Friday, March 16, 2007

To my family, my on-line support system

I was just trying to clean up my mail box...I tend to save everything "as new" and it builds up! I was reading all these sweet notes from everybody and I couldn't delete. So I started a file "Sweet notes of comfort", to save them under.

I just can't believe what a wonderful, caring group of people you are. I am connected to you all and I thank G*d for that. I sometimes don't answer or respond but that doesn't mean I wasn't touched, sometimes I read and smile, sometimes I read and cry and sometimes I save it to answer when I have a free moment, then it seems too late.

Some of you are struggling with difficulties that are seemingly un-surmountable without the added horror of losing a child. You have lost other children, spouses, have gone/still going through major health issues, dealing with the addictions of other children and brother. One of you has a husband in a nursing home; another has a husband in Iraq. There are those with financial problems and those that are forced to work in an environment that doesn't deal well with grieving employees. Some of you have bravely moved far from everything familiar to start a new life in a different place. Some of us have been reunited with family members and others have been shunned.

But every typed word means something to me, sometimes it is familiar, sometimes it makes me think, sometimes it gives me hope, mostly I am just so much in awe of all of you.

I don't remember all the names, but you know who you are...

Wow, one of you is painting your heart out! What a magnificent idea!

Others are reading, exploring, learning so much that we didn't know/understand until grief has brought us to this point.

Still others are leading the way to go on TV, helping in documentaries, public speaking, spreading the message that addiction is not a choice. You are educating the public about this tragic epidemic.

Then there are those that are waging a more personal war on those dealers/people that were responsible for your child's death. You are dealing with prosecutors, court systems and putting yourself at risk, to save another family from this intense pain. You are selfless.

Also, I listened to a brother's song wrote about how he misses his brother who died from drugs. It was on his brother's web site. I cried so much that I couldn't even tell you how it affected me. It was heartbreaking.

You are my family and I cherish you all.

Lesli.....Ryan and Austin's Mom
Austin Nicholas Barthen
2/26/1981 - 9/16/2005

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