I don’t even know where to begin with this. I don’t even know who I’m writing to anymore. I like to pretend and believe in my imagination that I’m still writing to you as my heart remembers- the young, beautiful soul, so full of innocence and wonder. So full of purpose, potential, and grace. My person. But, sadly I know that most likely that is not the reality today. It absolutely kills me from the inside out, watching your life in my minds eye. Watching it all unfold. Slowly at times, and with blinding white light speed at others. It breaks my heart to think about and imagine where you might be today, in this minute, at this exact second. Where are you? Who are you with? Why wont you call? Did I do something wrong? What can I do to fix you? I hope you are safe and warm. I hope that you’re at least with someone who will protect you like I would. It’s getting cold outside and the thought of you having to sleep outside or in an abandoned building makes me so sick to my stomach. I miss you. I think about you often. Not a moment goes by that I don’t think of you, that I don’t feel your absence. I can still hear you laugh. I see you everywhere. I always think of the happy times that we all shared as a family. Your twelfth Christmas, your fifteenth birthday. Your first home run. When you made the cheer leading squad. When you got your big promotion. There was so much pride, glory, and achievement in your eyes. God I wish you could see you the way that I see you. The way that we all do. I can still hear your voice when the family all gets together. Thanksgiving I could have sworn that you were right here with us, and to me, you were. I could hear your laugh, and feel your presence. But that’s just wishful thinking I guess. I don’t know even know who I’m writing to anymore, and why I’m doing this, but I said that already. I guess this just kinda helps me get it out, and expose my feelings to paper. I suppose its cathartic for me. Where are you? This whole Why/who/where question drives me crazy constantly. It’s like this bottomless abyss in my stomach. Every time an ambulance goes by I get the butterflies, thinking that its you in the back that they’re trying to save. I carry Narcan now, and I got my certification to use it, just in case I come across someone, just in case I find you. I guess I am doing a little better though, I haven’t called a morgue or a county jail in three days now. So I guess I have been having a few good days. I cannot help but feel like I did something wrong. Did I? Was it me? Just come on home so we can work it out. I’ll take you out to lunch and we can just chat. I don’t know why I’m writing this, or who I’m even writing to, but I have already said that. I tried your phone, but it was off again, you must be out of minutes, why don’t you meet me somewhere and Ill put some money on your phone? I sure would like to see your face. Don’t worry about the wedding ring by the way, One more payment and I’ll have it back from the pawn shop, they’re even going to clean it for me, so that’s good I guess. I’m trying to remember what it was that you were wearing the last time I saw you, was it that blue and green hoodie that you got for Christmas? The Dog sure does miss you too, and you should see what we’ve done with the patio. It sure brings the back yard to life. Sure would be nice to have a bar be cue with you someday. You should come on back for a bar be cue, I can do your laundry and you can shower and see everyone. Wouldn’t that be nice? I’m sure we would all love to see you. What happened? What are you running from? I know I have always tried to understand this whole drug thing, I have even gone to some Al-Anon meetings and counseling. I just don’t get it, but I’m trying to. Please forgive me, I know that I have done some things that hurt you, and believe me if I could go back in time and change them I would. I have even prayed to God, and I know you don’t like when I mention God, but I have prayed that we could trade places, I’ll take your pain and whatever it is you’re going through on to myself. What is the pain you’re feeling? What happened in your sweet little heart that made you this way? My God, did someone hurt you? Did someone touch you? Was it the divorce? I am trying so hard to wrap my head around what in the world could have made you this way, and I promise to you I’ll do whatever it takes to help you heal. Just come home. Who are you with? Are you at least eating? I have been watching the news on this heroin and meth epidemic that’s going on and I know that there have been some bad doses going around and it’s really bad stuff, and I know that you said the last time you were here that you only do enough so that you don’t get dope sick, so I sure hope that that’s still the case. That you’re just doing a little bit here and there so you’re not in pain. I hope that you’re not dealing or doing anything too foolish to be sent to prison for too long, but, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but I also hope that you will eventually get picked up by the police for something minor and be jailed, so at least I’ll know where you are and you’re safe and not on the streets. It’s getting really cold outside and at least I would know that you had “3 hots and a cot” as you always explained it. I just tried your phone again, and its still off. I hope you didn’t trade it for drugs. Come on home, I’ll put some time on your phone and wash your clothes. I promise I wont even mention rehab. You can have your room downstairs like always, and Ill come in and check on you throughout the night. I’ve got some of my chicken soup in the fridge I can warm up for you. We made cookies last night