Monday, November 10, 2008

An email response from my son

It has been three days since I've heard my son's voice. I knew that I was taking a high risk, when I sent him an email. In general, it's easier for women to express their feelings than it is for men. I did not expect for my son to write back...or, if he did, that it would be a long response.

His silence always makes me worry. Yesterday, I turned on the local channel that broadcasts the pastor at my church. It was a message that we had heard many months ago, but I was hearing it as though it was fresh. Pastor was talking about how we react when people don't meet our expectations. That made me stop and think--

What are my expectations of my son? His addiction turned my hopes for him upside down. I had hoped that my son would go to college. I expected him to live with me, while he did that. He has such a passion for golf, that I encouraged him to pursue that. I never expected that my son's life would be one in that I wake up each morning, praying that he is safe and that he's not using drugs.

I also find myself wondering if I have met my son's expectations? Does he focus on my flaws? Have I done things to him that he cannot forgive? Does he truly understand that no matter what disappointment I feel about his choices, that I still love him very much?

I have asked myself what it is that would realistically give me peace about my son's addiction. I would have to say that my prayer is that he would find peace with himself and a daily relationship with God. Sometimes, I wonder what it's like to be inside of his head. My guess is that there's a lot of "chaos". I recall the burden of having debt and not enough income to make ends meet. I struggled with that for many years, and it was hard to find a sense of peace. For my son, he also has to deal with his addiction-- the constant tempation to "use". Addiction costs money, and he's spent a lot of it on that.

I pray that my son could find peace with himself. He has so many wonderful qualities! He's intelligent. He's personable. He has a very loving heart.

Today, I should have been waking up in San Francisco and spending the entire day with my son. I'm not there. Instead, I am at home and I am thinking of my son. I prayed about it, and I decided to give my son time away from me because I need to let him figure out some things on his own.

This morning, I got an email from my son. Actually, they are the lyrics to a song from Tupac. My son feels a connection to Rap Music. I don't like it, because of the language and the culture behind it. When I see the music videos from famous rappers, I see the materialism and immorality that is being glorified to our youths. It breaks my heart and my son knows it. I know the story of Tupac and I also know that he was shot and killed because of his lifestyle. So, I read the lyrics very carefully. I understand what my son is trying to tell me-- he is trying to tell me that he does appreciate me. That gives me comfort. I just don't want my son's life to end up in the street culture. I don't want my son's life to end like Tupac's. Tupac's life and death has become a legacy of loyal followers. He is seen as a brilliant poet and lyric writer. I can't see the glory in that. I can certainly see the pain in it.

My son has not done anything to me that would change my love for him. I believe that he can come back to living an abundant life-- one that God promises to all his children who love Him and who seek to live the way that Jesus came to teach us. My son doesn't have to pay me back-- my payback would be to see him have a successful recovery and to live an abundant life for God's glory.

So, here are the lyrics:

"Dear Mama"

You are appreciated

[Verse One: 2Pac]

When I was young me and my mama had beef
Seventeen years old kicked out on the streets
Though back at the time, I never thought I'd see her face
Ain't a woman alive that could take my mama's place
Suspended from school; and scared to go home, I was a fool
with the big boys, breakin all the rules
I shed tears with my baby sister
Over the years we was poorer than the other little kids
And even though we had different daddy's, the same drama
When things went wrong we'd blame mama
I reminice on the stress I caused, it was hell
Huggin on my mama from a jail cell
And who'd think in elementary?
Heeey! I see the penitentiary, one day
And runnin from the police, that's right
Mama catch me, put a whoopin to my backside
And even as a crack fiend, mama
You always was a black queen, mama
I finally understand
for a woman it ain't easy tryin to raise a man
You always was committed
A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how ya did it
There's no way I can pay you back
But the plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated

[Chorus: Reggie Green & "Sweet Franklin" w/ 2Pac]

Don't cha know we love ya? Sweet lady
Dear mama
Place no one above ya, sweet lady
You are appreciated
Don't cha know we love ya?

[second and third chorus, "And dear mama" instead of "Dear mama"]

[Verse Two: 2Pac]

Now ain't nobody tell us it was fair
No love from my daddy cause the coward wasn't there
He passed away and I didn't cry, cause my anger
wouldn't let me feel for a stranger
They say I'm wrong and I'm heartless, but all along
I was lookin for a father he was gone
I hung around with the Thugs, and even though they sold drugs
They showed a young brother love
I moved out and started really hangin
I needed money of my own so I started slangin
I ain't guilty cause, even though I sell rocks
It feels good puttin money in your mailbox
I love payin rent when the rent's due
I hope ya got the diamond necklace that I sent to you
Cause when I was low you was there for me
And never left me alone because you cared for me
And I could see you comin home after work late
You're in the kitchen tryin to fix us a hot plate
Ya just workin with the scraps you was given
And mama made miracles every Thanksgivin
But now the road got rough, you're alone
You're tryin to raise two bad kids on your own
And there's no way I can pay you back
But my plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated


[Verse Three: 2Pac]

Pour out some liquor and I reminsce, cause through the drama
I can always depend on my mama
And when it seems that I'm hopeless
You say the words that can get me back in focus
When I was sick as a little kid
To keep me happy there's no limit to the things you did
And all my childhood memories
Are full of all the sweet things you did for me
And even though I act craaazy
I gotta thank the Lord that you made me
There are no words that can express how I feel
You never kept a secret, always stayed real
And I appreciate, how you raised me
And all the extra love that you gave me
I wish I could take the pain away
If you can make it through the night there's a brighter day
Everything will be alright if ya hold on
It's a struggle everyday, gotta roll on
And there's no way I can pay you back
But my plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated


Sweet lady
And dear mama

Dear mama
Lady [3X]

1 comment: said...

it's a Horrible life
So your loved one had a truama in their lives. Maybe you experienced that trauma as well, but not in the same way. You are you and so you cant be sure that you know what it was like for them. Now their killing themselves to escape the pain that has never been eased, possibly right in front of you. Do you feel their pain, or do you think they want to inflict pain against you? Maybe they lash out and in their most desperate moments they really do want you to suffer, but not because they are cruel or hateful really. Yes they want you to feel their pain, not because they enjoy causing it, but because bearing it alone is enough to drive them to self-destruction for escape. Misery does love company, in fact misery loves any distraction from itself. You resent this person who hasn't coped with their fear or mania or whatever negative emotion they have in the way that you would or did. You are not them. Dont treat them like they are; like they shouldn't be hurt. Let's say on life's battlefield you and this loved one stood on ridge under fire. You see a deadly projectile hurtling toward you both and dive for cover assuming that he/she sees and hears it to. She/He was born with different sight and cant hear in the same way either. Those born with sight and hearing should not expect those who were not, to react as if they were. Perhaps in the resulting explosion you were hurt as well, but atleast while you lie in your recovery bed you can recall precisely what happened; you know what caused your pain and know you will avoid all other projectiles, but your loved one does not have this clarity. Not knowing what struck, or why and from where, your loved one can only assume that pain strikes without any warning at all and for no conclusive reason. Now you may say war is hell for all, but you dont know fear untill you live in constant fear of nothing and everything. Now if you're in pain you dont have to worry about it sneaking up on you, so what's the best way to avoid the shock and terror. To be in pain all the time. Look at it.