I love you. I'm still here. I'm not leaving you.

There are words I regret. Words I wish I could pluck from the air and shove back into my mouth. Some I wish I had said, but never did. And now it is too late...the moment has passed, the person gone.

I haven't spoken in 7 days. Not by choice. My tongue is tethered to the roof of my mouth and my jaws are wired shut. (Don't be jealous.) 

Conversation looses it's luster when you're responding on an ipad. Especially when auto correct keeps replacing doc with dic. "The dic said no ice cream. :("

Here are a couple of lessons I've learned in the last week:
1. Don't go through the drive thru at Dairy Queen. 
2. Erase your ipad after EVERY conversation. Or else the guy at Petsmart will see this...

I finally went to the bathroom! 5 days, damn pain meds. LOL
Can I please have a Butterfinger blizzard? 
I need new tags for my dog.  Can you help me?


All of this to say, that when you can't speak, there is so much to say.
Good things. Kind things. Loving things.

I hoard words. In an unhealthy way. I read too much into them. I say too many of them. I judge them.  I practice them. I remember them, mostly the hurtful ones. Particularly lies. I play them over and over in my mind.

...She said they weren't her drugs. The dealer hid them at her house. And, if I flushed them, he would come back and beat her up. There was desperation in her eyes, panic in her voice. I believed her words.

I came back that afternoon with groceries and clean clothes. She wasn't expecting me. Her door was open. The plastic sack of powder ripped open on the counter. She was standing over it, shaking and grinning. I don't remember all that I said that day. But, "I hate you" was in there somewhere.

12 years I've been doing this with her. In and out of jail. In and out of rehab. On and off the streets. Begging, stealing, and selling everything she has. I've spent nights searching the streets for her. I've bathed her when she was 90 lbs with needle marks in her arms. I've left $2.06 in my bank account giving her my last $20. I'm tired. 

She's in rehab right now. It's the longest that she's been sober in 12 years. She says this time is different. She's staying. I'm afraid she'll leave. I'm afraid that the streets and the drugs are more important to her. More important than me.

So, I don't say much. And I brace myself for the disappointment. Surely it's coming? 

She's on to me though. She sees it in my eyes. She feels it in my embrace. So, every time we talk, every time I see her, she says the same thing...

She left me a message yesterday. She knows I can't talk so she told me to just listen. There were 3 things she wanted me to know..."I love you. I'm still here and I'm not leaving you."

Aren't those the words that we all want to hear? Long to hear. Need to hear.

As soon as I'm able, I'm going to call her. She needs to hear me say, "I love you. I'm still here and I'm not leaving you."