Posted by: Joe Palmer | May 28, 2009

Shorty: The Power of Addiction


SHORTY: Power of Addiction 

By Joe Palmer

I sat and watched a show last night that was both fascinating and sad.  Parents are supposed to care for even rescue their children.  Sometimes the roles are reversed.

A daughter was on a rescue mission. Her mother lived on the street.  For a few days they searched for Shorty.  She was a middle aged lady who looked older than her years.  She wore a thick coat that was too large.  Her hair, really all of her appearance was unkempt.

When they finally meet, mother and daughter they embraced but the joy was short lived.  The daughter wanted in her mother’s life, but Shorty knew what that meant.  She tried to politely but deceptively keep her distance.  “Wait for me thirty minutes while I get ready and I’ll  go with you  she said.”  Shorty’s daughter waited out in her car right outside the door. Shorty yelled downstairs, “Go away and come back in thirty minutes.”  The two argued. The daughter knew her mom would disappear in that thirty minutes, if she left.  She moved her car just out of sight.  She caught Shorty walking down the street.  She cried out. “Oh I didn’t see you.”

They shared a few hours of fun: shopping in a mall, buying matching outfits.  Shorty went back to her daughter’s hotel room.  Shorty agreed to go back to her daughter’s home.  “I can help you have a better life. I can take care of you.”  “One more thing I can help you with,” she said, “rehab.”  Immediately Shorty picked up her bag and without a word walked hurriedly to the door, and back to the street.

She wanted a relationship but not transformation.  “Accept me for who I am” the world cries out, “but don’t change me, or expect me to change. “  Perhaps all of us can relate to the daughter.  She loved her mother, her tears, her sacrifice, her actions, proved it.  She could accept her mother for who she was, even love her.  But she couldn’t help but call for change.  To truly love her mother meant she must urge her to transform her life.

What was that mother thinking as she walked away from her daughter, back to her life on the street;  back to her life of cold, and poverty, and drugs.   As I watched I could hear her insides crying out.  Inside there was a battle going on: a battle between light and darkness.  She wanted to follow the light. It told her to go home to her daughter, get off drugs. The darkness pulled her back to the streets, to the drugs.  The darkness declared, “You are mine.”

How can you love drugs more than your daughter?  How can you choose a high, over love?  Why pick the slums over a home?  How can the temporary ecstasy of drugs, be more appealing than the permanent joy of a relationship? 

Joe Palmer


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