Currently, I am a forty-three-year-old single mom who works full-time and attends online college. Life hasn’t been easy for me and my three boys. My oldest son is older and doesn’t live at home anymore. I have two teenage boys who are the reason I keep on keeping on. This year has been a tough one in my family as we have lost a real American hero, my grandfather, Duane Callahan, who served in the Air Force for twenty years and was a bomber pilot during WWII and Korea conflict. He was married to the same beautiful woman for sixty-five years, and they were still in love the day she died in October of 2008. Saying good-bye to my grandfather for the last time on Memorial Day had so many emotions attached to it. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of them and how they lived their lives. The hard work that they put into enjoying life daily paid off and they were a happy couple for so very long to give us all an example of story-book type love.
This year for Thanksgiving is the first year that we didn’t spend it at my mom’s with her parents. My parents decided to go to New York City to see the parade this year for Thanksgiving. A dream of my mom’s for years and years. The changes of traditions sometimes is hard, but the importance of family should always be the number one priority. My two younger boys and my son’s best friend, who I call my adopted son, spent Thanksgiving with a friend of mine and her husband. It was different than any Thanksgiving I’ve ever had but I was thankful nevertheless.
Spending a weekend gathering my thoughts and reflecting on where I want to go from here was the plan. I was thankful to have four days off; rest and relaxation was the main goal for the weekend. All was going well until 9 p.m. on Friday. I received a message that a young man who was one of my oldest son’s best friends in high school had passed away due to a drug overdose. My heart has been broken since reading this message. A parent’s worst nightmare! This boy had a nice family, friends, too many to count, good looks, great personality, etc. Unfortunately, his addiction was too powerful. A young life destroyed by drugs on Thanksgiving night. How is this fair? How does this happen? Why do we turn to drugs when we know they kill? How can these parents ever heal from this loss? I have so many more questions, and they will all be unanswered I suppose.
The bottom line is … life is precious, we have so much to be thankful for every day we wake up and breathe in and out. Taking time out to listen to our kids and what is on their minds is so very important for both of us. We won’t always have the opportunity; we need to seize the moment!