AND . . . She’s Off and Running

Posted on May 10, 2010. Filed under: Addiction Resources/Support, Intervention, Parent of an Addict, Treatment Centers | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Mission accomplished.  As of last night, my daughter is in a medical detox house in southern California and, after 10 – 14 days, will move to an all women’s long term treatment center close by. Hayley is in a race for her own life and it will be more of a marathon than a sprint.  But first, I want to give you the details of yesterday’s live-action thriller.  It’s a frick’in  miracle that it all came off – definitely a case of “divine intervention”, or “cosmic convergence”, whichever you prefer.

(For background leading up to Saturday, you might want to read “Ready . . . Set . . . Go.”)

Here’s a summary.  The ball started rolling about 10 days ago when Hayley called and asked if I’d take her to register at DSHS (state welfare system), a major move on her part.  She’s always been afraid to do this for fear of being arrested for violating her probation.  I said yes, and picked her up.  That day, I was able to spend a couple of hours with her, get her to see a drug counselor at Dependency Health Services, and buy her groceries.  She looked terrible.  Her money and drug supply had dried up, and she was desperate.  She said she thought she was ready to go to treatment. I didn’t let her in on all the time and effort we had been spending to find a place for her.  While at DSHS, she started the application process for the state funded drug treatment program, which I thought was a positive sign – and that this option could always be our/her “Plan B”.  Hayley was to return the following week for an interview and follow-up appointment.  However, when I spoke with her a few days later, just one week ago today, she was dope sick and getting ‘punched and pushed around a lot’ by her roommate, Paula, and drug dealer ‘boyfriend’ – sick, co-dependent relationships, for sure.  I was very afraid for her safety.

Last week was a blur.  Our family conference call exactly one week ago today (Sunday) led to another family conference call Tuesday evening, with interventionist Kristina Wandzilak.  We thought we had found a good treatment center for Hayley, but at the last minute, discovered a major conflict of interest and perhaps a breach in confidentiality by a staff member there.  So, we were back to square one.  That’s when Kristina referred us to two other possibilities, and after days of phone calls talking to both treatment centers, medical detox facilities, and a variety of professionals, we selected Safe Harbor, in Costa Mesa, California, an all-women’s program that could potentially deal with all of Hayley’s problems.  In the meantime, I was trying to stay connected with Hayley so we didn’t ‘lose’ her.  She doesn’t have her own phone and moves between two different drug houses.  Nothing is reliable.  I’m always apprehensive about setting up a meeting time with her, her following through with it, and just being able to reach her by phone when I need to.  When I call her ‘roommate’ Paula’s phone, if Paula doesn’t feel like passing the message on to Hayley, she doesn’t.

By Thursday, we had firmed things up with the treatment and detox facilities.  Airplane tickets were purchased. I had consulted with the only addiction physician in town who wrote 2 prescriptions to keep Hayley more comfortable during the long trip, when she would be in withdrawal. I had shopped for Hayley – buying all new clothes and gear. I didn’t want her taking anything except her ‘blankie’ with her. She still didn’t know the details of our plan. So, I arranged to spend an hour or two with her on Thursday, which I did – it went well.  I told her that we would drive 3 hours to Seattle on Saturday morning, pick up her brothers, Jake and Brian, and then go to the airport where Brian, who had flown up from San Francisco the night before, would escort her down to Safe Harbor in Costa Mesa, California.  I encouraged her to spend Friday night with me, but she said no – that she would be fine.  In essence, she wanted to use right up until the last minute.  And, emotionally, she was a wreck.  She had become involved with and attached to her drug dealer boyfriend, who was facing 7 felony charges (5 years each) after his crack house was raided two months ago. I think that this development of Bill most likely headed to prison, also was a factor in Hayley choosing treatment.  Timing is everything, right?

The departure plan was intricate and tightly scheduled.  We needed to be on the road by 9:00 am Saturday morning in order to connect with her brothers,  Brian and Jake, and then make the plane flight at 2:30 pm.  I was a nervous wreck.  So much could go wrong.

There was just a bit too much time between Thursday and Saturday, in my opinion, to be able to successfully pull this mission off – too much time for Hayley to change her mind, to OD, to have the plan sabotaged in some way by her drug addict ‘family’.  On Friday afternoon, I tried to call Hayley to just check in, and got a message from Paula’s phone that it could no longer receive messages.  I went ballistic – – – my mind catapulted to the worst-case scenario in a millisecond.

Finally, after many phone calls, Paula did pick up – and handed her phone over to Hayley.  “I’m fine, Mom”, Hayley chirped.  I burst in to tears.  “When I couldn’t reach you, Hayley, I thought the worst.  I’ll pick you up at 8:45 am.  Be ready. And if you need or want me to pick you up anytime earlier, just call.”

