October 7, 2010

It’s a complicated story. It’s every parent’s nightmare. And yet, it’s inspirational, too, in a heartbreaking kind of way.

When you don’t have kids, you focus on all the joys you’re missing. That first step. The cute things kids say. Proms. The first day of college. Hugs and kisses. Walking down the aisle. Grandkids.

If you know me you know that not having a child has been a yawing gap in my life for decades. It wasn’t in the cards for me and I accept that it wasn’t. But every so often, in the still, pre-dawn hours, I think about it. And I’m sad.

What I don’t think about is how much of a crap shoot raising a child is. How parents are not the only influence in a kid’s life. That there is nurture, but also nature, and peer pressure. In those dark hours of the morning, I never think about how easily a kid can go off course in directions that can cause irreparable damage.

I know a little about addiction. Just a little, really. Enough to know how destructive it can be to relationships of all kinds. How parents persevere out of love and concern to support their addict-child. How disappointing it is to see their beloved child’s potential greyed out by the demon of drugs. I know the shock when an addicted adult can’t even pull themselves together for their own children, much less for their own happiness.

Which is why the story of the life and death of mommy-blogger Kate Granju’s son, Henry, has resonated so deeply with me.

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