

I didn’t fall asleep for a few hours. I just laid on my couch and chain smoked, staring at my shadow cast grey and black ceiling that seemed to be miles over head. The fire on the end of my smoke the dominating light in the room. Prayers and a racing mind. Still no calls, some hope. And then I finally fell sleep. I startled awake like I had fallen asleep in the guard tower during my watch at war time. It was 5:30 a.m. I check my phone. 37 missed calls. OH MY GOD. I called my father back immediately like I had been awake all night. His voice was grim and broken. Stevie, son…… That’s all I needed to hear. We sat on the phone and the only sounds were groans and sobs. His voice would crackle out a few words here and there.” There’s. A. Plane…..ticket. Waiting for….you. You. Need…..to get……here. Talk to drug court…..do whatever you need to do. We’re losing your mom.” Everything in my life just flooded my mind. I was losing my mother. At 29 years old. There was so much I needed to say to her. My heart actually broke for the first time. This was not real. This was not supposed to happen. I hung up the phone. And buried my face in my hands and wept and sobbed the pains of the most broken of hearts and spirits. Prayers of oh God and why were the only words I could muster from my shattered spirit. I had to get to Atlanta. I threw up in my bathroom toilet and washed my face. I jumped into my borrowed truck and made my way for the office to see my case manger. After speaking with her, and her speaking with the team, my travel permit was approved. My ticket was a stand by buddy pass through a family friend, and the earliest I could be on a plane was 6 a.m. The following morning. I had been in steady contact with my family and they were aware that my flight would be arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson at around 8:30 a.m eastern time. I left out of my apartment that night at around 7 pm. 11 hours before my flight would be leaving. There’s no way I could go through all of this and feel it. I knew how to ease this pain….

Losing my mother was one of the most difficult times of my life. She was the kindest, most generous, loving, God loving, sweetest, loyal, and supportive people to ever bless this planet. She was my biggest fan. She showed me what real love is. She taught me how to pray, and how to treat people. When she passed, it was like a part of me died with her. A huge reason I was trying to get clean was making her proud. When my mother died, I just lost all interest in life. And my disease was just waiting for this…

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