Monday, March 3, 2008

Finding freedom in prison

What happened to February? It’s a real blur to me. The cross-country move during January, in a U-Haul and towing my car, went off without a hitch. We were blessed with fair weather and no mechanical problems all 2,300 miles—phew!

Then things went sideways. Just one day after arriving, my son was to have been taken into custody to begin serving time for his involvement in unlawful activity about a year ago. We thought, then everyone will be able to get on with life.

But as often happens in the justice system, a delay occurred and he had the opportunity to be “free” for another month.

That took us deep into the pit of his addiction. I was ready to dial 911 more than once. I had to choose: would I be the one to determine which day would be his last day of "freedom"?

The drama dragged on. Living under the same roof, I set my boundaries, went to a Nar-anon meeting and read literature that helped me keep my priorities straight. Harder to accept than the damaged walls and broken possessions was seeing my son imprisoned by the drug that had captured his mind and body.

Today, he’s in protective custody—in a cell 23 hours of the day, sometimes with cellmates and sometimes not. For the past ten days he’s been detoxing, reading, thinking. I could hear the difference in his voice over the phone, and then I visited with him yesterday.

Today, he is free. Without the drug, his body may be imprisoned but his mind is now free to move ahead to the future. Envisioning the kind of husband and father he wants desperately to be for his family. The kind of committed, diligent employee and future business owner he sees himself to be.

Overcoming addiction isn’t usually an easy process. It may not be an easy transition.

But I’m grateful, proud and hopeful that he is taking the first steps. Steps he’s never really taken before. As he put it, he is going to change all the things he needs to in order to become a different person and he’s going to ask God to change the rest.

That’s my prayer today too.

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