Tag Archives: single mom




Little children usually have a “manya” as we call it in my family. A security blanket, a stuffed lil animal creature, or some other colourful character, that they hold especially close and grip tightly with their little hands,  when they are feeling unsafe or frightened.  This is a good thing. 

When I “grew up” and became a Mom of my own child, I grabbed my refuge in “worry and dread” who became my new best friends for life. A soft little creature with a happy face looking up at me, would have been a much healthier choice.  I had good reason, of course. I became a single Mom unexpectedly. I had an irresponsible rascal, at the time for my child’s Daddy. The list goes on. Never the less….I was losing my soul. No one seemed to be doing what they were “expected” to do, and I was becoming a full time expert on what was best for everyone’s life….but my own.  My life was certainly at the very least…unmanageable, but I KNEW, if I could just MAKE the two men in my life responsible….my life would work! 

Fast forward to my son being a young adult. Handsome and charming as they come. I hoped and I hoped his talents and personality would overcome this big invisible black cloud that now came for him. This Deity that was turning him into something I could not name, but was making me crazy trying to control . I felt like a blind child in a dark forest, pleading for the light to shine thru  my wild,tear stained hands, madly waving for help from anyone, anywhere….a lost ship in the night,feeling we would both sink if we could not find a way out of this darkness. I consulted, with frequent terror, my two best friends, “worry and dread”, but they only made  for sleepless nights and worthless pleadings and bargaining chips that swallowed up what little dignity was left in each of our souls. Things  got much worse for both of us.  The time had come where  Truth was  finally about to exhale and burst forth the most fearful of thunder and lightening storms I had ever known.

It was February 28th Thursday. The Leap Year month. My Birthday Month. It was a gloomy  winter day’s  in San Diego, and my little boy was getting on a plane to Florida to go to DETOX. Would he make it on to that second plane? Would he instead…change his mind and drink his way back onto the streets or worse? Worry and Dread were pounding away in my head. I will always remember  getting that phone call from “Mike”. “I have your boy and he is safe now.” I fell to my knees sobbing with glistening streams of hope and thankfulness. 

 Those days before Detox,he spent five days at my home.  Had to drink tall Coors Lite Beer the moment upon awakening to just feel undreadful. We walked the streets, putting his life in boxes and  my tears in my sleeve. Closing up his music studio was pretty emotional for us both. I prayed for him on my knees at the foot of his bed. I wept. For Gratitude. My son was alive. He made many crying confessions to me. His turmoils came tumbling out of his tear stained face like marbles rolling out of a glass jar and scrambling to find shelter. He was not covered up any more.  He grabbed on to his “Manya” and for those moments….his Manya was his Mama.

I never thought in my wildest fears I would have detox,rehab,sober house, dual diagnosis, relapse…be part of my everyday vocabulary. Terror ran thru my bones as this was territory I had never traversed…but hope rang in my heart and I held on tight to that one. 

I found my way back into the 12 step meetings. This time it was Alinon. I had been to them all, for I had many an “Alcoholic” in my life, but NEVER (never say never! ) thought I would be back because my son was an addict. After all I had  “educated” him about this very thing!  Ha!  So you think you go to ALinon because of the addict in your life, and you soon discover that YOU are a big part of the problem!  And you have your own disease!  Mine was being a “helicopter”  “Worry and Dread” Mom.  Now I have tools. I have people who know what I am feeling. I have people who know what a dangerous neighborhood my brain can be…with the thoughts and “fix it” attitudes that “catastophize” all situations whether they “need it” or not. 

There was a relapse. It even involved racing to the emergency room, and then detox for the second time. His choice. I did not lash out. I did not scold. I did not even cry (until after…new for me!). I prayed. I had compassion. I listened. The more I listened…the more he gave. The more I listened….the more he talked of his pain. The more I let him have his dignity…the more he thanked me for being there and loving him.

I have had some big tests. I was going on a big trip that I was really looking forward to, the nite I discovered he was drinking again after 6 months of sobriety. I stayed with him which meant I was up all night and travelled on 3 planes all the next day. I MADE that choice. It was not done to me. I am no longer a victim and he no longer has to feel guilty because of me.  He has taken up boxing. He loves it. He looks marvelous. He is learning. We are BOTH getting better.

