This time in our lives is probably the hardest to write about because not only was this the happiest and most healing time but also a time of deep heartache….
So I hit my bottom – I just sort of fell apart, stopped functioning, and removed myself from life…I spent many hours wondering the property looking for answers, the thing is – they came, the answers, they came slowly but they came! I called my counselor, and started back to meetings…I would like to say here that I was very fortunate to have Rusty and my family be so supportive and wonderful and that not everyone is able to just stop! We really had to scrape by for awhile without my income and we had debt to pay off…I remember times in the grocery store when Rusty and I had $20.00 for the week and had to buy dog food too! Honestly some of my most joyful memories when we were eating beans and rice for awhile….It did not take long before we got into a great routine, and I loved being home with the kids, although by now you were pretty much running amuck! You were running away, stealing and the police were at the house quite often…I tried to reconnect with you but really you were already gone, involved with another family and friends who you felt apart of…I was called when you stole from Starters and the courts made you do community service – remember, I had to drive you early in the morning and pick you back up in the evening. You did not graduate from High School and Rusty even took you to Job Core where you signed up and joined – it would have been so wonderful for you, as they job train you, fed you, and helped you get your GED not to mention paid for medical and dental, but alas you could not stay you ran away from their too….Drugs and alcohol became your family and friends, you met heroin and then there were times when I would not hear from you for months, once for almost a year. Jails and institutions became your home…For me this was an amazing time of healing I was learning about my addictions and learning how to set boundaries, that I did not need to say Yes to everything and everybody…I was working everyday outside on the property and I loved it! I loved working with the trees and learning about everything! Reef was thriving in this environment I was like a sponge, soaking up knowledge, I learned crafts, I quit smoking, Rusty even built a store to put my crafts in and we started to sell Christmas trees to the public with the little store open, it was an amazing time. I was sponsoring women and really learning that the only person you can change is you and that acceptance really is life changing. For the first time in my life I loved me! Rusty, Reef and I started family night where we began reading “teaching your children values” To this day it was one of my most favorite books….Rusty worked on his contractor’s license, he studied and passed!!! Money started to come in and we began to go on trips, I had so much fun on these trips I had real JOY for the first time in my life, but always the sadness of you my son, and what would become of you? I was also learning that your journey was yours, not mine that you were an adult making your own choices. My job now - to be an example, to be what I have learned, to give what has been given…
My life was once again changed when Rusty was diagnosed with Melanoma, stage 4 – our life, from that day in August of 2004 until the day he died, December 25th 2007, was all about saying goodbye with dignity and love! So here we are now, both of our lives upturned and downturned I have survived, grown, and am thriving – you can too!