The intangible that lives within and is expressed without but not with words…thoughts, deeds, drinks, and pills. Words seldom give justice to the turmoil within. And even when blurted out in a moment of weakness or vulnerability…if expressed to the wrong person they are still and float on the air like flotsam…better left wherever the journey began.
One might say “get a therapist” or “join a group.” Some psychobabble will surely help things along. Turn lemons into lemonade, bump inertia into movement. But, what to do without that ever-expensive, mostly elusive thing called health insurance?
Out of pocket expenses for mental health care are damaging.
So the cycle continues. The mood swings, the doubting, the bursts of mania. The decision to do one thing and suddenly another road is taken. All the while keeping things together. Feeling very little, looking very ill and fooling no one. Or maybe, just maybe, fooling everyone and that is the very problem that needs to be addressed.
The adjectives used to describe this current state are self-actualized and negative. But what is the alternative?
“Take these broken wings and learn to fly…”
No, these wings aren’t broken, my cape is not torn, I can handle everything that is happening. In the midst of accolades for “making it,” the pieces of my heart slowly tumble and quietly hit the ground while barely making a whisper.
And yet the pain is still devastating, immobilizing and nobody knows.
Admittedly this is my fault. Perhaps wiping away the facade will release magical healing powers, somehow I find that doubtful. So what if the alternative means holding it all in, weight creeping up and face looking as if I’m aging in reverse – teen years I’m back! Acne and all.
Sadly I don’t know how to remedy this. And so I sit. Waiting for the next thing in the pipeline and inevitably it comes and keeps me focused.
For a moment.
But in the quiet times (which are rare) my truth must be faced. I’m inert. Immobile. Dysfunctional and pray that someone will swoop in and take it all away. The likelihood of that happening? Nil.
And so I wake to face another day, I wear the mask and hope that no one notices.
I am an adult.
First of all, I need to tell all the editors of bandbacktogether.com how amazing it is that they’ve set up such a platform (slash soapbox) for all of us to yell from. So, thank you. As a new writer just getting the feel for things, it always helps to have a friendly place to scream and shout. (ed note: We’re so glad you’re loving the venue. Keep writing and contributing!)
I know it seems really lonely right now, but it’s only going to get worse.
Sure, your father is getting remarried and you feel especially fearful of your place in the house since he said that she was just as important as you are. But, listen… You’re going to put up with a lot before you feel like yourself again. First, you’re going to find sex and then later alcohol. (Just so you know, this will be backwards from the way most people do it.) Then, you’ll fight with the new woman of the house. Constantly. And everything her kids do wrong will be your fault. Until the day you die. Trust me on this one.
Or, you know, trust yourself…
By the way, your mother is a drug addict. You don’t understand that now, but she’s killing herself slowly. Love her from a distance. She’ll eventually set your apartment on fire at two in the morning while hopped up on the Xanax.
And don’t expect much from your sister. When she comes back in ten years she will not be the person you envisioned. You will not find what you thought you needed.
As for family, remember to call Kimberly every chance you get. Tell her you love her endlessly. You won’t have her much longer. I know. I’m sorry, sweetie.
Once you get out of the house, you will choose not to become a doctor after all and, in fact, you will skip college altogether. But this will ultimately be a major plus as people will have more respect for your position in your career. When you’re twenty-three, you’ll hear the words you’re a smart one for not going bankrupt like the rest of us three times in one day.
But before this, you’ll lose every friend you ever had to the college experience. And you will ultimately lose yourself in the bottom of a bottle. Which bottle you ask? Depends on which night. Usually wine but often tequila or Jack. Pack aspirin in the future. And tampons. Just bring the white wicker bathroom baskets with you. Trust me.
When you hit nineteen and move to Houston to be closer to that boy, he will break your heart but you will move on just fine. When he comes back two months later don’t bother. He hasn’t changed. It’s the only way to avoid the disaster that will occur eight months later when you’re in the shower and he wipes out the entire loft.
