May 16, 2008

Light in the Darkness

I really don’t have the emotional strength to detail what’s gone on with my son Ben in the past two weeks. He is now at a wilderness camp for defiant teens. He did not want to go. But this is how he closed his first letter that came to us today:
My sweet boy is emerging again. I cannot tell you what this means to Abe and me. My tears now are of thanks and joy. He is not lost to us. He is not lost to himself.

There will be trials when he returns home next month, of that I have no doubt. But Abe and I are taking a class too, designed to help us communicate the love we have for Ben in a way that he hears it. We have a lot of work to do.

Our friends and colleagues have really rallied around us to provide emotional support. You have been gracious in your support, too. By not trying to hide what’s been happening, we have received tremendous help which led to finding this treatment camp. The volunteers who work with me at my church have stepped up to take some of my responsibilities as my focus changed to dealing with Ben. A benefactor who wants to remain anonymous has offered to help a little with the huge debt we have undertaken.

I am overwhelmed with the kindness of the people in my sphere. We have received help even when we didn’t ask. It is such a testament of the potential for goodness in people when we are inundated with negative examples daily in the media. God has blessed us in ways we never anticipated.

Ben was and continues to be a gift to us, and we’ve told him so. May he gain some answers in the quest he is on now.

Next: Open Hearts, Open Plains


somewhere joe said...

Robes, rings, the fatted calf! ,oD Perhaps just the first step, of many, on the rocky road home, but I raise a glass of 'cabinet' with you dear bird in honor of this ray of sunshine. Tink!

Greg said...

Birdie, I've been lax in visiting, but thrilled to start back with this post! Those beautiful words on the page must've brought tears to your eyes as they did to mine!

Best of luck as you continue onward!

bigislandjeepguy said...

i'm sending LOTS of aloha your way!

Java said...

It is amazing what a seemingly simple sentence like that can do to heal a broken heart, a heart and a trust that has been broken by other words and actions from this source. I pray for Ben that he does indeed receive the succor he needs to get back to himself, and for you and Abe to effectively communicate with him.

Bill said...

Prayers for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I have a gigantic lump in my throat reading this! I'm so happy for you for this moment in time. I'll keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

I hope this all works out for you Birdie. I agree that your best move was to 'not' hide this, but to face it head on.

BigAssBelle said...

what a wonderful thing. i don't know how old your Ben is, or anything about you, having been moved to visit by reading your beautiful words out in the blogosphere.

i will spend more time here as i sense you are a kindred spirit in many ways.

but let me say this as one who has lived with and worked with and experienced addiction for much of my life: life is hope. sometimes with young people, all we can do is keep them alive until . . . until they wake up, get some sense, have that moment of clarity.

it sounds like your Ben had one of those irreplaceable moments when he connected with the heartwrenching love you have for him.

when my two brilliant, talented, creative, troubled nephews were 16 and 17, they were deeply involved in drugs and drinking heavily. as a recovering person, i talked with them at length and they ultimately went into treatment ~ one did so twice.

they are now in their 30s, living wonderful lives, untroubled by addiction but better people, maybe, for having survived that.

i hope so with your Ben too.