Tuesday, 22 January 2013

About a boy

There’s this boy who stole my heart. He calls me mom. – author unknown

My first of three beautiful gifts from God – my son – was delivered in the summer of 1991. 

My pregnancy was perfect and I felt healthy and happy the whole time. I had no sickness whatsoever. I am one of those women who LOVED being pregnant. The feeling of life growing inside of me was amazing, simply amazing. I gained 40 pounds of belly and was proud of every inch of it.

During my pregnancy, I visited a nutritionist each month to ensure that I was eating all the right foods for my baby to be healthy. I quit drinking coffee because I didn’t want him to be exposed to caffeine, which is a drug (ironic, isn’t it?). Now, for the record, nobody was telling moms back then that they couldn’t drink coffee so don’t feel bad if you did! I just didn’t want to drink it. 

Having picked up the habit of smoking as a teenager, I quit the same day I found out that I was pregnant. I was anal about giving my baby a perfect start to life.

When the doctor put that beautiful baby in my arms, I was absolutely overcome with emotion. He was so perfect with his dark hair and 8 lb 7 oz body. He was so warm and he was mine. It was love at first sight.

When visitors would come into the hospital and hold him, I wouldn’t take my eyes off of them for fear they would do something to hurt him by accident. While they never said anything, I am sure they felt paranoid. :)

My poor mother didn’t get very far with her home remedies for baby ailments either. I was given a book about babies in the hospital and I followed it to the letter. When she tried to offer some home remedy that was not found in my book, I balked at it. I am smiling as I type just thinking of all that. 

He was a great baby. At two months old, he was sleeping straight through the night.

As a boy, he was amazing (he still is!). He was quiet, sensitive, and compassionate toward people and animals. He was also very well behaved (until the teen years).

He was an academic, French immersion student who played the tuba in the band. He loves music and is talented in bass. 

He knew that we worked hard to provide for our family so he would never ask for anything. We always knew what he wanted, and what was popular with the kids at the time, and when he got it, he was always so grateful. He never had a sense of entitlement. I am so thankful for that. 

Our son is also very smart, respectful and polite. People are always shocked to find out that he has an addiction because he does not fit the stereotype at all. He’s been asked more than once how a kid like him ended up an addict.

Our son is a wonderful person who is lost to an addiction. 

Our son may be addicted to drugs but we love him every bit as much as you love your son or daughter and ALWAYS WILL. This is true for every parent that has a son or daughter who is addicted. You can’t turn your love off like a tap. You can encourage parents to not enable their addicted children but do not judge them for doing so unless you’ve walked in their shoes. It takes a while to figure it all out and even then we struggle to kick our children out to the street, let them go hungry, and so on.

Our son should have turned out okay but that wasn’t meant to be his – or our – life story.   It would have been really great if it was and a whole lot easier! From the moment he was conceived, I worked on having that happy story for him. Alas, we (and many other families) were meant to have a much different story, a very scary one at that! If love was enough, our son – and many other young people – would never have tried drugs in the first place.

All we can do now is pray that he will continue fighting his addiction, and use our experience to help others in some way.  Our wonderful son doesn’t want to see other kids and families go through this, which is why he allows me to share his biggest regrets with you. He hopes to one day be able to join me in my work in this area. For now, he is working on the early part of his recovery. Please pray for him.


PS: I am feeling a little emotional tonight – hence the walk down memory lane - as I anticipate our son’s coming home from the Strength program for the first weekend. I don’t think he is ready and it scares me. I get teary-eyed when I think of my son as a baby and a boy because life was so much simpler then. I could protect him from everything. Now, I can’t. We had no idea what awaited us. We never could have imagined this.


  1. All the best to your son,Rose.I'm sure his first weekend will go just fine."one day at a time" :)

  2. You know I'm with you Rose :) just draw on what you have discovered that works. Love n Light my friend :)

  3. Beautifully written Rose and he was and is a beautiful person my little (affectionate nickname) not the moma lol] I use to love to take him out he has such beautiful eyes, so proud of you, Mike and of course "John" he will be a strong man.

  4. Rose
    Do you do public speaking events to share your message? The schools where my children attend are always asking for suggested topics for Parents' Night. I have suggested addiction before but they seem to always go to police presenters on what to look for and lots of "facts". We seem to be beyond that now with so many addicts, I think your approach is more appropriate.

  5. Hi Maxine, I most certainly do! In November, I shared our family's experience with addiction at the panel presentation for parents at Colonel Gray and we had another one this month. You may have read about it in the Guardian. http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-01-18/article-3159827/Students-share-real-life-experiences-of-drug-addiction-with-parents/1 I represent the voice of the family when I do any speaking engagements. If you are interested, please send me an email with the details such as the schools your children attend.

  6. Simply beautiful.. prayers of hope to your son and your family.. thanks for sharing:)

  7. This is a trying time for all of you... no one knows how high your emotionals travel at this moment. An exciting and new beginning and a fear as deep as the ocean, about the worst! Good luck and bless your family..I wish you peace.

  8. Thinking about you this weekend and keeping you all in my prayers!

  9. As a Mama to an amazing 2 year old boy....reading your son's story terrifies me. But I am grateful for your family's strength and courage to walk this journey in an open way so as to bring about change. You are changing this world. I am humbled by your ability to share this pain with the world...and I am educated by your story. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. Every parent today should be concerned but you have the benefit of knowledge about the problem. When my son was entering the teen years, we had no idea that people were abusing prescription drugs because no one talked about it. Also, no one really talked about addiction in general, except in the anonymous rooms of 12-step groups. That's changed now so parents like you can be more aware. I pray that you won't have to go down this road with your son but, if you do, I sure hope that the right treatment is in place so that he has the best chance to overcome it. Just hold him tight and enjoy every moment. The younger years when you are in complete control are the easiest.Take care.


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