Don’t go to that strip club in Culver City. Avoid any bars in San Antonio. Period. And keep close with Jessica. She’s the only friend you’ll ever have. Treat that guy you meet at twenty-two like you’re supposed to, but keep him distant. He will hurt you but in a way that keeps you strong. Also keep your emotions in check.
And when you’re where I am now, you’ll embark on a thirty day journey to find yourself again.
It will be scary but you will spend a lot of time writing. And it will be cathartic and it will make you happy. Enjoy your wine slowly. Enjoy the occasional smoke but don’t become a smoker. And treat your body the way you do in this very moment at your young age. Yes, you are pretty. No, you are not too tall. You will grow into your looks and people will appreciate them so enjoy the freelance modeling. You’ll do few shows but you’ll meet some great people.
Finally, be wary of people. They will use you and lie and inflict their own life problems onto your plate. The only way around this is to always be in control. If you feel a little larger than life, it’s okay. That’s who you really are. It’ll take a little bit of time to understand why you feel so cold and empty, but it will carry you at times.
Oh, and one more thing, you’ll start a website.
There is a picture of me, somewhere out there, probably still on my dad’s phone unless they’ve turned into Christmas Card people, in which case, the picture is most definitely out there in the world for all to see.
I hope it is not.
I didn’t see the picture until I was 5 months sober, staying in the unfinished basement at my parents house, grateful that I was no longer homeless, while I hunted for a job. Before this, I’d been staying there after a stint at a ramshackle, rundown motel, the kind of place you probably could dismantle a dead body, leave the head on the pillow, and no one would think anything of it. But it was my room, and despite the lice they gifted me, I loved it. Until money dried up and suddenly I was, once again, homeless. I’d moved in there after I was discharged from the inpatient psych ward, in which I was able to successfully detox after a suicide attempt. Got some free ECT to boot.
Despite what you see on the After School Special’s of our childhood, I didn’t take a single Vicodin, fall into a stupor, and become insta-addict – just add narcotics! No, my entry into addiction was a slow and steady downward spiral of which I am deeply ashamed. It’s left my brain full of wreckage and ruin, fragmented bits of my life that don’t follow a single pattern. Between the opiates, the Ketamine, and the ECT, I cannot even be certain that what I am telling you is the truth; what I’ve gathered are bits and pieces of the addict I so desperately hate from other people who are around, fuzzy recollections, and my own social media posts.
About a year and a half before I moved from my yellow house to the apartments by the river, Dave and I had separated; he’d told me that while he cared for me, he no longer loved me. While we lived in the same house, we’d had completely separate lives for years, so he moved to the basement while I stayed upstairs. I’d been miserable before his confession and after? I was nearly broken. Using the Vicodin, then Norco, I was able to numb my pain and get out of my head, which, while remarkably stupid, was effective. For awhile.
Let me stop you, Dear Reader, and ask you to keep what I am about to say in mind as you read through this massive tome. I’m simply trying to make certain that you understand several key things about my addiction and subsequent recovery. I alone was the one who chose to take the drugs. No one forced me to abuse opiates, and even later, (SPOILER ALERT) Ketamine. This isn’t a post about blaming others for my misdoings, rejecting any accountability, nor making any excuses for the stupid, awful things I’ve done. I alone fucked up. My addiction was my own fault. However, in the same vein, no one “saved” me but myself. There was no cheeky interventionist. No room full of people who loved me weeping stoically, telling me how my addiction hurt them. No letters. Nothing. It was just me. I was alone, and I chose to get – and remain – sober.
The delusions started when I moved out, sitting in my empty apartment alone, paralyzed by the thought of getting off the couch to go to the bathroom. Always a night-owl, I’d wake at some ungodly hour of the morning, shaking. It wasn’t withdrawal, no, it was pure unfettered anxiety.
