JOURNEY TO RECOVERY
Miracle in a Field of Yellow Daisies
Dear Special Friends,
What would someone's life be like if they had an addictive disease and never worked the Twelve Steps? Would there be hope? What would their insides feel like? The memories are fading of the time when I gave up hope but I will never forget the feelings ... and the emptiness. Working the Twelve Steps does not guarantee eternal happiness or even a less difficult life. But the miracle of it all is that when things get so bad that you think you no longer want to keep on going ... those precious Steps remind us that there is a Power out there so much greater than we are and that even in a worse case scenario there is hope. I am experiencing a worse case scenario in my life. My name is Mari and I have an addiction that tries its best to rob me of hope and there are times I have to wrestle it to the ground as I utter the words ... "I am powerless."
"Let your children be as so many flowers, borrowed from God.
If the flowers die or wither, thank God for a summer loan of them.
. . . . . Samuel Rutherford
I had always loved the name, Lisa. It had a special ring to it and I knew when I first laid eyes on my daughter that it would be her name. She also has my name, my class ring, my engagement ring and a love so deep that nothing could ever make it stop. And on special days like today, her adoption day, there are memories. But those wonderful memories have now turned bittersweet.
We were a musical family. My three sons studied piano and sang and toured with the boys' choir in our city. I taught and performed music from the time I was a little girl so it was natural that Lisa danced and sang. She could sing the musical scale before she learned words and my happiest moments were when the two of us were at the piano. For a little girl she had a big voice and would belt out a tune and it would thrill me to look at her little face and hear those notes coming from deep inside her. Lisa studied piano, dancing, was on a ball team as her three brothers were, played with her sweet Noelle who at age 18 died on her graduation day and sang her heart out with me at the piano into adulthood and beyond. If I should ever hear the old song, "You Light Up My Life," I would probably crumble to the floor remembering her long phrases, the throaty nuances and the high notes that anyone else would sing falsetto but which she could reach with her full voice.
All four of our children were in college at once and when it was over and they began their "adult" lives, Lisa was still my buddy. We went everywhere together and one of my happiest memories is of her father and I taking her on her first trip to Europe and driving from country to country at Christmastime. How calm she was as we got lost in a blizzard and missed the turn to Orly Airport and somehow found ourselves in the middle of downtown Paris on the Champs-Elysées going around and around the Arch de Triumph as the Parisian workers headed home at dusk after work. Lisa helped me not to panic until we "found" ourselves and then helped pry me away from the chair I clutched and never intended to leave except by taxi. I never saw her ruffled ... she was not a space cadet ... she could fix things with her little fingers that I couldn't even begin to. And God never made a human being who could eat a piece of chicken so clean that the leftover bones gleamed.
And so she grew up, got a job, took my cat and moved into her own apartment and, like her brothers, began living away from us eventually getting married, having babies and causing me to look at her in awe as she took to motherhood so naturally as though that were her calling. Life went on, there were no issues beyond the usual and each of us did our "own thing" as most families do. For quite a few years having taken early retirement, we lived half the year in our mountain home and the other half on the seacoast and now we have settled at the beach permanently. Lisa lives here and works less than a mile from our home.
Life sometimes changes. We may not know exactly when it happens or why it happens ... but it can change. And my life did change. I have no relationship with Lisa anymore. I've lost count of the years but at first I thought it was my imagination. No way could Lisa and I ever have a problem that would cause extinction. She just "forgot" Mother's Days ... or my birthdays ... or my surgeries ... or moving into a brand new home and breaking my arm. But then one Christmas after another passed and finally rather than sending her presents, I let them all pile up in a closet feeling she would come over and pick them up someday. She never came. We packed them all up one day ~ Christmas, Birthdays, Valentines, Easter, more birthdays .. and put them in her van at her office and still she said after almost four years of this ... "Nothing is wrong ... I'm just busy." No arguments ... no disagreements ... no good-byes. Just extinction. She does not call. She does not e-mail. She does not write. She does not come over. My little Lisa-bird did more than just fly away from me. She took my heart with her.
For the miracle you sent to me in a field of yellow daisies ...
thank you for one of the most special flowers on earth ...
and for loaning her to me for a long and beautiful summer.
The Recovery Group
*Author's Note: I want to thank all of those who have written to me since this Journey to Recovery was sent. My empathetic heart went out to each of you who shared with me your stories similar to mine. It is now 2006. This began in 1997. Nothing has changed. I hope each of you have had different results and that you have been blessed with serenity.
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