Waiting for – 
and after “the Call”…
10/23/21 6:15 a.m Sunday

Waiting for the Call Video from August 8, 2018
Hi. I just came in from running errands I ran today with my groceries still needing to be unpacked, and with the urge to turn on my computer and talk to you.

Talk to you if you are a parent of a child who's addicted.
Talk to you if you've ever had to wait for the call.

And the reason I wanted to talk to you is because I've realized that having someone understand what you're going through, and having someone to share it with, helps alleviate that tight feeling in your gut like you can't breath or the pain in your chest that says you can't take enough oxygen in, or the shoulders that are so heavy with worry, or the head that feels like it's about to explode.

I just want you to know that I see you. In my little green light in my heart, I see you.
And I'm sending you hugs and I'm sending you love and I'm getting it back from you.

So my beloved 37 year old daughter texted me last night that she's drunk and alone in a hotel – and there have been many calls that I've waited for and thank God there have been many calls that have come:

calls that have gotten her to the emergency room where her blood alcohol poisoning was dangerously high.
Calls that have told me the fingers that were amputated in the car accident would be not life threatening.
Calls from her saying goodbye.
Calls from the police or firemen that I send over saying they had her.So there's lots of calls I've waited for and there's lot of calls that have come. And I know what's it like to wait for the call.

I thought I'd reach out to you to commiserate and embrace the not knowing, because we don't.

And I have been to many years of Al-Anon and I have tried to practice what I've learned and in an effort, as I've said before to make lemonade out of the lemons that sometimes fall into our lives, sometimes I feel like part of the purpose is to either write about it or film about it so that other people who are going through what I've grown through can either articulate it or feel seen by it or in some way feel a comradery that we're not totally alone.

So if you can get yourself to a meeting and we'll remind ourselves that we're powerless.
We're powerless over the choices our children make. And even though our prayer is to have them outlive us that's really in God's hands.

And that's why I do believe there is a Higher Power and I am willing – not always willing – but I am willing now to surrender, because there's nothing more I can do.

Like you, we've probably given as much as we could give and taken them to as many rehabs as we could afford and then some and loved and supported and I'm here to love and support and not judge.

But I do need to acknowledge what it's like to wait for the call, 'cause if I don't acknowledge it, this constriction in my gut will keep constricting and I'll probably go try and drown it out with chocolate or sugar.

Maybe I'll turn my computer back on and work many, many, many hours in a row so that I won't have to think or feel.
But whatever I choose to do, I don't get to the feelings so, even now turning on the computer is probably an efficient way to get to the feelings, so I'm gonna put you on pause while I go get some Kleenex.
I'm back, I needed Kleenex.

So like I said, talking to you is probably another way to avoid feeling, but maybe it's not.
Maybe it's a way of saying that I know I'm not alone.

I know there are many of you who have been where I am now and probably are right now, waiting for the call.
And maybe the lesson that I'm to learn and I want to share with you is, how do we wait for that call in a way that doesn't keep us totally constricted and terrorized and infuriated and melancholy and hopeless and overwhelmed and busy and reactive and depressed?

How do we wait for that call knowing that there is a Higher Power and it's all planned already.
There's really nothing we could do except be the best of who we can be while whatever is supposed to happen is happening.
So I'm trying not to think of my daughter alone in a hotel.

Maybe that's where she needs to be right now. Maybe she needs to black out the world and turn on the TV and order in pizza and booze until she can't do it anymore.

And she's done that so many times and come out of it, thank God, so many times that maybe this is just the next time.
And I can't continue to get traumatized every time it happens because she's choosing what she's choosing.
And I can't judge her for it because it is an addiction.

I can love my daughter and truly despise the addiction, but continue to love my daughter.

And I also want to love those parts of me that are traumatized and are terrorized and are hopeful, hopeless, positive, negative, in denial, all too real.

The polarities inside of me that ping pong my way through the waiting instead of just knowing I'm waiting.
But again, aren't we all waiting? All the time? Who knows what's going to happen to any of us.
Who knows what the next doctor visit is going to say.

So maybe I'm not waiting for the call, maybe I'm just living my life.
And I don't have to constrict every time a text comes in or the phone rings and I don't have to hold my breath, but I can just live and know that the call will come when the call will come and it will say what it will say, and in the meantime, it is helpful for the people that do know what I'm going through to offer me a hug, or offer me a oy, which means “Oy, I can't believe what you're going through.”