It was the aftermath of using so many pills, all the fun you think you’re having comes back to bite you with crippling anxiety and depression.
Which is why I’d do more.
Yes, opiates are powerful, and yes, I abused them, but things really didn’t become dire until I added Ketamine to my life.
Ketamine, if you’re unaware, is a club drug, a horse tranquilizer, and a date rape drug. You use too much? You may wake up at some hipster coffee bar, trying to sing “You’re Having My Baby” to the dude in the front row who may or may not actually exist. In other words, it’s the best way to forget how fucked you are.
The delusions worsen as time passed. I could see into the future. I could read your mind. I was going to be famous. I was super fucking rich. In this fucked-up world, I could even forget about me, and the life that I’d so carelessly shattered. I remember sitting in Divorce Class at the courthouse, something required of all divorces in Kane County, weeping at all that I’d thrown away – using a total of three boxes of the low-quality, government tissues. I left with a shiny pink face and completely chapped nose and eyes that appeared to be making a break from their sockets. I went home, took some pills, took some Ketamine, and passed out.
I retreated ever-inward. I didn’t talk to many people. I didn’t share my struggles. I was alone, and it was my fault.
The hallucinations started soon after Divorce Class ended and my ex and I split up. He’d left my house in a rage after a fight and went to live with his sister. I got scared. His temper, magnified by the drugs, the hallucinations, and the delusions, grew increasingly frightening. Once he’d moved out, the attacks began. I’d wake up naked in my bedroom, my body sore and bruised, and my brain put the two unrelated events together as one – he was attacking me. It happened every few days, these “attacks,” until I found myself at the police station, reporting them. I was dangerously sick and I had no idea.
My friends on the Internet (those whom I had left), sent me money for surveillance cameras. I bought them, installed them – trying to capture the culprit – and when I saw what I saw, I immediately called the police and told them the culprit.
The videos in my bedroom captured an incredibly stoned, dead-eyed, version of myself, violently attacking myself, brutally tearing at my flesh. In particular, THAT me liked to beat my face with one of my prized possessions – a candlestick set from our wedding, take another pill or hit up some Ketamine, then violating myself with the candlestick. It lasted hours. I’d wake up with no memory of events, sore and tired and unsure of how I’d gotten there.
I’d never engaged in self-injury before – not once – so the very idea that I’d hurt myself was unbelievable, but right there, on my grainy old laptop, was proof of how unhinged I’d become. Charged with filing a false report, I plead guilty.
In early September of 2015, I decided to get fixed, and made arrangements with work to take a few weeks off to do an inpatient detox, and, for the first time in a long time, I woke up happily, rather than cursing the gods that I was still alive.
It was to be short-lived.
Several days later, sober, I was idly chatting with my neighbor about her upcoming vacation (funny the things your brain remembers and what it does not), standing by my screen door, when karma came calling. It sounded like the shucking noise of an ear of corn, or maybe the sound that a huge thing of broccoli makes when you rip it apart – hard. It felt like a bullet to the femur. I crumpled on top of my neighbor and began screaming wildly about calling an ambulance, yelling over and over like some perverse, yet truthful, Chicken Little: “my leg is broken, my LEG is broken!”
I don’t remember much after that. I woke up in (physical rehab) and learned that my femur (hereafter to be called my “Blasfemur,”) had broken, fairly high up on the bone, where the biggest, strongest bone in your body is at its peak of strength. Whaaaa?
The doctors and nurses shrugged it off my questions, with a flippant “It just happens” and sent me home, armed with a Norco prescription, in November, to heal. I added the Ketamine, just to make sure.
A couple of weeks later at the end of November, I was putting up the Christmas tree with the kids and my mother. It was all merry and fucking bright until I sat down on the couch and felt that familiar crunch. Screams came out of me I didn’t know were possible, but I’d lost my actual words. My mother stood over me yelling “what’s wrong? what’s wrong?” and I couldn’t find the words. I overheard her telling my babies that I was “probably just faking it” as she walked out the door, my screams fading into an ice cold silence. They left me alone in that apartment where I screamed and cried and screamed. Finally, I managed to call 911 and when they asked me questions, all I could scream was my address.
