Mark called his dad last night for Father's Day. And his dad told him about a phone call they had received this week. Apparently, a woman was walking her dog in some small town in Montana. As they were walking, she heard another dog barking incessantly, so she went to investigate. There she found a man, lying unconscious with his dog tied around his waist. The dog was barking non-stop, I imagine to alert someone (like a Lassie story) or maybe the dog was simply hungry. Anyway, the woman called an ambulance and the man was taken to the hospital. He was passed out from intoxication. After he was released from the hospital, she paid for him to stay a night in a hotel. The man is my son, Dallin. I don't know the woman.
I have been flooded with emotion since I heard this story. And I can't get the image out of my mind of him lying on the ground with his dog tied to him. Why is Dallin so dumb? I'm angry and ashamed at him. This good woman had to give so much, for which I am grateful, because my son is an irresponsible person. Mark says he is an alcoholic. The burden is so heavy for me to carry today. Most days it isn't. Most days I realize that Dallin is free to make his own choices and he has to own those choices. Most days I can separate my life from his, knowing that someday, because of the Atonement, it will all be made right. But that is not how I feel today. I feel pain and sadness in every part of my body. I cried myself to sleep last night, praying that sleep would come fast because that is the only escape from the sadness. Dallin is so kind and so handsome and he has such promise. Why won't he do something, anything positive with his life? I don't know the answer and it's extremely frustrating to me, almost more than I can bear at times.
This morning I was reminded of a scripture: "I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry. And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people." (2 Nephi 33:3-4) I KNOW this to be true and it carries me through every day. But sometimes the burden is just super heavy to carry. Today is one of those days.
Every time I have these days, my mind goes back to when Dallin was little. I think of reading books to him for hours and hours. I think of him coloring at the kitchen table with Caitlin. I think of swinging on swings at the park. And I wonder how did we ever get from there to here. Those days held such promise. And today holds such pain.
But, I will go on, like I always do. There is much to be grateful for in my life.