February 18, 1991 was the best day of my life. December 19, 2016 was the day I was forever changed. My beautiful boy Lucas lost his gripping and grueling battle. The journey long and wrenching. Our love for each other not to be denied.
Lucas’ short life started with difficulty as he struggled with bouts of pancreatitis, undiagnosed by his doctors since birth. At a month shy of his fourth birthday, our tenacious, resilient and determined child was headed into surgery. Lucas’ wise and compassionate surgeon told us to stay vigil……To what we asked? Children with this kind of medical intervention are often burdened; challenged by authority, mistrusting and simply feel different. We watched and waited……
Lucas came into this world as he left it; beautiful, cautious and curious. There was nothing he couldn’t master and nothing he was unwilling to try. His natural talents and abilities revealed themselves quite early and he focused on his strengths, excelling scholastically, athletically, creatively. He was dedicated, 100% of the time to succeed at everything he touched. But quietly and simultaneously he did not believe. Why that is so, I have asked myself a million times and then some more. But some things I am learning, cannot be answered.
With an infectious smile, an undeniable giggle, a delicate heart, a brave spirit and profound soul, Lucas was equally challenged by doubt, insecurity, uncertainty. Since early on, I watched with worry and wonder. How could this exceptional boy have so much doubt? With each birthday, my uneasiness increased as did Lucas’ expressions of discontent. And suddenly Lucas found the thing that he was sure would silence whatever made him worry, insecure or anxious…..drugs answered his uneasy spirit.
There are many, many more than many episodes of chaos that grabbed hold of our days, which turned into years. As Lucas grew, so did his demons. And so did mine. I was consumed and lost. All the love in the world, the four treatment facilities and multiple therapists, the pleading friends, my prayers to God could not steer our course. Lucas was being eaten alive by a monster much greater than my profound love for him and I was watching my cherished child go further and further away. It is the saddest tale I will ever tell……
I understood, after innumerable attempts, that this battle may end in defeat. I knew too, that if I did not build a roadblock to my demise that I too would land in the spinning web of insanity. With a prayer and love of community, I understood that healing might begin through speaking up and out. Searching, seeking guidance and listening to those walking their version of my path were the catalysts to inch me forward one minute, one day at a time. No easy task and my days remain cloudy as I take the steps to reinvent a life without my sweet Lucas.
With Lucas’ encouragement, I was determined to do something that could help countless others who shared my story. To create something that might help one person save themselves. KardBoard, a name Lucas gave a thumbs up to, emerged from there….a resource built to help family members learn, grow and protect themselves in the midst of a loved one’s substance use. It is a navigation system. Its guidance, direction and support offer insights, methods and tools from those who have been there. Our vision is to activate audiences using sustainable practices, providing the skills, knowledge and compassion to create positive change. It is a source for OUR recovery….to ignite, thrust forward those whose lives have halted and to address this complex dilemma through exploration of our current and changing role with our loved one.
KardBoard House is for businesses of every type, law firms of all sizes, educational facilities from middle to graduate school, organizations large and small. Family members are in crisis too and with the help of community and the workforce, everyone can do their part to help rebuild and empower those, so they too may once again make productive contributions to their life, community and society.