Today should be a happy day.

There should be bright balloons hanging from the ceiling.  There should be presents wrapped up in cheerful paper and shiny bows.  There should be birthday cake with lit candles and singing and hugs and good wishes.

I should be happy. Instead, there is an ache in my heart – one that hangs heavy.  My chest hurts as if there was a heavy weight placed upon it. Tears threaten to fall, and it’s an effort to hold them back.

Today is my oldest child’s birthday.  Happy 40th …or at least it should have been…could have been.  It’s hard to believe that so many years have gone by since I first held him in my arms.  He should be with family today.  He should be surrounded by laughter and hugs.  He should be celebrating with the people that love him.

Instead – he is rotting in a prison cell.  I would have made him anything that he wanted, for dinner today, but it’s my guess that he had a sandwich made with  “past it’s sale date” bologna on stale bread.  If he was lucky there may have been condiments.

I’ve forgotten how many birthdays he’s missed – far too many, for sure!

What a waste.  What a cry’n shame.

Why? Oh why?

Why did he choose to ruin his life? Why did he choose to destroy his family?

Why did he choose to take that drink that lead to another and another and another?

Why did he choose to use drugs instead of taking his prescribed medication?

Because – he bought into the myth.  The myth that he could control it.  The myth that he could stop when he wanted.

The myth that it wouldn’t hurt anyone else.

What a crock of CRAP!

If you think that it can’t happen to YOU, think again.


If you think that the only person that if affects is you, think again, and think hard.

His actions destroyed his marriage.  He has alienated every one of his brother’s and sisters…his friends…even his children.  He has lost the trust of his father and me. He has stolen from us over and over again. He has lied to us over and over again.

He has broken our hearts, and I don’t know when they will be mended.

I’ve stopped writing to him, because there isn’t anything left to say.  I’ve told him as much.  I love him, but for a while, anyway, I need a break. (God bless his grandmother who faithfully writes to him each and every week – that’s how she copes.) I need to put it out of my mind  – HA – as if I really can.

He get’s no card, no cake, no hug.  He get’s loneliness, cold showers, a thin lumpy mattress, stark gray walls, and bars instead of doors.  He gets to sleep with one eye open.  He get’s toothpaste, and soap, and shampoo, and deodorant, as long as there is money in his prison account. He gets his medication once in a while, if they feel like bringing it to him.  He swelters in the summer and is cold in the winter. His skin burns, blisters and peels, when he is forced to stand outside for hours on end in the Arizona sun (because, of course, his sun block is lost in the “void”, along with his books, and socks and shoes and shorts – every time he is transferred from one unit to another or one facility to another.)

There are a few good guards, but there are many bad ones…as often as not, his personal belongings  are stolen by prison personnel (or as they put it “misplaced”).  Betterment Programs for all practical purposes, are a joke.  But then when you’ve got Sheriff Joe Arapaio as a role model, it doesn’t surprise me.

Am I angry?  You better believe it! I am so mad that it leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.  It swells up sometimes, until I think that I might burst from it.

And who is to blame for my son’s plight?

He is… plain and simple.

BUT that doesn’t lessen the pain.  That doesn’t make this easier – a less bitter pill to swallow.

I  want to throttle him.  I wan to shake him until he is limp…

I want to hold him and make it all better.

It hurts.  It really really really hurts.

Happy Happy Day – NOT!

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36 thoughts on “Happy Happy Day – NOT!

  1. It is unfortunate that some individuals don’t learn that their actions affect not only themselves but everyone around them. All you can do is pray that people will make the right decisions going forward in the future.

  2. I can feel your pain since my brother did the same. Got into heroin, stoled, lied, alienated us. However I forgave him and would never turn my back on him. Without the drugs in his system he is my brother. He has another 3 1/2 years behind those cold walls. My father just died too..please consider finding forgiveness in your heart…it will help you.

  3. Dear Libby, give this to GOD, don’t let this eat at you, you taught him right from wrong, you have done all you can for him, the positive is he cant have his drugs where he is now, GOD has a plan for all of us, and he uses bad for good sometimes, so please don’t give up yet, but do give it all to GOD, his yoke is light and he will carry your burden, just give him a chance.
    Please let me say a prayer for you and your family, and please let it wash over you in peace. Dear Heavenly Father, please help this family heal, Father GOD please reach your loving arms around this entire family and take there burden from them, let everyone of them start to heal, let them learn what satin can do and let them learn how to fight its pull. Heavenly Father these are your children and they are hurting so terribly it saddens my heart just to read the words, help your children Father, help them learn to love again, help them know you better Father and help them hand the troubles to you so they can learn what your true peace is. we thank you Father GOD in JESUS name we pray. amen.

