An old friend from high school was in town and she called and asked if we could get together. She had not been back to her hometown in 20 years. I almost canceled because I did not want to lie about what my son was doing with his life. Then I gave myself a good swift kick and said: I will not let him ruin this for me! and I am glad I did.
I need not have worried she was interested in anything I had to share but wasn’t overly nosy in the least. We actually hugged and cried when we saw each other…which is so not like me. I think I missed her and her I but neither one of us realized it until we laid eyes on each other. It was like we took up our friendship right where we left off…Do you know that feeling? Like 20 years hadn’t passed….like I had talked to her yesterday.
We took a little tour around town and visited the schools we attended and the lake we swam at. She was also my neighbor so we went back to our old neighborhood and looked at the houses we grew up in. Why is that always such a blast? It is ridiculously nostalgic and lovely all at the same time. We went to dinner at a delicious Italian Restaurant…per her request. Apparently you can’t get good Italian food, pizza or bagels in the midwest…oh or Taylor Ham. Who knew?
We talked, laughed and shared pictures. I love showing pictures of my children…they really are so beautiful and I am not just saying that cause I am their mom. They really are exceptional, no really I swear. LOL She asked about each of my children and when we got to J, I told her what I felt comfortable sharing. I said my smart little boy was all grown up but college was not for him. I told her he worked for a landscaper and hubby and I were patiently waiting for J to figure out what he wanted out of his life. She nodded her head and looked at me with understanding. I almost wanted to ask her what did she see when she looked into my eyes? Am I really that good at hiding things or am I not fooling anyone? I don’t want to know the answer to that. Lie to me, I promise I’ll believe.
I am not sure if she sensed my despair or my inability or willingness to elaborate but we just seamlessly moved on to another subject. I just could not do it. I could not tell her my son was a very sick young man, that he was an addict. Or that I live most of my life with this terrible guilt, pain and shame. I am not sure I will ever be able to do that.
My parents are flying in tonight to attend a funeral for my Uncle. I wonder what they will see when they look in my eyes or when they look in J’s eyes? When J is clean I can look in his eyes and see all the way down to that beautiful soul that resides inside him. When he is “using” it is like his eyes are cast with a dark shadow that makes everything murky. I can’t see that boy…my boy.