By Mary Cucarola – 9/6/19
“I can look back into the world and see you in every act of love. Where once you were one, you are now many”. ~Molly Fumia, Safe Passage
September is National Recovery Month, and the month of our biggest fundraiser. It’s also the month Cody passed away from an overdose – September 25, 2013.
Cody’s spirit is all over the charity golf event this year. Not only is it going to be overflowing with family and friends, but it is through his death that other lives are being saved and given a chance to recover.
For the first time, we will be introducing two success stories during our dinner program – two young men who received our full $25,000 treatment scholarships. Both are healthy and thriving in their recovery. I am so grateful they have agreed to forgo their anonymity and participate openly in our event.
Telling their stories without shame is one of the most powerful ways to change hearts and minds and inspire others to do the same.
It proves there is hope in ending the stigma and that addressing it will save lives. Almost half of Americans falsely believe all that’s needed to overcome addiction is willpower. About a third think it’s caused by bad parenting or a moral failing. The science proves otherwise – it’s a chronic brain disease caused by a change in brain chemistry.
Addiction needs treatment like any other disease.
It’s going to be a very special day for all who attend our golf event. Our silent auction is off the charts this year, and our speaker is the best on the planet for us – Shane Niemeyer. We have four trips to auction off – Mexico, Telluride, Lake Tahoe (maybe), and a timeshare, which is good for a week’s vacation in the US and Mexico. We are raffling off the latest generation Apple Watch and a 4k-HD big screen TV.
What generous donors we have! I am grateful beyond words for their generosity and support.
One of our founding board members is emceeing the dinner program, Marty Huban, Jackie’s dad. We have more golfers and volunteers signed up and more family members flying in from all over the country than ever before. If the weather holds out, it will be the biggest and the best one ever. I’m gonna take it all in and enjoy every minute of the excitement of it.
People suffering from addiction and their families often feel alone. We aren’t alone. We’re in this together. I am living proof that tragedy can turn pain into purpose and community. I know many others who are doing the same thing to survive this opioid epidemic.
I love the feeling of belonging to something greater than myself – a sense of connectedness.
Despite my grief, or maybe because of it, I am finding reasons to believe that real change will come. There is profound power in grief as a common human experience. I have mourned the loss of my son for so many years and often wondered how I could ever live normally again. At first, the harshness of his loss seemed too much for me.
Yet, I live more passionately. How can that be possible?
Tragedy often holds the seeds of grace.
Cody’s spirit is all over this organization. He’s guiding it and me. I put myself in the path of his light. It’s really his contribution to the world, not mine.
The seeds of grace are his, not mine.
I see him in every addicted person we are fortunate enough to help. I see him in every token of generosity. I see him in every act of love.
I can picture his sly smile right now.
Mary Cucarola – 9/6/19