Part One: The end of the beginning
We were told only to dress warmly. The guides provided Brawny Man snow boots and gloves. They gathered the eight anxious and emotionally worn families, assured us that we would have “fun” and we headed out.
In knee-deep snow, I quickly found a cadence that allowed myself to navigate the loose powder like a gazelle, prancing over a billowy blanket. The scenery can only be described as Mother Nature at her finest meets…..Fargo.
Ahead of us, the pristine, untouched snow represented the hope and dreams of every person on that trip. By simply looking behind us, our footsteps and the wrecked, demolition of nature in our wake represented why we were on this adventure, in the first place.
For fifteen minutes we trudged, Jordan and Larkin at my sides, we were already giggling. “Where are they taking us?” Joshua walked ahead with his new friends. I thought to myself, “He’s only know these guys for 30 days and they know everything about each other.” Then, I realized, “Hell, I’ve just met these other parents 4 days ago and I will remember them forever.” Let’s just say, you really get to know folks pretty quickly in a “group” setting.
What a week. Starting the New Year, 2013, in Montana. At a young men’s rehab facility. What was it, that Dr. Seuss said? Ah, yes…”Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”
Larkin and I were not blind sighted by our son’s addiction to prescription pills. Addiction runs loyal and deep on the male side of our family. Hello? Remember my brother-in-law’s book? (And yes, he is named after his uncle.)
Still, you’re really never prepared to watch your child pour out his heart, declare his failures and share his darkest secrets in a big circle of strangers under fluorescent lighting.
I had never been to any kind of group therapy/meeting. I had always said my last name when I met new people and I most certainly had never heard my name echoed right back to me, by a room full of people who looked exactly how I felt. Heartbroken, terrified and clueless.
We were all shell-shocked families gathering in a warm cabin, remarkably sharing the same story. We were all the same. Sure, different backgrounds, different settings. But, we all had the same questions burned into our eyes, written all … Read the rest