Wednesday, March 28, 2012

the break that can't be unbroken

Not to be overly-dramatic (because, you know, we keep it so light around here) but when your child is a drug addict who cannot be trusted, ever day is an opportunity for a little more heartache. You learn, eventually, not to trust the good times. But, even with heart-break being an ongoing part of our new-normal, some moments stand out.

Dad said across from me at the table. Small talk strained. I wanted to know about their recent vacation. He wanted to avoid looking me in the eye. Mom puttered in my kitchen, avoiding us altogether for the moment. Finally he just came out with it "we have to have a hard conversation." I knew.

I didn't ask what the conversation was about. I asked what The Oldest had stolen while they were away. Some booze. A Nintendo DS. Dad's 1976 Montreal Olympics coin collection.

Mom's engagement and wedding rings.

That can't be right. They must just be misplaced. Their 50th anniversary is this fall - surely the rings will be there.

Only I know it's true. In my heart. It's all true. And terrible. And undeniable.

They'd brought his stuff down with them, at least what they could easily find. There was another box in the attic of the garage they'd find and bring the next week.

And then my heart truly broke - until this moment it had all been just facts. But that tearing sigh from across the table was what did it. My dad said, through tears, that he couldn't be the one to report The Oldest to the police. My mom said, through tears, that they'd already had the locks changed on the doors and The Oldest wasn't welcome at their house until he gets real help.

They've tried. This is the second time he's gone to live with them to try to start fresh. This is the second time he's stolen from them, though we don't know for sure what he took the first time. Other jewelry, most likely. Maybe some tools. Anything portable and pawnable.

They love The Oldest almost as much as I do. That's the real heartbreak. Maybe it'd be easier if we didn't love so fiercely.
Scintilla Prompt

Talk about breaking someone else's heart, or having your own heart broken.


  1. My heart breaks for you all. We have addiction in our family, and it tears me up to see how the pain caused by one person ripples through all of the layers of our family.

    1. Thanks, Brandee. Addiction is such a multi-headed monster. I'm sorry that you've had to deal with it as well.