Tuesday, January 1, 2013
The thought of my son walking the cold streets of Portland by day and sleeping in a shelter at night left me a raw bundle of uncontainable emotion.
I called him this morning, he didn't answer his phone. I left a message marred by sniffles and sobs, one that I'm not so sure he would be able to decipher.
I tried to think of other things, busy myself with distractions, but without notice tears would once again flow freely.
In between thoughts of my son there were times of levity. I thought of how I was dressed when the police arrived at my house. Green sweat pants, a purple Harley shirt and pink fuzzy socks were my attire of the day. I hadn't blown dry my hair and it was a mess of frizzy curls. I hadn't put in my contacts, opting for glasses instead. Not my usual pulled together self.
I had to laugh, it seems each time the police have been called to my house, due to my son's actions, I've been dressed as if I was being featured on an episode of COPS, Sunday was no exception. As a matter of fact, it probably topped the list. Why is it when an emergency arises I'm always dressed as a bum?
I was able to visit with a neighbor and have a few laughs as well as a few tears, but it was good. She always knows what to say and how to make me feel better.
Then I cooked the southern New Year's Day tradition, black eyed peas and cornbread, did some house cleaning on the files of my computer and prepared for an evening with my daughter, Karli, and her family.
The day seemed to be looking up until my grandson asked me where Joshua was. I didn't know what to say. He asked again and I had to tell him that his uncle didn't live here any more but that he would still be able to see him. Josiah seemed satisfied with that answer, but it tore at my heart once again.
We got through dinner and were watching a bit of TV when my cell phone rang. It was Joshua. I steeled my emotions before I answered. He sounded like his happy self. He told me he had made friends, which scares the hell out of me, and that he was safe, eating and doing ok.
I told him that if he agreed to take his medication, go to counseling and work with the family we could talk about him coming home.
His answer was unexpected, but strangely relieving, he said that it would probably be two to three months before he considered coming home, that he wanted to use this time as a learning experience. I warned him to be careful of who he associated with, I cautioned him about drugs and I assured him that we would always be his family and be here for him.
I told him I would continue to try to find housing opportunities for him and a safe place he could call his own. He was appreciative but I'm not so sure he totally understood what I was saying. He seemed to be intrigued by living on the streets.
Although my heart is still broken and the tears are close at hand, I felt better hearing his voice and hearing that he agreed to stay in touch and call if he needed something.
I still know it's the only decision that could have been made for the safety of everyone involved, but it still hurts deeply. It's hard enough to let your children go off to college, just imagine how hard it is to have them live on the streets.