( From My Files Friday: This Thanksgiving marks the beginning of my son’s eighth year in recovery! I am grateful to the many people who helped him and am proud of him for finally accepting his illness and taking steps to recover. I realize, however, there are many who are very sick and for their loved ones, Thanksgiving can be a difficult time. A year ago, I published a powerful blog by Joanne Kelly about her son, Jay. I recently asked if Jay’s situation had improved and, sadly, the answer was no. Joanne, please know that you and Jay are in our thoughts and prayers. You are why we must continue our fight for a better system. No one should be left behind.)
Please God Keep Jay Safe For Another Week: A Mother’s Ritual
RITUALS — By Joanne Kelly
If you are an astute observer and you stand in the courtyard of my son’s apartment building, you might notice that everyone’s window blinds are white except Jay’s. The blinds in his windows are a golden brown, the outward manifestation of a two-packs-a-day smoking habit multiplied by four years of occupancy in this particular apartment.
Today is pretty typical of my visits over the last few months. Jay hasn’t answered any of my phone calls this week. It is 4:00 in the afternoon on a sunny day in late November. I knock. I wait. I knock again. I wait some more. Finally I hear him unlock the deadbolt. He opens the door looking disheveled and groggy. Obviously, I have interrupted his sleep.