Editor's note: Upon reading our meth series, a mother wrote this letter about her son. She requested that her name be withheld and only her initials used.
I have been reading stories in the Payson Roundup about meth users, and the effect it has on the family members of a substance abuse user.
My husband and I recently moved here from the Valley and are about to celebrate our second anniversary, and they have been some of the happiest years of my life.
My story, however, is probably no different than others you have read.
We, as moms, pray a lot, hoping that the children we nourished since before they were ever born would grow up to make us proud.
I have two sons, and I think back, remembering the excitement of the first steps they took, the first words. Teaching them all these normal things was so important to me, and I looked forward to teaching them more every day. More importantly, I wanted to instill the moral and Christian values, we, their father and I, thought were needed.
I had been to several counseling sessions with Jay, my youngest, when he was a teen, and counseling was ordered by the State -- the usual "Tough Love" strategy. I cleaned out my savings account two times in the early years for Jay to start over several more times, promising it would be different this time.
As a family, we wanted to see to it that our only grandson (C.J.), Jay's only son, had a chance in life. So my oldest son, his wife and I took care of him for his first three years. Now my ex-husband and his wife are raising C.J., and they have taken care of him since he was four, and adopted him at the age of six. He is a happy young man now, and almost 14 years old. He has the opportunities that every child should be given and I admire my ex-husband and his wife for the great job they are doing.
As parents, we do what we can with what we know, and try our best to give our children a better childhood than we ever had.
Then I think, why my child? Who is the person who offered my son his first hit of drugs? I would love to face him. Jay thought he had "friends" in his life that he could trust and would supply him the things he couldn't get from me, as I had refused to let him bring his "friends" home. Eventually he moved in with them, the deadly drug caught him, and it has never been the same.
I didn't see it at first, and didn't want to see it. This couldn't happen to our family.
When Jay had many good months of living with me, he held very good jobs. When I would pick him up from work, managers of his employment would talk to me and tell me he is the hardest worker they had, and how they wished every employee would work that hard. Jay would give the shirt off his back and his last dollar to help someone that he felt needed it more.
I hope most of you reading this are still with me, as there is a point to writing this letter.
I saw Jay for the first time in a year, last February. I finally found him by phone and pleaded with him to meet so I could see for myself how he was doing.
My first reaction was I couldn't believe my handsome son was skin and bones, dressed in clothes way too big for him. He acted embarrassed when he saw me drive up, but I hugged him, and immediately wanted to feed and clothe him.
I have spoken to my son two times since last summer. He might be in jail as you are reading this, as he told me he hasn't paid old traffic fines, and his "friends" have stolen or sold everything he has, except the clothes on his back.
Hopefully he will give me another call and I will be ready for him with information that he will want to accept. He told me on his last call he is tired of this life, and wanted to be well. My eyes filled with tears and I said I have been waiting for those words for a long time.
I told him I would help him get well if he wanted.
Here is the point.
I will ask Jay again about wanting to get help and I will pick him up and take him to a place in Phoenix to get that help. My concern is, then what?
Miracles have happened in my life over the years that I cannot explain, and also not so good things have happened. I have this belief that things happen for reasons and choices you have made.
Drugs/alcohol is a deadly choice. I am pleading for another chance to see my son healthy and well again. I expect a miracle for him.
Thank you for staying with me and reading my story.
Take care, and have the most blessed holiday season.