  4. It can be hard to understand why people make the choices that they do. If you can find a way to let go of your anger you will be a lot better for it. Anger can eat you up.

  5. Oh my goodness, my heart cries for your pain. I couldn’t begin to imagine what you are going through. I can say nothing but that I send you a hug

  6. God Bless you..and your family..i am going say some extra prayers for you tonight…Sending warm and empathetic hugs to you. Keep writing, keep letting will never fix it but it will lighten the load, if even only for the time it takes to get it out! <3

    1. Yes, our prison systems are a sorry state. If more money was spent on rehabilitation, our society as a whole would be much improved.

    1. Yes, it is truly a shame. My son is a very talented musician and a great computer programer. His choices have hurt so many.

  7. I am so sorry. I wish I had more eloquent words to say or even more so magic words to say, but I know there isn’t any. So often I’ve wished myself to be able to stop family from going down a bad path, change the circumstances, but we just can’t. Take care of yourself.

  8. I feel for you, this must be heartbreaking for you as a mother. I can empathize with you as I have a child I am estranged from albeit for different reasons and it has destroyed me. The only thing as a person I can do is try to not judge, there is so many different reasons for what people do and sometimes we may have not looked at some of those reasons and when we do, then we can come to a new understanding. I send you prayers and peace.

    1. It’s so hard being a parent sometimes, isn’t it? I hope that your relationship will be mended soon. Thanks so much for your prayers.

  9. I wish I knew what more to say other than i am thinking of you and care. This is not easy by the sounds of it and sadly we can only do our best to keep ourselves on track and uplifted. I hope that you all find a way passed this soon and are better or have a better path come along to take.

  10. Ahh, sweetie, I understand and feel your pain so much you can’t imagine! I hurt for anyone hurting for any reason; I truly do! I will be praying for you! I have not experienced one of my kids in prison, thank God, but my oldest child who is now 36 sure put me through it during his early teen years clear through when his first child was born when he was 28. So, about 16 years of worries.To be such didn’t even know he was experimenting with drugs until in his early twenties but didn’t want to go to school. To be such an intelligent young man and yet make those kinds of choices is like WOW! He and I are fortunate he didn’t end up in prison! Today, he says that he regrets dropping out of high school.but says he needed to be challenged more and that he was bored. Today, I am very proud of him; he is in college studying to become a computer programmer engineer and is making very good grades. I also have twin daughters, now age 32. One throughout her entire life has been an angel. She never ever gave me one moment’s worry as a teen until even now. She was a lot like me in that she never had a desire to drink or do illegal drugs. Her sister only rebelled for a few months and I got her into counseling immediately and she quickly straightened up and made good grades in high school, went straight into college, earned a degree in 3 years (also graduated high school in 3 years). Both girls went straight into college and I was and still am very proud of them. Anyway, the one that gave me heartache for a short time and straightened up married after living with her sweet boyfriend for 8 years and then finally married. She was working very hard and they had purchased a beautiful new home. Then, a tragedy happened when my son-in-law’s car drove under a semi-truck’s trailer and was instantly killed. She couldn’t accept it and didn’t know how to deal with it. I begged her to get into Christian counseling but she never went until she began to take pain pills -thinking that would numb her heartache. I had no idea until she went to get help. More to this story and have said too much already but she is getting her life together and no longer takes these pills. I learned of her problem and lots more when I was in the end of my first year in school (divorced after 30 years) and lost my Mom the start of the second year. Then, lost 2 sisters during this past year. Due to chronic pain and lots of stress, I had to drop out a month before the semester ended. I could not take another day! I hate that but was forcing myself to go this entire year! I shared my story to hopefully encourage you and to give you hope! I will be praying for you! There is hope in God and he can do what people can’t. Miracles do happen and I hope your son gets the help he needs. Don’t give up on him; you just never know what might happen! Try to have a Merry Christmas!

    1. It sounds like you have been through a lot. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such kind words for me. I wish you and yours all the best. Merry Merry Christmas to you!

  11. The pain of the people he left behind is unspeakable. I wish you a peaceful Christmas and a lucky new Year with happy events only.

  12. I can see the pain that you are in you hae lived with, each and everyone of us copes with things differently, I think it is understandable that you are trying to let go of it while your mother writes faithfully god and your friends and family give you the strengthto cope with this may your holidays be blessed as possible and remember you have others in your family.

  13. I am so sorry. I wish you peace as you work through your feelings…It is not a simple thing when someone we love makes such choices, and we are left to deal with a ll the repercussions. May each day be a little better.

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