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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Part One: What do you do when the daughter you cherish follows an unimagineable path?

I'm the mother of a drug addict. There, I've said it.
Now what?
I stare at her five year old picture, taken over three decades ago.  She wears a lace white broad brimmed hat--mine.
Jewelry, collected from her grandmother's and my drawers, hangs 'round her little neck against the blue flowered pattern and white linen bib of a favorite party dress. One hand rests in the other showing the array of colored plastic bracelets, more than ten, on her right arm.
Her long brown hair frames a chubby cheeked child who we adore. Her green eyes look camera right. The future awaits. 

The future her father and I hoped for, however, is not the future she chose.

Fashion, in all shades, shapes and sizes, she loved. The clothes, the designers, the fabrics, the shoes, the clients, that world engulfed her. And she drank it in every step of the way. 
Working at a nearby mall, she started out as a greeter in a small boutique until her sales abilities took her up the ladder while attending a private catholic high school. Later, she attended FIDM and worked hard graduating Cum Laude.
Working in one high end boutique after another until she started her own clothing line drove her creative passion.
Choices in men created diversions some for the better, some for the worse.  Yet she survived never losing her love for selling, styling and making clients happy.
A layoff changed her direction at first.  The need to survive enabled her own line creation, but that road was fraught with stumbles when one season she had buyers and then the next season she had none.
More work in more small high end boutiques continued. She always outgrew them and ended up in a more corporate controlled boutique with hopes of moving up within that structure.  She did and she didn't.

Throughout this journey, drugs became an easy go to.  Following college, she stomped through her twenties and her behavior fueled by Marijuana, Ecstasy, Cocaine, changed her.  We never knew who or what to expect at family gatherings.  She still managed to keep her job and keep her sales figures high, high, high.
We stopped communicating with her as her drug dependency fashioned a stranger we no longer recognized.
A year later her father was diagnosed with a cancer no one knew much about and there was not treatment nor cure.
We called her back to our home since we weren't sure how long my husband had left.

That was a mistake. . . .


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