Metcalf: The Plague does not discriminate

Published 8:23 am Monday, June 5, 2017

It is 4 a.m. and his bed is still made. He has not come home. Where is he?

How will I handle his father? He will be up soon. He told me not to let him move back in.

Oh, he loves him that is the reason he stays angry at him. But he is my baby, my youngest child.

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I remember the joy he brought me when he was small. I so enjoyed playing games with him and reading books together. He so loved to have me read to him.

His dad had him everywhere he went — hunting, fishing, the ball game or just out in the garage tinkering on some old piece of something.

We both saw so much in him. He could have been anything he set his mind to. He got straight As. He played ball. He was even the starting quarterback. Everyone loved him. He was always smiling.

What did we do wrong?

What can we do to fix it?

How can we help?

Well, it is no longer we though.  His father cannot get past that final hurt. He can’t get past the embarrassment he had to face when we all ended up in court because our son was arrested for stealing. My husband always told everyone he knew he could not stand for a thief.

Then that thief’s name was on the front page of the newspaper, and it was his son’s name.

That day he told me we were done. No more money. No more giving him any help. If he wanted to be a thief. it would be without us.

But I could not let my baby sleep on the streets.

The argument was the worst we had ever had in 30 years of marriage. It ended with him telling me to choose between my baby and him.

I told him just one more chance, please let us give him one more chance.

Now, this.

The Plague has hit this home and family. The entire dynamic has changed. Emotions went from joy and hope to anger and fear between people who had endured so much.

Because the Plague does not discriminate, it will creep into even the best families.

I did not write about how their son contracted the Plague because I do not want to lead anyone to believe that the causation of the Plague can be narrowed to any one source. It cannot.

The point of this story is to reveal a commonality. Many of those who read this will find comfort in just knowing your story is not singular. You are not alone.

When we learn to bind together against a common enemy, we cannot be defeated.

Our children will stop being lost to the Plague.

Ken Metcalf is a transplant to Winchester of nine years and has been working with the addicted for more than 10 years. He can be reached at