Thursday, March 31, 2011

Should I....should I not???

It was a year ago at this time Chad was being released from jail. He had spent another 8 months for shoplifting and violating his probation. My dad was working with a case worker from the county jail trying to get him into an apartment. There is some type of program that helps inmates when they get out of jail/prison for pennies on the dollar compared to what the law-abiding citizens pay for rent or mortgages. It was a slow process and we were told that Chad would need to stay at the mission for the first few days he was out until they could get his apartment for him. Chad had made it clear to our sister that he was not staying at the mission. So being I was the only one in the family that would remotely think of taking him back, I was asked if I would let him stay with me until he could move into his own apartment. I did so but made it a point that I would only do it for a few days, until he got his own place. He wasn't too sure about my offer since we hadn't spoken in quite some time when I kicked him out for relapsing (regret)! But with the other option Chad was facing, he didn't have too much of a choice. I asked myself over and over and over again, should I do this or should I not? Should I let him back in my home, even if it is for a few days? Should I take another chance with him? Should I open myself and home to the risk it is having an addict living with me? What could a few days hurt? I got the call from my dad Chad was out. Dad dropped him off at the mall and I picked him up later that day when I got off work. I was anxious yet nervous to see him. It had been over a year since we spoke, since I last saw him. He walked out of the mall and I walked to him and just took him in my arms, as he did me. He was exhausted and looked it. He was a little apprehensive at first, cold...distant, but I knew it would take time for both of us. We went to TGIF for some dinner. Some REAL food I guess you could say. He kept telling me he wasn't hungry and not to worry about it but my stubborn self did it anyways. He had watched movies all day at the mall until I picked him up. I could tell in his face...his eyes...that he just wanted to lay down and get some sleep. On our way home I had decided all in about a matter of seconds that I was keeping my brother with me, for as long as it took. I wasn't going to let him go into an apartment by himself, with nobody to talk too. I felt as if he were too fragile to leave alone and the best thing would be for him to be with and around those who loved him. So all bets were off and I didn't care, he was staying with me and that was final. I was working two jobs to help support us. I had been working two jobs before Chad came home and continued to do so until he was able to get a job. He bonded immediately with my dog, Lacey. She was head over heels for her Chadly as he was her. It was so good to have her there because she kept him busy, kept him occupied and she gave him something to do. It was almost as if she were his therapy while home all the time.

Thanks to Chad, Lacey is now a HUGE fan of peanut butter. She can eat it by the spoonfuls. And she loves popsicle's.....thanks again to Chad. I sent a picture of Lacey to him. He wrote back saying how much he misses her. She was so good for him. There are many who come out of the system with absolutely nowhere to go but the rescue mission.....or the streets. I was asked by his P.O. why I took him back. My answer..."because he's my brother and I felt that if I would have let him go on the streets or to the mission, I might as well have just put the needle in his arm myself." Maybe I shouldn't have taken him back. Maybe the streets or the mission is where he needed to be. Lots of addicts go that route and it becomes their darkest moment, their rock bottom, their way out of their addiction if it's TRULY not where they want to be. I'll never know if Chad would have turned his life around and remained sober if I would have turned him away. I did what I did because it's what felt right to me. Yes it was a risk, yes it was difficult, yes it may have been the absolute wrong thing to do, but I did it and even though he didn't make it with his sobriety, I have no regrets with my decision. I got six more months with him. Six more months of memories, good and bad. Six more months of laughs, tears, hugs, pranks, foot-steps, breath, and "time" with my brother. It went by all to fast. Maybe the instinct I had when I decided so quickly to keep him with me was God's way of saying this is your last shot. I don't know, not sure if God had anything to do with it. But I'm grateful for the little bit of time I had left with him on the outside and THAT is something I thank the good Lord above for.

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