“A Re-Share of a Heart Breaking Mother Who’s Son is an Addict, my Good Friend and Advocate Sandy Swenson” . . . .
The Joey Song by Sandy Swenson . . .
Once a year.
I hold you tight, my son. Probably too tight, but I need the strength of my love to soak into your soul, and my arms must absorb the love I know you have for me. I memorize this moment.
As you grew from boy to man, child to addict, I had to let go of the things I could not change and the things that weren’t mine to control (after trying for so long to change and control them). I had to let go before the ugly words and behaviors slithering in on the underbelly of addiction did irreparable damage to the relationship that had once been so good. Or killed the boy I was trying to save.
My love is all I have left to give you.
(That, and one too-tight hug for each of the past seven April’s.)
I hold you tight, my son. Wrapping you in my arms, I feel the power of our dusty bond. A silent exchange of hope and strength and eternalness, of a love that has been bruised but never broken. I kiss your cheek, leaving a lip-sticky mom mark, and now, again, I must let you go. I open my arms — empty but now full — arms which will keep you snug and close to my heart, until next time. Next year.
In letting go of you, Joey, I’m holding on tight to so much.
In letting go of you, I’m letting you know that I believe in you. I believe you will find your way back.
Once a year.
I’m keeping your place warm.
Letting Go is NOT the same thing as giving up . . .
Enter to win one of ten signed copies of The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/135217-the-joey-song-a-mother-s-story-of-her-son-s-addiction
About My Beautiful Friend, Sandy Swenson:
“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” -Maya Angelou
“There’s only so much parents can do to shape their children’s lives. Sandra Swenson learned that the hard way, when one of her two sons followed the straight and narrow—while the other spiraled into addiction.”
Sandy Swenson is the mother of two sons—one of whom is an alcoholic and drug addict. The Joey Song chronicles her journey through the place where love and addiction meet.
A vagabond since college, Sandy found community service opportunities wherever she moved. Between unpacking boxes, hanging curtains, and figuring out where her kids would attend school, Sandy volunteered as a first grade teacher in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia; co-founded a volunteer group dedicated to providing life-altering medical care to orphans in India; and photographed cleft surgery patients for Operation Smile in Dharamsala.
As a member of the Junior Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase, Sandy created the Bistro Boyz – a program in which she and a team of Bistro Galz meet weekly with young men from the National Center for Children and Families’ Greentree Adolescent Program to plan menus, budget, grocery shop, cook, and share meals together. In 2012, the National Center for Children and Families awarded the Junior Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase the Spirit Award for Humanitarian Advocacy.
In both 2011 and 2012 the Maryland Federation of Women’s Clubs awarded the Bistro Boyz program the Advocates for Children Award. And, in 2013 the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs — the largest philanthropic women’s organization in the world — nominated the Bistro Boyz program for their International Advocates for Children Award to be awarded in June.
Sandy loves to garden, read and travel, and enjoys every moment spent with her son Rick, a recent graduate from American University in Washington, D.C. Sandy now lives in Austin, Texas.
**I hope you will stop by and visit Sandy at her helpful blog, as she pours her heart onto the posts she shares there. I can tell you that all she has been through with having a son who is an addict, she never gives up HOPE**
GOD BLESS ALL!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author/Recovery Advocate