Over the past year I've met a number of other women like me with incarcerated, drug addicted sons. Except for Lou whom I met at our recovery meeting, the other mothers and I met at the Jail/Prison letter writing ministry and today they were also part of the volunteers that helped host today's party. As the day would allow, there were small pockets of conversations taking place as people had moments to catch up with someone they knew or meet a new friend they were working with.
I got a present of my own, too! Looking around from time to time I did a double take more than once noticing Cliff engaged in conversations with some of the other women who've walked in my shoes. Seeing Cliff in these moments sent a surge of gratefulness and pride through my veins that I hadn't anticipated at all. Cliff agreed to volunteer today when asked by others, not by me. Love it. He worked hard and well and was always visible among the workers. Not once did someone ask me if I'd seen Cliff in the last 15 - 30 minutes nor was he MIA once today. Love it more. Cliff stayed after the party (when I went home) to help break down the event and reset the room for tomorrow's services. Love it lots.
Mostly, I really, really loved seeing Cliff speaking to the other mothers. He looks so clean and healthy and is making choices and working a program that allows him to stay in the day that I'm sure it is giving hope to the other mothers. My friends, Lou, Harriet, Cindy and Mary Kay, all beautiful mothers looked at Cliff with encouragement and pride instead of sideways glances that used to come Cliff's way in his prior life. The gift of a clean and healthy Cliff is the best gift I'll get this year and for many more to come.
On my knees night after night, I continue to pray for Cliff's choices of recovery and believing for the day of seeing four other healthy, clean men in our midst.
I choose to believe.
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