 Sometimes I have slight regret. IF only…..the “If only’s…..” set in. But it passes fast. Because I know if I could have NOT been a helicopter Mom back when he was little and bad things DID happen…..I WOULD have done things differently.  I think we can’t help but wound our children in some ways no matter how hard we try. We are not PERFECT little human beings. As Oprah says….”When you know better…..you do better.”  My son knows now where to go if he gets in trouble with himself again. He has worked hard on himself and he continues to, and I see it. The light is back in his eyes and his smile and he has a musical lilt to his step. I pray every day for his continued sobriety, success, health and happiness. I now know it is HIS Journey. I cannot do it for him. ANd that is REALLY SO RELIEVING!  I need to focus on my own life and my own dreams that I still have passion for. The more I respect myself and do what I love, the better it is for him. 

I was travelling up to the third floor in the elevator the other nite, and as the doors opened, I saw this strapping young man standing there. Full of smiles. He literally glistened in the moonlight. I thought to myself….”Oh, how nice! Another handsome young boy moving in here”.  I said a polite hello, and went to step out of the elevator when I saw his outstretched arms and realized it was my son!!!!  “Hi Mama!” He said as he grabbed me for a big hug!  I was apalled that I didn’t know it was him at first!  That has NEVER happened in our whole lives that I didn’t recognize him. The puzzlement stayed with me all week. Then yesterday at a meeting it hit me.  I was very busy with my judgements, my blame, my fears about his behaviors that were so scary and life threatening as this is a very deadly disease, that he “LOOKED” different to me all these months. He LOOKED like my fears….he LOOKED like other people who I have felt have hurt me in the past. The moonlit night at the elevator I saw HIM. His soul. His glory. His everything. The good, the bad, the ugly…the truth. I saw ALL of him. And I loved ALL of him and all of Me. We are Glistening.


Pasta Pretty



Any Pasta….can make you feel pretty again. Really. It’s true. Any pasta, made with love, can help you forget all your troubles, forget all your cares, lickidy split!  “Try it! You will like it! “

Lately, it seems that all I do is write about food! Nourishment for the soul. I guess that is what I am needing for now. How about YOU? 

I came home from work tonite, feeling sassy…not quite “Stella in her groove” yet. Kind of..”.I’m almost there”…if only I could……THEN I will be happy!” kind of mood. So….of COURSE…my pasta had to have lots of sultry seasonings, like capers, pesto, sunflower seeds and WINE!  The more I kept tasting the fruits of my labor as it kept sizzling over the flames….the better I felt.  Perhaps it was the wine. I like to think it was fate. I felt triumphant as I watched it all come to life in one big happy bowl of  over flowing yumminess as it slid it’s way into my beautifully designed, Pasta bowl. 

Perhaps it was …the long ago memories. Way back when. My son’s father left us.  The blue eyed boy…. he was very little. I was very scared. Our best friends moved in with us. We were all fledglings, or refugees or broken souls or something quite dreadful and foreign. But we became a new kind of family. Brought together by betrayal….and necessity. We…the Mommies, were too shell shocked to cook cool stuff. We had all we could do to not cry into the  spilt milk….the raising of these boys. We talked. We cried. We took them to the circus. We made Easter Eggs. We cried. We picked each other  lilacs and savored the fragrances of hope. We made Pasta. We made “kitchen sink”, elegant at times, ho hum, incredible….Pasta! The boys always loved it. We always ate it. We didn’t eat much in those hapless days of pain, but we always ate our pasta. We told each other we were beautiful. Pasta made us feel pretty amidst the tumultuous  job of navigating a new way of being for these fatherless boys. Hooray for Pasta. Hooray for Pretty. Hooray for strength and capers…..seasoned with LOVE!

Radio Flyer Friend


   It was Christmas Eve. Our first Christmas without his Dad. Our son  was two years old. His Dad left us. Here we were. The two of us. Alone together. My son always loved the color red. Still does to this day. It is his favorite. Whenever he saw a little red wagon breeze by with a boatload of kids and fun…he would point and say “Wag!”  I had to get him one.   They  were Radio Flyers. They were the Best Little Red Wagons, this side of the Mississippi!   They were Expensive In my eyes. I had been dealing with a whole new life of expensive those last 8 months. I always loved those Radio Flyers myself. His eyes would glint with surprise every time one passed us by.  They were always the gateway to freedom somehow.

