After lodging the Missing Person Report (for my son), it is only a short amount of time that I receive a phone call from the Police. It is so weird and surreal when you answer and confirm your name to the caller – how you have that sense that the caller is going to be a police officer. And then all you can hear is your heartbeat – because you are not sure what type of news the police officer is going to give you. How often do these brave law enforcers have to contact bereaved family members?
And the news is as bad as any mother needs to hear: “We have arrested your son this morning”.
Upon reflection, the only fortunate event was that my son’s drug fuelled actions miraculously did not cause harm to innocent people – or indeed himself.
The only degree of relief from the arrest, was that for the first time in almost three months I knew that my son was ‘off the streets’ and ‘out of the crack house’. But the word “arrest” carries with it some feeling of finality – I no longer had hope to cling onto. A mother will always harbour the most optimistic opinion of her children – but even optimism has a ‘use by’ date.
So now our daily routine is riddled with sadness, grief and a foreboding sense of failure. I am no longer the mother of a beautiful, talented twenty-six year old son, but now the mother of a prisoner. Incarcerated due to an ‘ice bender’ of criminal offences. As I write these words it seems incomprehensible that this is a reality – surely this can’t happen to families like ours?
This is a story of a grieving and healing mother.