Friday afternoon and evening flew by, with all my packing and organizing for Hayley.  There were lots of details – and, I was in my highest level of obsessive-compulsive mode.  It was getting closer – – – a chance for Hayley.

I went to bed and was amazed to actually fall asleep.  And then, at 5:30 am on Saturday morning, the phone rang.  I bolted upright in a daze, my heart pounding out of my chest.  “Can you come get me”, Hayley sobbed.  I didn’t know what was wrong – or what I’d find when I arrived, but I quickly dressed and flew out the door.  Hayley was at drug house # 2, where Bill was now living. Everyone was there and apparently they had been up all night. When I pulled up, there she was on the front porch, saying a tearful goodbye to her drug dealer/boyfriend. I got a good look at him – and actually felt some  pity for him.  He was facing prison, losing his ‘girlfriend’, and a dead-end life with little light or hope.  She hugged him several times, walked away, and got in to my car.  I was stunned.

“I want to pick up some things at the other house”, she said.  “And, I need to meet my bail bondsman at 8:00 am to sign some papers before we leave”, she casually added.  WHAT?  I immediately felt a dread in the pit of my stomach.  “What bail bond?” I asked.  “It’s no big deal, Mom. It’s just from when I was arrested last fall for violating my probation.”  I tried not to panic, but my anxiety was building. I was already a wreck – and now, this monkey wrench.

We stopped at the crack house, drove around the back, and Hayley climbed over the garbage and discarded furniture strewn about. She crawled through a small window and disappeared into the house.  No one was there – they were all down at the house we had just come from.  She finally appeared with two bags stuffed with filthy clothes. She went back in to bring out and show me her’ rescued’ stray dog, Kali.  She sobbed hysterically as she held Kali and said goodbye.  It was heartbreaking.  Finally, we were on our way to my house.

As I pulled in to my garage and Hayley unloaded her things, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – one bag full of dirty, torn, smoky clothes I had never seen before, and another full of cheap mystery paperback books. I told her to just keep everything in the garage and that I would wash and send what I could, later. I had already packed her bags, and there wasn’t room for one more thing. (Actually, today I dumped everything into the garbage.  It was all too far gone – and I didn’t want Hayley to ever put on any of those clothes she had acquired (lord knows how) as a heroin addict.)

By now, I’m anxiously watching the clock.  I needed to get myself ready to go, fix breakfast, and get the car loaded.  Hayley took a shower and got dressed.  She couldn’t wear the slip on sneakers I bought for her because her feet were too swollen from shooting up.  “I need an iPod”, she whined.  Oh brother, I think.  That familiar, entitled tone and attitude were still alive and well.

By the time we got out the door, we were late for our 8:00 am appointment with the bail bondsman.  I still was confused about this whole kink in the plan – I knew nothing about bail bonds, what they were, or how they worked.  Hayley assured me everything would take just ten minutes.

We arrived at the bail bond office, which is directly across the street from the county jail.  Hmmmm, I thought to myself. How conveeeeeenient. A young man was there, waiting for us, but knew nothing specific about Hayley’s paperwork.  He called his boss, Javier, who said he’d be there in ten minutes.  So, Hayley and I went next door to a new, ‘happening’ coffee shop to get espressos.  I saw my dentist there with his wife and chatted with them while Hayley waited in line.  When it got close to 9:00 am and the latte’s still weren’t ready, I told Hayley to go back to the bond office to start the paperwork.  Finally, our coffees were ready and as I put lids on them I looked up to see Hayley walk in the coffee shop door being “escorted” by a 350 pound, shaved head, tough looking mother-f—er in a tank top.  “I’m taking her to jail”, he announced to me and to everyone else in the coffee shop.  “Her bail has been revoked”.  It then dawned on me that Javier had set us up – that he had never intended to show up at the office himself and then let Hayley leave town. Hayley had a court date scheduled on Friday, May 14th, and if she didn’t appear then, Javier would be out $3,000..  It was purely business.

I couldn’t believe what was happening.  As I followed Hayley and the ‘MF’er’ out the door, Hayley was pleading, “Please, let Javier talk to my mom.  Can’t she just call him?”  In two minutes we were across the street and “Thug” was punching in the code to the jail’s back door.  And then by some miracle, the ‘big guy’ handed me his phone to talk to his boss.  Javier asked me questions about my self, where I lived, my work history, etc.  I told him that Hayley was going to a drug treatment center in California, and Hayley’s attorney (my brother) had advised us that the treatment center would send a letter to the court testifying to Hayley’s presence.  Javier asked if I would sign a promissory note for the $3,000 bond.  “Yes, of course”, I answered. “And leave a $500 check for deposit”, he added.  Groan.