I woke up in January in a nursing home. When I woke up, I found myself sitting at a table in a vast dining room, full of old people. For weeks to come, I thought that I’d died and gone…wherever it is that you go.
This time, I learned, my (blas)femur and it’s associated hardware had become infected after the first surgery, which weakened the bone, causing it to snap like a tree. They put me all back together like the bionic woman, but the surgery had introduced the wee colony of Strep D in the bone into my bloodstream, creating an infection on meth. I’d been in a coma for weeks. Once again, I learned to walk, and once again, I was sent home in late January with another Norco prescription. The nursing home really wanted me to have someone stay with me to help out, but I insisted that I was fine alone. In truth, I had nobody to help me out, but was far too ashamed to tell them.
The picture I referenced above was taken some time in May, as far as my fuzzy memory allows me to remember, after my third femur fracture in March. This time, I’d been so high that I fell asleep on the toilet and rolled off. Glamorous, no? Just like Fat Elvis. Luckily, my eldest son was there and he called 911 and my parents to whisk him away. I remember my father on the phone, telling Ben that I was a liar and I was faking it. I was swept away in the ambulance for even more hardware, and finally? A diagnosis:
It’s an autoimmune disease that leaches calcium from the bones, resulting in brittle bones. It is managed, not treated. There is no cure.
But, I had the answer. Finally.
After my third fracture, I once again was sent to the nursing home, and quickly discharged with even higher doses of Norco, when my insurance balked, I’d used up all my rehab days for the year. By this time, I’d lost my apartment, my stuff was in storage (except the things that we’re thrown away, which my father gloated about while I was flat on my back) and my parents let me stay with them, which was about the only option I had. They couldn’t really kick me out if my leg was only freshly attached. I feel deeper into a depression, self-loathing, and drug abuse as I realized what a mess I’d made with my life. How many bad choices I’d made. How many people I’d hurt. How much I’d hurt myself. How much I loathed myself. How I once had a life that in no way resembled sleeping in my parents dining room. How I’d been a home owner. How I’d been married. How lucky I’d been. How I threw it all away. My life turned into a series of “once did” and “used to.”
The only one who hated me more was my father.
While we were once close confidants, in the years after my marriage to Dave, his disdain had become palpable. My uncle had to intervene one Christmas, after my father mocked me incessantly for taking a temp job filling out gift cards while I was pregnant with Alex. It may seem normal to some of you, this behavior, but in THEIR house, NO ONE was EVER SAD and NOTHING was EVER WRONG. WASPs to the core, my family is.
When I moved back in, broken, dejected, and high, our fights became epic. For the first time in my life, I stood UP to one of my parents. Then, I was promptly kicked out.
Guess I’m not so WASPy after all.
I want to say that the picture was taken around May of 2016, but my estimate may be thoroughly skewed, so if you’re counting on dates being correct and cohesive, you’ve got the wrong girl.
This is a picture of me, though you probably wouldn’t recognize me. I am wearing the blue scrubs that you associate with a hospital: not exactly sky blue, not teal, not navy, just generic blue hospital scrubs. These are, I remember, the only clothes I have to my name. I was given them in both the hospital and the nursing home, a gift, I suppose, of being a frequent flier, tinged with a bit of pity – this girl has no clothes, we can help. Whomever gave them to me, know that you gave me a bit of dignity, which I will never forget. Thank you.
I am wearing scrubs, the light of the refrigerator is slowly bleaching out half of my now-enormous body, as opposed to the darkness outside. There is a tube of fat around my neck, nearly destroying any evidence of my face, but if you look closely, you can make out my glasses, my nostrils, my hair cascading down. My neck is stretched back at nearly a 90 degree angle from my body, my head listlessly resting on the back of my wheelchair. My mouth gaped wide, which, should I been engaging in fly catching, would have netted far more than the average Venus flytrap. I am clearly, unmistakably, and without a single shred of doubt, passed the fuck out.
