This morning, I dropped off my son, Alex, at the airport. He’s going to Hawaii to visit a friend of his.
A year ago, I wouldn’t have thought this kind of trip was possible. A year ago, Alex was lost in the world of drugs and alcohol. A year ago, I was picking him up at an emergency room in Eau Claire a few breaths one way or other from life or death. A year ago, Alex was expelled from his High School. A year ago was total despair.
If you’ve ever known someone who was dependent on drugs or alcohol, you know how relentless this is, how it completely changes the character of the person you know. Before drugs, you could look into Alex’s eyes and see humor and joy. After, all you could do was cry.
Alex’s past year has been filled with courts, probation officers, jail, counseling and fear. Every friend he had in his old life needed to go away. He needed to start his life over at 19.
In the past year, he’s worked to get his high school diploma, finish a semester of community college with the goal of enrolling in a four year college to study music. It’s been filled with paying back those he hurt. In short, it’s been a tough year.
A few months back, he asked if he could visit his friend who now lives in Hawaii. We made a deal. And, he lived up to his end of the deal.
This is his first time where he’s testing himself, a time he’s going to be alone with a friend without anyone watching. He’s aware of the risks and consequences. I’m confident he’ll come out of this OK, but I’m deathly afraid at the same time. I’m praying for him.