And then, we were outta there – a few minutes behind schedule, and narrowly averting disaster.  It would have taken hours to have processed Hayley in jail.  Not only would all the carefully planned logistics of physically getting Hayley to treatment have been fouled up, but she would also have been in heavy withdrawal by then. “I never would have gone through with it all, Mom. I would have changed my mind.”

We actually swung in to the Starbuck’s parking lot in Seattle right on schedule.  Brian and Jake were waiting for us.  It was a tearful reunion. The boys hadn’t seen their sister in over a year, and she looked very different. Hayley seemed to be in one of her manic modes, ordering coffee drinks, pastries, and sandwiches – on top of the coffee and food I had purchased a few hours earlier – not to mention the lunch I had packed and the snacks Hayley grabbed from my pantry.  Is this her eating disorder rearing its ugly head?  Here it all comes.  I’ll fast forward a bit, because this has gotten way too long.

On the way to the airport, Hayley’s conversation and humor seemed inappropriate.  She tried on my sunglasses and quipped that she guessed she wouldn’t steal them because they were prescription lenses; she remarked to Jake how lucky he was to have such huge veins in his feet – that she couldn’t find any on her own feet any more; and when she asked Jake about his job and he told her about a recent business trip to Amsterdam, she asked him if he had gotten high there – and recalled being totally blitzed out of her mind when she was there in 2000. Later, Jake told me that Hayley seemed to be her same ‘ol self-centered, brash, entitled self, with a harder edge.  “And the scary part is”, he went on to say, “is that she acted that way before she became a heroin addict. ” He was disappointed and was expecting at least a shred of humility, contriteness, surrender, and gratitude.  It just wasn’t there – in fact, Hayley almost seemed to enjoy dropping little bombs/remarks regaling some of the details of her drug life.

At the airport, Jake and I helped Brian and Hayley get checked in.  Brian, a documentary film maker, had all his camera  and personal gear with him, having come directly from a shoot in Albuquerque. He had his hands full managing all the equipment, bags, Hayley’s meds, and just keeping track of her.  By the grace of god, airport security accepted Hayley’s expired driver’s license and passport as her photo ID.

Jake and I got in to my car and waved goodbye.  Jake was driving, and put his hand on my leg. “Let her go, Mom.  It’s up to her now.”  Brian’s report to us was that the trip went fine.  Hayley slept most of the way.  However, she tried to buy a beer in the airport terminal, and they wouldn’t accept her expired ID.  She had better luck on the plane itself.  Does she realize she will have to give up alcohol, as well?

Brad (Hayely’s dad) and Jill, his wife, were there in California to meet the plane – as was Safe Harbor. And then, it was finished.  The master plan to get Hayley to treatment had been completed.

For about an hour on Saturday, I was with my three children – all of us together at the same time, on the same team, to get Hayley help and out of the risky lifestyle she had been living in for over a year. It was a miracle – – – and the best Mother’s Day present imaginable.  However, now comes the waiting.  Will she stick it out? Can she schmooze her way through a team of professionals like she did in 2002 at the eating disorder treatment center? Who and what has she become?  Can you “undo” ways of thinking and behaving?

P.S.  I drove back home from delivering Hayley to my sons, yesterday, and this morning got back in my car and drove two hours to spend Mother’s Day with my 92 yo mother.  At around 1:00 pm at brunch, my phone rang.  It was the detox center, and my heart sank.  “Hi – – – this is Megan at First House Detox”, she said.  “Normally, phone calls aren’t allowed, but I have your daughter here and she wants to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.”  I was thrilled to hear Hayley’s voice. She sounded good.  Her message to me was sweet, and sincere.  She seemed pleased that she had slept so long that now, it was time for her first suboxone dose.  Hmmmmmm.  That phone call was testimony to Hayley’s incredible persuasion skills.  I just hope that the treatment center staff is up to dealing with them. 

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36 Responses to “AND . . . She’s Off and Running”

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Hope court went ok…… I am still praying for you all!

Sending hopeful thoughts for Hayley and you.

