We can fool ourselves into thinking that we have our lives well planned out. It was that way for me, being a product of the 1950/60’s: I’d go to college, meet my prince, get married, have children and live happily ever after. As much as I thought I knew what to expect, my life was riddled with surprises. But the last was the most unexpected, compelling me to write Fifth Child, a non-fiction book about the anguish and consequences of a drug-addicted child, which resulted in parenting her child almost since birth.

My husband and I are cast into a shockingly large demographic. Grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing phenomenon in our country because of our shifting economy, unmarried teen mothers, alcohol abuse and illegal drug use. Close to 10 million grandparents comprise the club. We had already raised four children. Jaime was our third child, and Brady is her son, who began calling us Mommy and Daddy when he was three. Readers may be amazed to find calamity overcoming a so seemingly traditional family. But as events and family history unfold, disturbing pitfalls and unfortunate genetic vulnerability reveal fault lines that can sabotage people from any walk of life.

"The Addict's Mom Sharing Without Shame" Video is so important whether addiction has touched your life or not. It's powerful. Please click on the link below to watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNZbbePiKg

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Open Eyes, Open Heart -It's Almost Mother's Day

It's been several months since I've blogged or worked on my book. During this emotionally charged time of moving into our new home, I seem to be changing.

For four years, my walls have been up about my daughter and her death. I couldn't embrace her even in death. Her 10 year bout with drugs, watching her go through a court-ordered rehab and then to experience her lying again shortly before her untimely death, froze my heart. It was too difficult to deal with her drama and keep a positive attitude while raising Brady. I chose to shut her out in life and in death. Perhaps the former was a mistake but the only way I could cope.

 I know intellectually that addiction/alcoholism is a disease that can be kept at bay with a solid 12-step program. However, lying must cease in order to keep the soul clean and stay sober. It was something my daughter couldn't do and why I was so scared when she lied to us, knowing that she probably wouldn't stay clean for long. It was almost a relief when she was taken. Of course, this thought perpetuated my guilt.

Recently, I've come face to face with the devil, again, concerning people who aren't directly in my life but who are part of my extended family. My Al-anon attitude towards them remains strong but I'm finding my heart softening towards my daughter. I wish she could have done better and I wish I had been a mother to her during her difficult time. Instead, I was a mother to her son. I wish I could have done both.

I just watched the movie, "Flight" and it opened my eyes. I could feel how baffling alcoholism and drug addiction is. I could feel my daughter's struggle. I was sorry for feeling so cold towards her when I thought about her drug-use and wreckage, instead of trying to embrace her goodness and sweetness that abundantly filled her soul when drugs weren't present. At least, I've been able to share the good things about Jaime with Brady. Perhaps, even in death, I can now be her mother. I miss her.

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