By Mary Cucarola – 5/13/23

“Angels don’t give up on me today. ‘Cause inner demons just won’t go away. So, angels hear my prayer.  Life is pain. Life’s not fair. So, angels, please stay here.”  Julia Brennan’s song Inner Demons

This is my honest Mother’s Day reflection. I have more doubts now than ever before in my life. It’s been ten Mother’s Days without my son tomorrow.  Ten long years.

Ten years of a new normal. Ten years of building a nonprofit. Ten years of trying to educate and help others. And, ten years of not making a dent in the opioid crisis. In fact, it’s worse.

I have doubts about the existence of anything that cares about what goes on in the world. Way more kids are dying of overdoses now than when my son died ten Mother’s Days ago.  And, it’s not only drug overdoses killing our kids, but now it’s mass shootings.

When my son died in 2013, there were 43,871 overdose deaths, and in 2022 it is estimated at 107,477 deaths – a 145% increase. And it is hard for me to believe there are 63,606 more bad parents now than in 2013.  So, I doubt it is bad parenting. It’s gut wrenching for me to even think about new parents who have to go through grieving the loss of a child. And now it’s not uncommon for parents grieving not only one child, but two of their children killed by fentanyl.

Also, I just read the number one killer of kids in the U.S. is mass shootings. There were 647 mass shootings in 2022 and as of May 7th there have been 202 mass shootings in 2023.

My belief in the goodness of God is waning, and I don’t know how to find my spiritual roots again.  I’ve always been a believer in a positive force in the Universe. You can ask anyone who knows me. But I’m feeling lost and wondering how on earth all of this is happening if God is so good.

I’m trying to find a way to deal with it, but I am failing. How can I be okay with our kids dying from drugs and shootings, both?  I’ve cut my news consumption drastically. I’ve tried to journal about it. I’ve watched funny movies. I’ve prayed and meditated. I’ve listened to music. I’ve played with my cute dog, Willow.  I’ve spent time with my beautiful granddaughter. I’m taking a sabbatical for Pete’s sake.

It’s. Not. Working.

I am angry and disgusted with the lack of change and not being able to make a difference.  Hey, it’s in style to be selfish and self-centered, isn’t it?  Ayn Randish, right?  Altruism is for suckers.  Survival of the fittest.

Let the cynicism roll. 😊

I need to be near the jagged mountain peaks of Telluride, smell the mountain air, and visit my son, which always calms me.  Wisdom, patience, and the assurance that I am not alone in the world comes to me when I am in those sacred mountains nearer to my son. But I can’t go this weekend like I planned because I fell down my deck stairs on Sunday night after I got home from Virginia, ended up in the ER, and screwed up my knee.

Life is not fair. Angels, don’t give up on me.

Mary Cucarola – 5/13/23

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