But whatever I'm going through, it's nothing to what she's going through, or maybe not.
Maybe she's too drunk right now to even feel anything and I'm feeling for both of us.
So I do need to let go and let God. I do need to believe she is in God's hands as am I, as are you, as are your children.
And whether you believe in God or not, or the universe or Higher Power – What’s ever out there – I think believing that something is out there is better than giving up hope.

‘Cause I've always said where there's life there's hope.
So today I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful that I'll get a call that will let me know she's safe.

I'm hopeful that I'll get a call that'll let me know she's picking herself back up for the umpteenth time, for which I applaud her courage, her resilience, her fortitude, her desire to live a life that's sober and safe.

So, I always say I'm trying to answer the call but I'm not sure who's calling my soul or my ego, and I guess we're all waiting for calls and I wish I had something profound to end this with and I hope I get back to you with a happy result, and I hope you get back to me with a happy result.

And in the meantime just know that as I'm looking at this little green light, and looking into the eyes and the soul and the heart of you, who is in pain and in fear, and in love with our children.

And I want you to know that I see you and I love you and I'm sending you hugs and prayers to you and to our children, with hopes that, God willing, they will find their way to happiness and fulfillment and joy and love and peace and abundance and all that we wish for them.

That, God willing, they will bury us instead of the other way around.

And that together, whether it's Al-Anon meeting with our friends, with our family, with people that get us, with the groups on Facebook, that we'll find comradery and we'll find support to help us through this time, knowing that we're not alone.
I believe there is a God. I'm going to let go and let God. I'm going to remind myself as Al-Anon says that I didn't cause it, I can't control it and I can't cure it.

But I can breath more often, I can put my hands on my belly where my fear resides and remind those parts of me that if I stop telling myself the same old story, with the same old fears then the possibility of living through this time becomes more peaceful. And that's the most I can hope for right now.

Well I can hope for a lot. I do hope for a lot for all of us. So, thanks for hanging in here with me. Anything you want to send to me I appreciate and just know that I'm sending you love and support and prayers and healing for our children, for our hearts.
And hope that you find the support you need, whether it's your partner or your family or your friends or Al-Anon, or any 12-step group.

that our children are safe and that we can be safe whether we're waiting for the call, get the call or any other time.

So, sending you a lot of love, a lot of prayers. A lot of positive energy. Thanks for being here and witnessing and sharing. And I love you, and bye for now.

Getting the Call

I waited for many calls. And many I received….

Some of them looking for Dana,
Most of them from her saying goodbye.

I made many, many calls
to her
to paramedics
to ER’s
to psych wards
to doctors
to therapists
to police stations
to fire departments
to hotels and motels
to friends
to insurance agents
to hospitals
to detox
to rehab
to Pete and Torrie
to Kimmy
to Jerry
to Norm
to Joyce and Carol and Judy and Mo, and Lenny and Nancy and Nancy and Ellen and Jaqueline and Debbie and Mike and Pat and anyone and everyone who cared and asked and prayed and worried and commiserated and empathized….

So many calls.

And then THAT one at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 12, 2021 – at Maisie's ball game – with Kimmy – that forever changed our lives.

Dana was on life support in California, after being found in a hotel and unresponsive for 30 minutes. They were not sure what damage had been done. She was alive, but non-responsive.

i got Kimmy and we went off to an open space to take the all and hold each other as we cried….

THE CALL we had all feared we’d get – we got.

And I got off the phone and went to California.

For more calls
to ICU
organ donation
coroner’s office
Mike and Debbie
Joanie and Marty and Steve

And now I’m in Israel….
thinking about the calls.

a flurry of family and friends
needing to cancel phone, insurance, health club
memorial and celebration
cremation and Judy and Joyce and Carol
calls of disappointment to Carol and Marlon
Calls to see how I’m doing – Nancy, Ellen, Judy, Pat, family,
No calls from others –

Less calls as time goes on.


No more calls to wait for.
No more calls to dread.

No more calls from Dana saying how much she loves me and is sorry and appreciates me and will see me soon.

No more lies.
No more running.
No more..

I wish I were still waiting for the call I finally got – than adjusting to a life where I’ll never speak with her again.

I have voicemails I could listen to, and I’ll put them all on a tape – so I won’t lose them..

I always knew I’d have to rely on them someday.

I always knew that she would die before me….

We all tried so hard to avoid that reality.

She got to a point where living felt scarier than dying.
How she must have suffered.

My poor baby.

At peace, I pray, at last.

Forever and ever and ever in my heart.

On speed dial every day.

God bless you always, my Beloved Cherished, Beautiful daughter.

I miss you always.

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