It is both me and not me.
High as i was, I don’t remember a thing about the photo being taken. But there I was, in all my pixelated glory.
By the time I saw the photo, I was once again in my “will do” and “can do” space. I’d kicked drugs in September 2016 and had found a job that I enjoyed. I stayed with my parents while I began to sort out my medical debt and save toward a new car and an apartment of my own. My spirits were high, my depression finally abated to the background, and I was tentatively happy. I’d apologized until my throat was sore, but my fragmented memory saved me from the worst of it, but I was not forgiven. I don’t think I ever expected to be. And now, I never will.
It’s okay. I can’t expect this. I know I fucked up.
My father, who’d actually grown increasingly disdainful of me, the more sober and well I became, confronted me when I came home one day after work, preparing to do my AFTER work, work.
My mother shuffled along behind him, Ben, the caboose. All three of them were in hysterics, tears rolling down their cheeks as I sat down in my normal spot on the couch. After showing them a video of two turtles humping a couple of days before, I eagerly waited to see what they were showing me.
What it was was that picture. Of the not me, me.
They could hardly contain their laughter, my father happier than ever, braying, “Isn’t this the best picture of you?” and “You PASSED OUT, (heave, heave) IN FRONT OF THE FRIDGE!” punctuated, with “I’m going to frame this picture!” The tears welled in my eyes while my teeth clenched, they laughed even harder at my reaction.
Like I said, if they’ve become Christmas Card sending people, this will be the picture of me they show, expecting others to laugh uproariously. Before I moved out, in fact, my father made certain to show the picture to anyone who came over. “Wanna see something hilarious?” he’d ask. Expecting memes or a funny cat playing the piano, they’d agree. I could see it when they saw it, my dad chortling with laughter, nearly choking on his giggles, the looks on their faces: a mixture of confusion and pity. Even in my drug-hazed “glory,” I’d never felt so low.
Maybe that picture is splashed all over the internet, in the dark recesses I don’t explore, and maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s hung on their wall, replacing all of the other pictures. Maybe it’s not.
I’ve been suffering, silently, for going on eight months…I guess. And, I’ve needed and wanted to write about it. But, I’ve been afraid. Mostly, I’ve been afraid of the emotions that come flooding back to me when I think, talk, or picture the experiences that led up to this day.
Actually, I don’t know when it started. But, I finally said something last week to Mr. B and my Momma.
This suffering stems from an accident, on July 19, that involved my 7-year-old son.
Bubs was in a golf cart accident with his grandfather. The 800-pound cart, fell on a 45-pound baby and drug him on concrete for quite a distance. Bubs was air-cared to the local Children’s Hospital. And I, well I was 39 weeks pregnant. And, I fell when I saw him. Literally.
I fell because my son, my first born, and my best friend was trapped. Under a machine. He was covered in blood from “road rash” and he was broken. everywhere. He suffered with a dislocated hip, broken femur, butterfly fractured femur, crush-fracture of his foot, dislocated toes, puncture wounds and road rash all over his body and a removed quadriceps muscle. When I stood from falling, there he was, screaming for help and frantically searching for his mommy. And my heart couldn’t take it. It was broken.
In that instant, I was changed. Forever. I can’t forget the pain of driving to the scene. The soul crushing fear that flooded through my body the way I imagine Hurricane Katrina taking over New Orleans – engulfing your body with no hope or relief in sight. The fear and pain took me to a place that had not existed prior to this accident. And now I can’t seem to find my way out of it.
