a word from the Director

(fair warning – this one is personal)

It’s 11pm, the night before our first session. I feel all kinds of emotions, and the wheels are certainly spinning in my mind. Some of the young women we will hold space for tomorrow were students when I worked in the schools. Some remember. Some may not. Some probably know my own kids. Some certainly know others, in this small, rural community, who are struggling. Some most likely know a few who lost the fight. Maybe some of them know those who have met the challenge and overcome the demon that is addiction. I hope they do. It helps to know that others have walked the path before, and made it out. And others have. There is a way. Perhaps many ways…

My heart is full tonight, too, for a dear friend whose adult child is right now in a coma from an overdose. She’s waiting, waiting, while they slowly warm his body and take away medication that has been keeping his heart working, waiting to see if his body will regain the ability to regulate itself and live. Waiting… For a decade, this parent has feared “the call”. Two days ago, it came. As long as I have known her, she has met that fear with an absolute fierceness and determination to create change in this world. Her mission (my words) as I watch her work, is to LOVE SO BIG, and so unquestioningly, that she wipes out the trauma and isolation that is leaving such emptiness in its wake. I hurt for her.

And I think of the other mamas I know who have faced this same fear. Who have fought with as much love and light and hope as they could summon. I know too many who fought with everything they had, and yet the call came… And I wonder how much love it will take to finally tip the scales, and beat back these demons that are stealing our kids…

But this week I also caught wind of a celebration of sorts. Or at least I was celebrating when I saw the pictures and read the posts. (Sometimes, it seems, that social media shares the good stuff too.) I saw photographs of a couple of young men from this little town, all grown up, and fishing. Just fishing. But also so much more… Young men who were once among those for whom we feared that call would come. But it didn’t. “Men being men” the post read, “like family”. Love. I’m holding onto this…

Love each other. Love fiercely. Love fearlessly. Like my friend the mama is loving right now, like her community is loving right along side of her. Like communities have also loved along side the mamas (and daddies) who have faced the unimaginable.

Tomorrow it begins…. And I know Love will be there.