On a freezing cold, snowy, rainy night my husband and I were out to dinner and I received a telephone call from my addicted son asking to come pick up his bag because it was heavy and hard to carry through the snow. It was the first time I had heard his voice in over 4 weeks. We dropped our forks and agreed to meet him at South Station. I remember I asked my husband to drive. I had so much nervous energy I could not imagine sitting in the passenger seat thinking about the condition we would find him in or how this night was going to end. Funny thing is, if you know me, you know I never drive in the snow. My nervous energy turned to fear and in an instant I was scared, scared to death. I just had to be the one to get us to Boston, get us to my baby boy.
When we arrived I pulled over, put the hazards on and sent my husband to go find him. Of course he was not where he said he would be. My husband came back stating he could not find him. I looked through the windshield and said “there he is, you just walked right by him”. He was completely unrecognizable to my husband. I got out, ran to him and got him back to the car. He was soaking wet, he was freezing, he was layered in clothing, he needed to shower, he was skin and bones, he was starving and he was not high.
We drove around for about an hour as he changed and ate the food we picked up for him. He talked so much to us about how beautiful Boston looked in the snow, “right Mom, doesn't it?” I remember he asked. “It’s really not, if you could see what I see Mom it is so cold, so dark, so scary and such a lonely place for so many people.” He told us how he had Thanksgiving Dinner with Mayor Mennino at a shelter. He boasted “Mom I told the Mayor that they should do more to help the homeless people.” He explained to the Mayor “I can handle it but a lot of people can’t......”
I could tell our time was about to be up with him. I started to do the usual begging, crying and offering everything I could to get him off the streets into treatment. “I will take you to a hotel and we will call for beds in the morning”. “No Mom that’s a waste of money”. “I will take you to the hospital and stay with you until they find you a bed”. “No Mom there won't be any beds it's winter”..... and finally, when I knew it was contrary to everything I have learned.....”I will take you home and we will figure this out in the morning”. He looked at me with those big, brown, handsome yet broken eyes and said “I am home Mom, you can let me out here.” We stopped the car at the next red light, he jumped out and ran through the traffic and when he got to the other side he yelled “I love you Mom.” In a second he was out of our sight.