Dear Internet -
It has been 1 year, 2 months and 3 days since my last post. I wish I had an excuse for neglecting you, but I don't. It has been both an amazing year as well as a painful one. My oldest son got married in July! The wedding was on Maui and the trip was amazing! It was the first family vacation we have had in years and I think a part of me knows it will most likely be our last.That is why I did everything I could to make it happen. No regrets and the memories from those 10 days on the islands will last a lifetime. I took Juan and the boys to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and showed them where my grandparents' ashes are kept. We also went to Pearl Harbor and explored the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. We were all deeply impressed. I especially, since they have made it into a great experience and history lesson since I had visited last as a child. Earlier in the year Jacob and I went to a Stanley Cup Playoff Game 7, which we have never done before. Of course, we lost, which sucks balls, but we can now say we went to a Game 7! The four of us went to a Giants game earlier in the season, which was the first time any of us had been to a game at AT&T park and the Giants even won! I went to the inaugural 49ers game at Levi's Stadium, which again was quite an experience even though we lost that game too.
However, all the while...
For years my son Alex has been headed down a bad path. It started when he was about 13 or 14 when he started shoplifting. Since that time he has made choices for himself that did nothing but set himself up for failure. He used alcohol and marijuana regularly, began stealing to pay for these choices and never looked back. He didn't graduate from high school, he spent time in drug counseling, juvenile hall, court ordered drug rehab and now most recently in jail. Real jail. He has been there since August 16th. We have a lawyer who is building the best case for him in order to enter a plea deal, but it is a long process and he has been in a county correctional facility this whole time. He is facing two strikes as he had another charge earlier in the summer that was never filed by the D.A., but because of the second incident (both burglary charges), the D.A. has decided to file charges from the first arrest and pile it on top of this one. He is only 19 years old.
Compounded by this is my youngest son who went through a devastating injury to his left knee while skateboarding about 6 weeks ago. His passion is skateboarding. It is who he is and it is how he defines himself. Unlike his older brother, he chose a positive, life affirming path with unlimited potential. Until now. That day he was at a spot that he and his friends frequent often and he attempted a huge jump off a large set of stairs. His body landed one way and his knee went the other. He tore nearly all his ligaments (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL) and his meniscus. His orthopedist (who works with professional athletes including professional skaters) said it was the worst skating injury he has ever seen and that he was lucky he didn't lose his leg because of it. He just had his second surgery last week and is recovering nicely, but he will never be the same again. He will be able to walk and have a normal life, but he will never be able to skate (absorb the type of impact) at the level he was able to before the injury.
So, as this is all going on.... you can imagine the bills are piling up and I feel like I am spinning deeper and deeper into debt. I am overwhelmed. I am exhausted. I can't find a happy place in my mind to go to when I have a moment's peace. I am haunted. I am hurt. I am broken.
A part of me has just checked out. That part that doesn't want to deal with the pain but only wants to deny it, ease it, suffocate it. Dealing with the pain means accepting things for what they are, and let's be honest, I've never been great at that. I will do anything to waive off pain, waive off reality until it subsides on its own but is never truly gone.
Writing has always been very cathartic for me, so maybe just getting this all out will give me some peace or at least help me reconcile some of the broken pieces. As usual internet, you have been great. Thank you for this forum and for the opportunity to come back and write again.