1: A Week Ago

     A week ago yesterday, M woke up for the first time in military school.  
     A week ago yesterday, I woke up for the first time in months, feeling a sense of  relief. I didn’t need to check to see if he was gone, or was up on the roof smoking, or throwing up in his bathroom, or smoking across the street at the empty house, or drinking in his room, or drinking in our basement.  When I found myself awake during that first night, I didn’t throw myself into a panic, Did something just wake me up? Was that a loud bang I just heard? Was that the back door closing? In fact, I found myself quite calm whenever I woke up in the middle of that first night. I believe it was similar to the quiet, peaceful, calm I felt when he was in the hospital’s nursery on the evening of August 1, 1995.  I knew someone more skilled than me, a first-time momma, was making sure he was getting everything he needed to thrive and survive.
      And now on September 14, 2011, the commandant was providing me the quiet, peaceful, calm that our whole family needed so desperately. As my mind gently rippled with thoughts, I realized that we were thrown a life preserver just in time.

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