A decade is ending tonight and a new year will start, another year that Derek doesn’t get to be in.
I wonder where this journey will take me in 2020; I feel like I’m ready to move forward. Ready to open Derek’s Place and help all of those kids that are like Derek, someone else’s kids. Kids that are lost and feel like they aren’t deserving of anyone’s love, kids that want so much to be free of their demons and to experience true happiness.
Ready to help the Mommas of those kids, the ones whose child is still alive and fighting this disease and the ones whose child has died to this tragic disease. I want them to know that they aren’t alone and that it’s important to feel ALL of the feelings, that it’s important to take care of themselves no matter what.
I’m meeting with one of those Mommas today, one that lost her son, in November, to a heroin overdose. She asked me last night, “does it get easier”? I had to tell her no it doesn’t get easier it just gets different. I didn’t tell her this but I was thinking how could it get easier to live without one of your children? No it doesn’t get easier but we learn, we learn to survive and make our way through a world without our child.
I made it through Derek’s birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas and although I am not in the Holiday spirit I made the best of it. I thought about Derek, a lot, and I laughed with my Girls and my grandkids. It seems like every laugh is followed by sadness because I feel like, somehow, I’m not being true to Derek’s memory if I laugh or experience any kind of happiness. I know that isn’t true, I know that Derek only wants me to be happy.
I think back over the last 721 days and I know that I am so much better than I was on day 90 or day 259. I struggled and I cried and I was angry and I isolated it was awful and I know that I will still struggle and cry and isolate and be angry but those days will be less and I will know that it won’t last forever, that I will make it through. I will make it through because there is no other option for me.
Am I done grieving? Absolutely not, I will grieve for my Son until my last breath, but I am in a different phase of my grief right now and I’ll take it! I’m still so sad that Derek doesn’t get to experience his life as a recovering addict, that he doesn’t get to see his Sons grow up, that he doesn’t get to get married and I’m sad that I’m going into another year that he doesn’t get to live in with me and it’s ok to be sad, I know that.
In 2020 I’m going to try so hard to find joy and happiness, I think I’ll find that at Derek’s Place. I think that it’s going to make me very happy to see our members thriving and learning how to love themselves and to accept love from other people. I’m also going to try really hard to be better at self care and self love, it’s easy to tell other people how important it is and I believe that it is but it’s hard to practice it on myself! Always has been. I want to change that in the new year. I have all of this love, for Derek, inside of me that I want to share with our members and I need to learn how to give it to myself too!
So, I may not know what 2020 has in store for me but I’m not going to just sit back and let things happen; I’m going to MAKE things happen!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!