Two kids left to talk about, so two more days for this proud mom to use her bragging rights! Today is “J”’s day. Actually, let’s refer to him as “JN”. You see, we have two “J”’s, so the next one you’ll meet tomorrow. I also gave “JN” the heads up that I would be talking about him. He wasn’t worried about what I would say either, so once again, I’ve been privileged with the liberty to share. His comment was that the last time I shared about him, it helped someone and helping people is where “JN’s” heart is at. That post was titled, “My Grown Up Christmas Gift”, if you care to take a peek.
“JN” is my 3rd born, who also made his way into this world by C-section. He too, was over 9lbs. at birth. He was born right after Thanksgiving that year and was introduced to the public in his debut as baby Jesus in our small town church Christmas play. I waited backstage, holding my breath as the guy playing Joseph held “JN” high over his head for all to see. It was a proud moment, but did Joseph really have to hold my baby boy up in the air that high???
It was very evident from the beginning that “JN” was a deep thinker. His gaze was piercing as he watched the people around him. He would wrinkle up his tiny forehead and stare into people’s eyes, as if he could read their minds and interpret their thoughts. It was pretty wild! I would love to have been able to know what was going on in that little brain at the time.
“JN” got lots of attention, too! He was born ten years after his big brother and sister, who were very happy to have a new baby around. So when “JN” wanted held or fed, his wishes were granted pretty much immediately. Thankfully, “JN” was spared from having to endure the drama of child abuse that his older siblings had gone through in my previous marriages. I’d say he had a pretty sweet life in those early years.
Things began to take a turn though as “JN” was nearing the end of the elementary school days. He started to develop some health issues which resulted in lots of doctor visits, biopsies, surgery, medications and hospitalizations. One of his doctors was a specialist who was writing a text book at the time and because “JN”’s condition was so rare for a child, he was going to refer to his case in his textbook. I don’t know if his case ever made the cut or not, but I thought it was interesting. Maybe a student or another child was helped even then by “JN”. Needless to say, no parent wants to have their child undergo this kind of trauma. I’m sure “JN” doesn’t have fond memories of this season in his life.
The season that followed doesn’t contain fond memories for “JN” either. He would be able to tell his story much better than I. I really only know the story from the parent’s side. The years that followed were the very painful years of addiction. “JN” missed all of the normal fun of the teenage years. Instead he learned the tough existence of drugs, the streets and dark alleyways. He had times of wanting to be clean and would check in to a rehab program, but it seemed he was caught in a vicious cycle of rehab and relapse. These were nightmare years for all of us.
Maybe you think I’m a horrible mother for sharing this story with the world. I might be that in your eyes, but I’m not in the eyes of my son. I’m a mother who is proud of her son. He’s clean now and he has been for a year and a half. He’s been taking college courses, getting good grades, he lives on his own and he’s kept a full time job. “JN” is intelligent, caring and obviously a fighter. He’s still that deep thinker, too, and what he thinks most about is helping other people. He goes to AA meetings, shares his story and sponsors others who are still struggling to be free.
No one knows the depths of the hell he went through in all of this, except for him. For me to try to explain to you how hard he had to fight to get to where he is now would be a waste of space, because no matter how descriptive I get with my words, I couldn’t even begin to touch what he’s experienced. So I’ll leave that story for him to tell. What I will say is, if you are one who struggles with alcohol or addiction, why not visit one of those AA meetings. You might run into my “JN”. He’ll be the first to tell you, there is hope, there is help and there is healing. You too can be free!
So “JN”, hear your momma loud and clear today, I’m super proud of you and I love you with all of my heart!
“Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.” – Susan Gale