Sunday, February 12, 2012

The sad truth about addiction

This morning I woke to the news of Whitney Houston’s tragic death. It stopped me in my tracks, not because of who she was or the amazing talent she possessed but because it appears preliminary that addiction has taken another soul from this world too soon.  Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and now Whitney Houston, to name only a few were silenced when addiction took a hold of their lives. But how many die each day we never know about. The ones who are not in the limelight, but are everyday people who fell to addiction just like the megastars we hear about in the news.

Then my thoughts turned to a friend of Widgets and when we will hear the news that addiction caused her death as well. I am sure many of you remember me talking about Widget and her best friend in previous posts. Well around Christmas her friend stopped coming around and I noticed Widget was also not on the phone with her constantly. When I asked Widget where her friend was, she said she was angry at her and did not want to talk about it. I did not press her because when she doesn’t want to talk about it, she is too upset to discuss it.

Then a few weeks ago after picking her up from school she just let loose.  Her friend had wanted her to get high with her like they had done on the past (marijuana).  Widget declined more than once and their paths began being different. Widget cannot understand why her friend doesn’t get it. That school is important if they want a future. That drugs and alcohol is not the answer. I tried to explain that people mature at a different rate and that she is just further ahead than her friend. That she was making mature decisions about her future, and hopefully her friend will catch up and start making decisions with her future in mind as well.

 I will admit I did not fully believe that, because her friend comes from a home in which drug use and trips to jail are the norm, and education is not important for success. Granted Widgets biological family are the same, but Widget realized that to succeed she cannot follow the path of her mother and needed to try and do well in school, and plan for college. Her friend however, has not realized that and may never do so.

I say that because Widget ended the friendship fully and refuses to speak to her until she gets clean.  Widget chose the path to success and to leave marijuana and drinking behind. She is even joining the track team at school, and has never done sports in school before. Her friend on the other hand has dropped out of school, and graduated from smoking marijuana to methamphetamines and who knows what else, and she is having lots of unprotected sex according to Widget.

Widget made the decision she had to end the friendship when after she tried to reason with the friend and promised to stand by her if she would get clean and the friend refused.  I am very proud of our Widget for trying to help and for realizing sometimes you can’t and have to walk away to save yourself. Now I worry about Widget and what will happen if her friend doesn’t get help and we get the news of her friend’s death due to addiction. She will be one who never makes headlines, the world will not mourn her passing, but those of us who knew her will mourn her passing. To be blunt if she friend continues being an addict she will die sooner or later.

Addiction is a dangerous thing that is taking a large portion of our population. Often once a person is addicted nothing else matters. I am thankful some to seek help and get clean, many do not. We will never stop the influx of drugs in society and alcohol is legal. So, I wonder what causes people to seek drugs even when they knew the risks for the first time. How the decision is made to try them that first time, or is it different for everyone. Better yet how do we stop those who have not tried drugs yet, and help those already in the grip of addiction? Why do ones like Widget realize to succeed she had to leave drugs and alcohol behind, while others like her friend dig deeper into the pit and keep trying harder and harder drugs. Is there nothing we can do? I wish I had that answer.

Rest in peace Whitney Houston and all those like her whose life ended way too soon. May they all find the peace that evaded them in life.

 I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be

I truly believe the lyrics above from “The greatest love of all” by Whitney Houston. It is why for years I was a foster parent and then decided to have Widget join our family, because she and other teenagers like her will one day lead the way, and run this world. I just wish we had been able to each her friend. Hopefully she will decide to change her life as Widget did before it is too late.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It’s the Big Day

It’s the big day. Today is the day we waited all year for. The anxiety building as the day has grown closer. Now we are a mere hours away and my heart is racing. I am breathless. I can’t believe the day is finally here. Excitement and anticipation is pumping through my veins. I cannot help but wonder if M is going through similar thoughts and feelings.

It is here, it is so hard to believe. I spent weeks seeking out the perfect thing to wear. My nails are properly done, and each hair will be in place, makeup flawless. We planned out the menu, and even incorporated Widget’s ideas and suggestions. She is equally excited. We ensured the invitation to friends and family went out in plenty of time, and the RSVP’s are in. Our closest friends and family will gather in just a few hours to share in the joy and excitement of the day with us.

We considered a vacation/destination event for today. After all, my home town is thousands of miles away. And for me the idea of spending the day in the place of my birth added to the specialness of the day. I scoped out locations, costs and prices to take us all back to my home town for the day. I even figured we would then drive to M’s home town for a day or two to visit his friends and family since we grew up a few hours apart, in similar but very different environments. I believe it is fate that has brought us together after many years of near misses. We often were in same locations just a few hours apart, but it took us both moving across the country to finally meet and intertwine our hearts, and now we will share today as a family. We decided against the destination because the cost was just not something we could rationalize. However, a part of my heart today will be in my home town, and a part of me will wish we were there, but the excitement is not dulled by not being there.

At precisely 6:29 p.m. EST the festivities will begin. We will gather with friends and family around the television and kick off will start it all off. That’s right SUPER BOWL SUNDAY IS HERE! It is the biggest day of the year for our family. We are football fans. It is a Sunday ritual, breakfast and then the day is spent watching football. We each have our teams we are loyal too. For M it is the Bears, for me it is the Colts, and Widget favors the Steelers (It is her only flaw).

We trash talk each other, we make silly bets, we take turns yelling at the television, or jumping up and doing a touch down dance after a great play. I often find myself screaming GO! GO! GO! When one of my players takes off and is running down the field.  Today, we will cheer on our team, critique the commercials, and half time show. Today it is all about the game.

If you have not guessed I am from Indiana, and I am loyal to my team despite the bad year. I have other teams I like and one of those happens to be the New York Giants. It’s a Manning thing. Like any good Colt’s fan I cringe whenever a picture of Lucas Oil Stadium flashes and a photo of Tom Brady is hanging there. After all the Colts and Patriots have a long standing dislike of each other. Despite Peyton being out all season and the Colts having a less than stellar season we will still have a Manning on the field today. And Eli just keeps getting better and better.

Today I will be screaming and cheering one Eli and the Giants. Yes, I am a Manning fan, the entire family are just amazing. I do understand the Patriots are playing not just a game but as a way to honor the owners wife who passed away, and that is admirable, and they have had a good season, but I simply cannot and will not cheer on the Patriots. I just cannot do it, not to mention they are playing the Giants, and for me the Giants are only second to the Colts.

 This season has been full of surprises, disappointments, joys, and amazing plays. They say it was the year of the quarterback and I have to say I agree. This year brought us Tbow, Aaron Rogers, Peyton missing an entire season, Breez had a great season as did Brady (UGH), and Eli showed he is as good as his big brother.

As big as today is for our family, I cannot help but wonder about what will happen when it is all over. When the game is done, the celebration over and life returns to normal. I admit I will go into a sense of mourning. The football season will be officially over not to return for months. I miss football in the offseason. I have to figure out a way to fill my Sunday’s without the game of football. Oh we will have the draft in a few weeks, the controversy around will Peyton be a Colt next season or won’t hear, but we will have no game to watch. I will count the weeks to pre-season and it will all start again.

However you and your family spend today, enjoy it and have fun, it is what the game is about. For millions of people around the world Super Bowl Sunday is a ritual, it is the spirit of the game, it’s the excitement and where we are ordinary citizens pin our hopes and dreams on men who will spend 4 quarters playing to win and to bring home a win for their team and for us, the Fans

Friday, February 3, 2012

problem with our blog

I'm not sure where our posts disappeared to but we are looking into it so the problem can be corrected.