September 19, 2011

From Different Paths

“We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere.” -Tim McGraw

A little over a year ago as I was struggling with the realities of my son’s addiction and my desire to will him to embrace and discover a “cure”, I had a very powerful conversation about his situation with a trusted friend.  My fear regarding Brandon’s addiction was that unless he discovered a way to beat his habit, he was going to die.  In the world of heroin addiction, there seems to be two outcomes– live to beat it or die suddenly from it.  I can hardly bear the thought that my son could die from his addiction.

As I tearfully shared these worries, concerns, and fears over the potential loss of my son, my friend asked me a very intense question: “Do you believe that people live on in even when they are gone?”

I could not answer the question without coming in contact with the intense fear and pain of what answering it meant – envisioning a life without Brandon.  Over time I have come to some level of peace that Brandon’s spirit will always be here even if he is not.  Whether he finds a way to overcome his addiction or his addiction overcomes him his music, his energy, his story, his quirks, his style, his opinions, his journey, and his love will always be with me.  I pray that may never have to celebrate his life without him; but, I know that in his time here on this earth, he has left many marks, and he will always be with me in some way.

It is from that conversation that the above quote touched me.  Everyone comes to us from somewhere on their way to somewhere.  Some people stay in our lives longer than others.  Some leave far too soon.  Some leave a huge footprint on our experiences, others a simple, singular moment.  But, as we touch, connect, share, communicate, and play we are always giving a little something of ourselves to others.  While they may be gone, the impact of that moment – on us and on them – can, and often does, live on within us.

That is the power of being connected, of sharing, and of opening up your gifts to others.  We have all been blessed with something unique to offer with the world.  Whether we believe in its significance or not is not as important as making ourselves available to others so they may benefit from the connection.

Our story is not that much different from Brandon’s, for we really do not know how long we will celebrate the journey of our life.  Regardless of how long or short it is we have an opportunity to give and receive the gifts we have been given.  No matter where we go, what we do, or how long we do it, those gifts will always be with us – enjoy them and celebrate the experiences.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.