I still remember the scene like it was a dream. There were people rushing all around me, ambulances screaming to the scene, a helicopter circling overhead, paramedics asking questions…about him…and about me, paramedics taking blood pressure, police officers begging me to go to the hospital. I was swarmed but still felt invisible. All I wanted to do was go back in time. Just 20 minutes earlier. To make this moment disappear. All I could think about was this “never happening” and how it “couldn’t be happening” to us.
I am ashamed to admit…but, I didn’t care about the baby inside of me in that moment. Because the boy who had my heart first was seriously hurt. More serious than I even knew or wanted to know in that moment. More serious than anyone was willing to “tell the pregnant mom.” It was hard for me to consider the unborn child. I “knew” right where she was and I “knew” she was okay. All I knew was I heard words like “internal bleeding”, “head trauma,” “internal damage” and “spinal cord injuries” being thrown around…regarding my baby. MY baby. It was as if I was having an out-of-body experience.
I still remember the paramedic who took me to the hospital. His attempts at consoling me, while my son flew overhead, were heroic. He was kind and gentle and was a true professional. There are no words that can describe these moments. No words created by man that can put your thoughts and fears on paper to describe the instant you think you may lose your child. It’s a pain like I’ve never known. A pain that was sharp and reckless and it had no concern for me or the perfect family I had built.
And now, it has been replaced with fear.
As I sat in the hospital waiting room, waiting for his six hour surgery to be complete, and cried. I cried for my unborn baby, who would be born into a world interrupted. I cried for me. Because I was afraid and exhausted and broken-hearted. But mostly, I cried for my baby boy. Because I didn’t know what the future held anymore. 10 hours prior, I knew. And now my world was crashing in around me. I couldn’t breath.
See, Bubs and I started on this journey alone. Mr. B was our answered prayer that came four years later. For four years it was just us…and nothing will ever match those four years for our small family. Nothing will ever match the bond we built. He is my best friend. My confidant. My companion.
I am suffering silently with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am struggling every.single.day with constant fear and irrational thoughts. I become overwhelmed with illusions, memories and possibilities…which all hold me back from living. These fears consume everything I do. Everything I let my family do. And, they consume every thought I have. I catch myself living in a world of “what-ifs” rather than just living and loving life. (Loving the life that God so graciously spared last summer.)
And, even with Bubs upstairs sleeping in his bed. Even if we made it through 12 weeks in a wheel chair and two weeks in a walker and one week of God-fearin’, earth rattling pain and torture…I still can’t shake the memory.
I still live in fear of losing someone. And not just Bubs now… Mr. B, Bubette, my mom, dad, step-dad, cousins, aunts…it is growing. And, for that reason, I have decided to talk to someone who knows more about this than I do. A professional….which makes me feel like a nut job.
Because prior to July 19, I lived in a beautiful world where horrible things happen “to other people.” and now…well, I can’t help but think that those horrible things “could happen to me.”
As my work day began to wind down on Friday, I got antsy as I looked forward to Saturday’s big duck hunt with my son, Bryan. My excitement level was high as it’s always a great time getting my boy into the woods and watching him learn the ways of the wild. We also have the opportunity to put some tasty treats in the freezer.
I called Bryan into school on Friday and took him to work with me as we were hunting just a few miles from work. I work fifty miles from home and it’s senseless to make the the long drive home just to come right back Saturday. We decided to stay with my in-laws -the best a man could ask for- instead, which is only twenty miles away.
Around 10 PM, after a bit of good conversation and some TV at my in-laws, my father in-law hit the sack. My son and I figured it was probably a good idea too, as our 3:30 am wake up call would be upon us shortly. Bryan was out in no time, but no sooner had my head hit the pillow, my mind started reeling. I have no idea why, but it was going into overdrive at an alarming rate, even as I did my best to fight it.
I thought it was just the excitement of the next day’s events and would wear off soon, but wow, was I wrong.
In a matter of minutes I was up pacing through the house, my mouth dry, my breaths rapid. My mind could not concentrate on any one thing.
