September 12, 2017

What I miss most…

As I was riding my bike along the Natchez Trace Parkway between Florence, AL and Tupelo, MS, I found myself thinking about my son. He is going to be thirty in a few months. He has been battling his heroin addiction for around ten years. As I am currently on the road with the Cycling for Recovery campaign, and will be for a total of ten weeks, I often experience a tremendous sense of disconnect from those I love. I miss them dearly.

These road trips are particularly difficult for me, as I have often hoped and prayed for my son to be able to join me on one of them. Lapses in recovery and legal issues have prevented this from happening so far. I love my one-on-one road trips with all my children. Every single one of them has been and wonderful bonding experience from which many incredible memories are made. Taking a Cycling for Recovery road trip with my son would be one of those game changing life experiences.

Imagine father and son traveling across the country, me cycling and him driving the support vehicle, together sharing with others a story of addiction, recovery, healing and love. Its my dream. Its my wish. Every time I go on one of these adventures, I realize how close and yet how far I am away from living out this fantasy.  Instead, I am left to ponder on my rides, all I miss, feel a sense of loss over, and the pain associated with it.

  • I miss my son’s quick witted sense of humor
  • I miss listening to him fearlessly play his music and the powerful lyrics he writes and shares
  • I miss his companionship and the opportunities to freely go on an adventure together
  • I miss the peace which comes from him being healthy, happy and free
  • I miss his mind and listening to the depth of his knowledge and perspective
  • I miss speaking with him about his faith journey and sharing where he is on it
  • I miss the freedom which comes from having a life unencumbered by legal constructs
  • I miss watching him at work and engaging others
  • I miss the joy which comes from him playfully interacting with his brother and sister
  • I miss his passion and zest for life and hearing him share his wild, hopeful dreams
  • I miss his presence and his companionship
  • I miss watching him live out his dreams
  • I miss trusting him completely
  • I miss him and all he is
  • I miss him on this road trip more than I missed him on last year’s

Addiction changes things forever. Recovery doesn’t mean you recover everything, as something is always lost. I miss what I have lost. On days like today, I struggle to celebrate and embrace what I have gained and learned on this journey. I miss my son.


Cycling for Recovery is a 3,300 mile cross country cycling trip.  The purpose of this trip is to raise awareness to the issue of substance abuse and addiction in our communities, while providing a message of hope and love to those who are struggling with addiction in their lives.

I need your support.  Please donate or contribute to this ride at



Addiction in the Family, featured, Parenting and Addiction, Uncategorized , , , , , , , ,
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.