while putting up the tree and then we watched the wizard of oz. It just doesn’t feel like home or family without you here. There’s an elephant in the room now. And we all try our best to ignore it, but we all feel it. At least give us a call and let us know that you’re okay. Oh who I am kidding, this isn’t even going to you, but I continue to write these little letters and notes so that one day I hope, you can read them after you get better. How can I help you get better? I don’t even know whats wrong. No there’s nothing wrong “with” you, I didn’t mean it like that. Oh there I go again with another jouska with you- I have these back and forth conversations with you in my head constantly. Pacing the floors, walking all over, talking with you all the time. I see you every where. This house just seems so big and empty now a days. The doctor has been stepping me down on my medication more and more and says that I am doing so much better lately! I miss you. I’m sorry if I ever embarrassed you, or hurt you in any way. I put the blame on myself so much for what is going on in your life, and then other times its like you don’t even exist. No, c’mon now, I didn’t mean it that way. It’s just… so hard to deal with, so hard to explain. I can either be completely absorbed by all of this that’s going on in your life, even with you not here, or just, kind of, be completely numbed by it all. I often times cycle back and forth between the two throughout the day. I love this picture of you in my shadow box here in the living room. You would really like what we have done with the place. You should come by and see it sometime. Ill make you something to eat and do your laundry. I promise I wont mention rehab once. Deal? Who am I kidding. Where are you? Who are you with? Have you eaten? If you come by and say hello Ill give you some money, I don’t want you to be sick. Please call. Ugh. We went bowling the other night at the place you like. It was fun. I had pizza. remember when we used to go there all the time, but you would get so mad when you would lose and swear you never wanted to go back, but then that was the first thing you wanted to do next weekend? haha. I miss those days. I remember when you got stung by all those bees and we were chasing them around the house getting stung left and right but you were safe in the bathroom with a towel under the door so they couldn’t get to you. I would protect you from anything, please come home, Ill protect you from this. You can go through it right here on the couch, Ill call off work and take care of you. I promise. No judgement what so ever. You have my word. I never did judge you by the way, I just didn’t understand. This whole addiction thing is foreign to me, I was trying my best. I’m sorry for when I cussed at you and said you were throwing your life away. You still have so much life ahead of you. I wish you could see that right now but this fucking poison has you under it’s control. I know, I cussed I’m sorry. It just isn’t fair what this stuff has done to you. I know you just wanted to have fun, and fit in. I don’t know if you know this or not, but I took some puffs of grass back in high school. Bet you didn’t think I was that cool huh? haha. I know that times are different now, but I just don’t get how something that started off as a good time and celebrating your youth with your friends has turned into this. Speaking of friends, I don’t know if you know this, but remember Johnny Doe? Yeah you do, the one from your baseball team, well anyways, he passed away from an overdose a couple weeks ago. I saw his mother at the Grocery Store and she just did not seem well. Poor thing. At least you’re still here, and when you’re still here there’s hope right? You are still here right? Please call. Just a couple minutes, Just let me know you’re okay. I know that You said you had a job interview a while back and you needed some money for clothes for the interview, Did you get the job? What clothes did you pick out? I’m sure you nailed it! you have always been so smart. I know you probably don’t believe me, but even now, I am so proud of you. I may not be proud of the situation you’re in, but I am always proud that you’re mine. And I always will be. I love looking back at all of the pictures I always took. Where I nearly had to bribe you with treats to smile in. This one here at the lake is my favorite right now. That was such a special day. The weather was perfect. Maybe we will go back out to the lake one day? Your phone is still off. Maybe you just have bad service or something I’m sure that’s it. I have been really reading a lot of books on addiction and following a lot of people in the news and it sounds like stuff is getting really bad out there, but I know that you would never get into anything too bad, you have always had a decent head on your shoulders. I hear about girls selling their bodies for drugs, and becoming prostitutes over their addiction and I saw a story the other day about a couple young men that got shot over a bad drug deal and they died. I was really scared when I was reading the article releasing their names, but it wasn’t you. You would never do anything like that. You told me, you just do enough to not get sick right? right? Please just come home. I wont talk about rehab at all, I promise. Just come home. Let me feed you and wash your clothes. You can get a good night’s sleep and Ill give you some money. I’m sure we would all love to see you. UGH! An ambulance was just going by. I hate when that happens, I always think that it’s you in the back that they’re trying to save. Makes me sick to my stomach. Anyways, oh hang on the phones ringing maybe its you….