I was having a panic attack and my medications were 75 miles away. That’s right, I forgot them at home. I had been doing great lately, and it never really crossed my mind to bring them along just in case.
Well here I was in the midst of a full-blown panic and had no idea what to do. I picked up the phone and called my wife, knowing full well that she would be asleep because it was now approaching 11:30 and she never stays up that late.
She was so wonderful and gave me time to chat and tried to relieve my tensions a bit. I didn’t keep her on the phone long but was so appreciative of her willingness to even allow me to call that late without getting pissed off. Her talk and encouragement was a bit helpful, but I was still contemplating making the hour-plus drive home in the middle of the night just to get my medication.
Then it dawned on me. My friend Luke was probably going out somewhere for the evening since his wife was out of town, so maybe I could get in touch with him.
I called Luke’s cell phone but there was no answer. I left a brief message explaining my dilemma and asked him to call me back. About ten minutes later the phone rang. I figured it was my wife just checking up on me, but it was Luke.
He was almost back in town from a night out and would be more than happy to have me over for awhile, even though it was midnight and he had to work the next day. I was in such panicked state that it took me two tries to get into the car and drive the three miles to his house.
Every time I’d get into the car, I’d think: I will never make it over there and I couldn’t breathe. The world felt like it was going to collapse around me if I sat in that drivers seat too long, so I’d pull back into the in-law’s driveway. I would get out, walk back into the house, then turn right back around and get into the car.
Finally, I made it to Luke’s house, but he wasn’t there. I tried to get out of the car and wait for him but my head wouldn’t leave me alone. My throat was tightening and it seemed like my airway was going to close any minute if I didn’t do something drastic. I knew this was all in my mind at the time and yet I had no control.
That thought alone made it worse. I jumped back in my car to head back to the in-laws. Just as I got to the first stop at the end of Luke’s road, he pulled into the road and waved me back.
I followed him to his house and we sat outside for awhile before I worked up the nerve to go inside without feeling caged in. A few minutes was all I could handle indoors…the heat, the lack of oxygen, the walls…I had to get out.
Luke was more than willing to follow. I’m not much of a drinker, but a 22oz hard lemonade seemed like it might help slow me down a bit. I slammed that while Luke sipped on one himself. Usually one of those is enough to put me on the couch for the evening! But this was no ordinary evening and no ordinary panic attack.
I have only had an attack this severe a couple of times and I hated it. Before I knew it, I had Luke out waking down the dirt drive at 2:00 am, and he did it with no complaints. We wandered back to the house and went inside for a little more chit-chat.
It was now close to 3:00 am and I could see that Luke was fading fast. The good thing was that it would soon be time to wake my son for his duck hunt, and my mind was starting to shift into a lower gear in preparation for the day of hunting. I needed to keep myself in check for the safety of my son.
The fog in my head slowly began to lift as I pulled into my in-laws driveway at 3:10 am. I was actually able to chill long enough to take a shower. When I came out of the shower, I felt as if the world had been lifted from my shoulders. My wonderful son was sleeping peacefully on a futon mattress on Grandma’s floor, oblivious to the hell I’d been through over the past 4 hours. I was tired but rejuvenated with a clear mind.
I took my son on the hunt. It was a wonderful morning. Warm, calm, and the mosquitoes didn’t even bother me. Ducks were flying and my son was doing pretty good hitting them. I had a wonderful day, and I must say that it was due to the patience and understanding of my wonderful wife and my friend Luke.
Luke is the true definition of a friend. I have known Luke for the better part of thirty years and I would do anything for him. He is more like a brother to me than a friend. I would be hard pressed to find another person on this planet that would be willing to sacrifice a night of sleep just to help a guy through a hard time.
Luke is a true friend, and true friends are hard to come by. He helped me through a night of turmoil that could have led to tragedy if I had not had him to talk to and keep my mind off the senseless ramblings. He was there for me and I am eternally grateful.