Thursday, August 5, 2010

Better than expected

The 24-hour visit just ended. All in all, I have much to be thankful for, though I still find myself somewhat in limbo; cautiously hopeful and afraid to hope at the same time. 

Daniel was allowed a 24-hr pass to visit with his family. We brought him to our beach home (where we are staying for our annual summer vacation. Together with my parents and my husband, the five of us had a preciously-uneventful, playful, and relaxing time together. In the 8-weeks Daniel has been in rehab, he has learned some manners, improved his social skills, and demonstrated he can be helpful. These are dramatic improvements.

More specifically, he:
  • helped his grandma get in and out of the SUV
  • spent the entire time with us (not in his room)
  • helped set and clear the table (without being asked)
  • waited for Grace to be said before starting to eat (and thanked the person who said it)
  • served us dessert (and offered the last of the cheesecake to others)
  • asked if he could be excused (rather than simply disappearing)
  • played Bocce ball and went hiking with us
  • did his own laundry
  • conversed with everyone and when we were alone, asked how I was doing
  • went to bed at a reasonable time and did not sleep in
  • made his bed in the morning (without being asked)

Was he perfect? No. Was it warm and fuzzy? No. Did we have deep and meaningful conversation? Somewhat, but limited to his recovery. Did I cry when he left? Yes.
  • How did I do? Better than in the past. I:
  • didn't give him my opinion when I disagreed with something he said
  • caught myself before offering to wash his sandy clothes and offered to show him how to use the front-loader instead (which he did)
  • didn't nag him to dry his clothes, deciding that he would figure it out (and he did)
  • didn't complain that he chewed tobacco
  • didn't assume the responsibility for all the conversation and let there be silence
  • listened with genuine interest to the stories about rehab and his reflections about what he is learnng
Whew. I feel relieved that it went as well as it did and I am glad he is gone. I am both happy and sad when he is around. Now that he is gone, I can relax again. I hate to say that but it is true for now.

I don't know how much I should hope for. I have become fatigued with the bombs of truth that drop on a regular basis and so I really don't know what is around the corner. I know I am still coming to terms with who my son has become and I am full of saddness. I know that he will make favorable progress only if he continues to commit to recovery. And I know this is "early recovery" with a long road ahead. Indeed, I am cautious, sad, hopeful, and skeptical. And that is a good reason for treating myself to a massage!


  1. sounds like it went really well. Everything you are feeling is normal. There is a lot of grief we have to make our way through for the life we thought we would have, that our kids would have, the people we thought they would be. Its a different outcome than you planned on, but if your son continues on in his recovery, it can be just as blessed as you ever dreamed of. Just in different ways. The depth of what you all will have learned will be a gift eventually. Even if its not a perfect will find gifts along the way. I think this visit was an eye view of what the future can look like. Nurture your hope and your faith Mum....the future is in God's hands.

  2. I couldn't say it any better than Annette. Time for a group hug!

    My gut tells me he has decided on the right path but the road could still get a little rocky. That is normal. Patience is key here. Recite the Serenity Prayer frequently and trust him to God.

  3. I am reciting, I am reciting.

    I need them all in mega-doses.

  4. Sounds as if you did really well with detaching with love. Awesome.