I managed to go to our local specialty  store and buy what looked like the perfect model. It never crossed my mind that it would be in the big box, totally in pieces and I would have to put it together all by myself! Welcome to Single Mother hood and being many a time the  handy man, as well as wonder  woman! I did not have a clue. I had tools. I have always collected tools.But all these dis assorted pieces cascading out of the box, I had never even seen the likes of, nevermind knowing what tool to use where!  Out came the wheels, and the sockets, and the screws and the terrible directions. I tried for hours. It was Christmas Eve.

It was hard enough hiding my secret in the box, from my son. Running frantically into the den, I would  try one more quick time to make sense of the madness, before he toddled in looking for me. I would once again…fail miserably. I put him to bed. I started to cry. I went across the street to the older couple who adored my son. I asked if they could help. It was Christmas Eve…and it was late. Santa would be careening down the chimney any minute now with his tribe of reindeer.

Our retired gentleman friend came over, and  we worked together like Dr. and Nurse. Front wheels, check. Ratchet. Check. Screwdriver Check. It actually took us  a good hour and a half but then there it was! Glistening in the moonlite!  The coolest,slickest Radio flyer Wagon I had ever seen. I started to cry once again, while I was hugging my new hero for helping me create the best Christmas present ever!

I was so grateful that my son would have something he would cherish amidst such confusing sadness in his little life. We didn’t go anywhere for the next two years without the whole neighborhood clamoring aboard the little Radio Flyer . It truely was, and always will be, in my treasured memories…our new navigation system  of fun that lead us to where we are today. Happy. Strong. Joyeous. And Free. 

“LUV U BYE!” A Single Mom’s Guide To Serenity.


My son Dakoda and I made a pact a long time ago. If we ever had to leave each other when we were still having a disagreement,we would always say “Luv U…BYE!”..no matter what. He is now 12 years old: a month away from being a teenager. It’s a bright beautiful morning in Delray Beach Florida and we’re on our way to school…late! We are not morning people.We’re night owls who thoroughly enjoy playing loud music and giggling,and dancing the night away. Morning always comes too soon and we scurry around trying to get out the door to school and work. I usually play my Mom role correctly and shoo him off to bed at  an early enough hour to get his proper rest.However, this was one of those mornings when everything went wrong and we were both blaming each other for the looming fact that we were now  late.

Our snippy attitudes towards one another escalated into a power play with the radio. If we weren’t going to listen to each other’s complaints, we could at least listen to our common denominator~music. He turned it up full blast. I turned it down and so went our “what seemed to take forever” ride to school.

He haughtily got out of the car, tossed his head in the air, turned back,looked right at me and for a quick moment, he said those treasured words…LUV U BYE! I turned away as if he didn’t exist. He walked slowly off towards the entrance of the school and looked back at me one last time. I had been watching his tall frame disappear into the concrete and when I saw that beautiful face again,I tried to say with my silence that “I wish I said LUV U BYE! to you. I wanted to, but my lips and heart stood frozen in time, and all I could do was watch him disappear into his day..rejected. he had the courage to take the high road,while i drove off down the low road of shame feeling helpless and alone.

I felt a tear trickle down my face as I pulled up to a red light. What is so important about “being right” in a fight or disagreement when you lose everything else?  What if, God forbid,this would be the last time I ever saw my child?

I pulled over and started to write a letter to my son. I acknowledged his bravery. I told him what a treasure he was to me and how much I loved him. I told him I made a mistake and that I was sorry. I sighed a big sigh and I drove back to the school. I got to give him his letter in person, as the nice gentleman in the office called him out of his class.

As he came walking in, a big smile crept onto his face as he spotted me. I could tell he knew why I was there. He read part of the letter, then leaned over,gave me a hug and kiss, and hurried off towards the door. Just before he disappeared this time,he grinned at me and said “LUV U BYE!” I laughed,oh so gratefully back,”LUV U BYE!” My heart felt full and my head was held high as I skipped gleefully back to my car ever so thankful that love and listening to my heart once again prevailed!