How Do I Honor You, Angie?

Memoir Excerpt:

“Now we need to go on with our lives as best we can in spite of the cloud hanging over us. If my beautiful girl can’t find the courage to say yes to a healthy life, then I will. I’ll do it for her. What could be a better testament to Angie, to all her gifts and possibilities, than to go forward with my life savoring every moment? Wherever she is right now, I know that the best part of her loves me and would want me to be well. I really believe that, in spite of everything her drug-induced mind has spit forth. I have more confidence now. I know without a doubt that I’ve been a good (enough) mother to Angie. I love her. And loving is enough. Loving is always enough. This has been my lesson.

Though nothing can restore the years we’ve lost with Angie, I feel more and more able to embrace the life around me and revel in the gifts I’ve been given. On my gratitude list this morning, I added something else: ‘I thought the rose bush was dead, but a little more water and it’s come back.’ Simple things—

How is it possible for me to be grateful, even, to Angie, whose illness brought me into the rooms of Twelve-Step recovery? How is this possible?

My unsent letter to my child:

‘Dear Angie,

Ironic, isn’t it, that you have become my teacher and not the other way around—teacher of life, teacher of love, and beacon of surrender.

I’m so grateful that you were born, even though at times I’ve felt otherwise. God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t he? Though you haven’t been in my life long, and not always happily, it’s been your very existence that has propelled me into a serenely spiritual life, even happiness. I never would have done the work necessary to reach this place without your inspiration.

You are my child, my teacher. As I’ve stumbled on this rocky path, my thoughts of you have guided me; they guide me still.

All that I’ve become are gifts from you, my daughter: life lessons, trial by fire. How do I thank you?

By living well—By loving well—Mom’”

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