She Was High...


I watched as she tried to wrap her hands around the child that was her own. Her love for him was obvious, but so was her self-hatred. Can both actually co-exist? I am not sure, but I know what I saw. I looked into the eyes of the boy who was about 5 years old. There was an emptiness that lie there. An emptiness coupled with an advanced understanding that surrounded his life. This understanding is something that most of us will never know. His distant soul look was telling me a story I could not ignore. It is the story of a young man being raised by a mother on crack. The drug has eaten away at her existence and “cracked” the inner being of her child.

I was at the hospital with my own son as we prepared for his eye surgery, when she entered the room. It was evident that she cared for him as she WAS attending to his health needs by having him there. However, I knew the signs...Having lost my closest and dearest friend to this very addiction has offered my the unfortunate understanding of what it was I was seeing. This mother outstretched her hands and offered her love to her son. He stood in confusion, unclear of what was expected of him. He did not welcome this attempt at embracing his physical being. He remained frozen, unchanged, and distant. I felt the pain in his heart pierce through me. It was clear that this was not a familiar occurrence. His mother was forced to be in the presence of her son for an extended amount of time due to the fact that we all had to wait in this tiny room until the name of our child was announced. Her discomfort was excruciating. I squirmed as I watched her. Her quickness to agitation was undeniable. Her “need” was obvious as her eyes reflected the those of a trapped wild animal. She needed to get out of this place.

I watched as she uncomfortably tried to socialize with the others in the room, her son included. A social misfit is what I observed. A woman strung out on the evils of life. She twitched and twitched and talked loudly as though she thought this would somehow cover her DIS-Ease. I wanted to reach out to her, to embrace her pain, but I sat silent, unwilling to disturb the obvious. Ashamed of my own lack of assertiveness. What could I do? Was there anything I could contribute to the life of this CRACK addicted mother? What could I lend her in her moment of despair?

They FINALLY called my sons name. It was our turn to face our own situation . He and I...ALONE. We, too, were dealing with our own pain. His father never came, never called, never cared. I was hurting for my own child. This is a pain that no words can describe. However, be it as it may, my child was smiling, that kind of smile that lights up the room. He was brave and unchanging, happy I was there with him, his guide.

I was sent to the waiting room until his surgery was completed. I watched couple after couple, family after family supporting and loving one another through their own personal situations. I tried to be strong for me and for my son. After all, I am STRENGTH...so I march on...It was here that I saw that same young mother. Her child must have been called just after mine. It was a room full of families and me and the “crack” addicted mother. She was only there for a brief moment as I saw her scurry out of the hospital; clearly relieved to be set free from her trapped environment. She left the building with the trust that her son would be in good hands...away she went. I prayed for her. I prayed for her son. I prayed for me. I prayed for my son. In an eerie way, we somehow coexist...

My son and I arrived home, stronger, braver and with a greater connection than yesterday. I won't soon forget this mother and her child or any of the mother's that suffer this addiction. I just simply will not...