Peggy – I just caught up with the events of the past month and I don’t know which is haunting me more – your mother’s past or Hayley’s. Positioned in the middle of 2 generations with lots of baggage, it is so challenging to find a center that allows understanding and sympathy. We are all learning something about ourselves from your sharing this journey with us. And on a lighter note, yes, you were a damn good phlebotomist! Take care of you! Love , Carol

Peggy, Your strength is amazing! Having grown up knowing Hayley and your family, and being her friend, closer at times than others, these stories seems surreal to me. I did send her a text prior to her going and she replied as well, sounding positive and admitting that she missed her family so much and “couldn’t live this way anymore…” All good signs of getting on her way.
One thing stood out to me about your conversation with Jake, and how she had those behaivors “before” she was on herion…something to think about, before she was on herion she was still an addict and chemically dependent to some sort of drug. (Alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, perscription meds, etc. etc.) I’m not sure that she has not lived a lengthy period of time as an adult without being influenced by some sort of drug. She has yet to develop the personality and coping skills that “typically” take place as an adult, whatever typical means, right? She is probably stuck in her adolescent/addict mind frame…
As Jake said, your work is done. The rest is up to her. All we can do is love her. You’ve given her the roots, Peggy, and have dried her wings, now she has to be the one to allow herself to soar. I hope you find peace. I hope and pray that Hayley does too.

Thanks for your insightful comment, Anna. I forwarded it on to my family members because I thought it was so good. You’re absolutely right – Hayley’s been chemically dependent on something for probably over 1/2 her life – and really doesn’t know how to function or cope completely sober. And, as you said, she also hasn’t developed or acquired the skills necessary to live an independent, responsible adult life. I’m terrified that 90 days in a treatment center won’t be enough time to fully address all her issues, and be able to have some kind of impact on her psyche. She is going to have to want extended treatment and therapy for a long time, in order for her to truly excavate what drives her behavior. I’m fairly pessimistic about her being able, or having the desire to do this.
In any event – thanks so much for reaching out to our dear Hayley, who needs to feel loved, and accepted, and that we do have hope for her. Best, Peggy

I’m so very, very happy for you. This is such a tough thing for parents of addicts and how we respond or intervene has everything to do with their history. It’s just unique to each individual…
I think you did a great job, by intervening when you did and doing the legwork to get her into a treatment facility. More importantly, it sounds as though she’s at a place in her life where she’s ready to embrace positive change. I can understand when you say you’re not overly optimistic. My daughter has been in 6 different rehabs since she was 15. But, I really do believe that each time something more ‘sticks’ and makes it harder for them to use. My daughter says that every since she got on the recovery road the high was ruined for her. The need was still there but it wasn’t fun anymore. And that’s a good thing. Remember also, that for some people (the lucky ones) one time around on the rehab train is enough. Praying for you and your daughter…
Carolyn

Carolyn – thanks so much for this message – it gave me such hope – a great way to start off my day. Peggy

Prayers continue! I am so hopeful for your daughter. I’m familiar with the treatment center you chose and she’s actually pretty close to me, too, geographically. I hope she is open to receiving the tools she needs and the help and I pray for you both, every day. God bless!

Peggy, so happy for you and Haley! I thought about you all weekend, glad she made it to detox!

Gosh, Peggy – I can’t get over what you went through on Saturday. And so much happened before your first cup of coffee! You are amazing to have been able to hold it all together with all the surprises you faced. And as for Hayley’s big talk about her life as a heroin addict, that is certainly familiar. My daughter told me that when she was in rehab, the addicts frequently compared drug-life experiences. Let’s face it, for Hayley, my daughter and so many others, they hit a point where drugs are their life. There’s not much else they can do or talk about. (My daughter seem to revel in telling the ER nurse that she’d never find a working vein.)
The great thing is that she is entering a long-term program where she can start learning about herself again. And every minute that goes by, she has less and less heroin in her system. Isn’t that a joyous thought!
I’m so relieved she’s getting this chance. And I know you must feel incredible relief that she’s out of harm’s way for now.
Hugs,
Gal

Oh Peggy, the story was even more dramatic and spooky than I imagined. I am so relieved that you are safely home and that Hayley is safely in a treatment center. I expect that it will take you some time to “come down” after all that’s happened the last couple of weeks. I believe that your priority now needs to be YOU. Please let me know how I can help. I think there is an AA & Alanon women’s recovery luncheon this Saturday, isn’t there??!

I read your log update at 6 am and never got back to comment! I am so happy for you- I Know you are not sure if you can actually breathe yet, and I am comforted in the knowledge that you realized her manipulation skills allowed her to call you! I chuckled because it was exactly what I think each time Stevie does something like that. I remember laughing and rolling my eyes when the public defender told me he was a sweet boy who just got in with the wrong crowd, and had just started using….(3 yrs in)…… kudo’s to your and your family- job well done. The rest is up to Hayden….. I am still praying!

I am so glad she started on the right path! Have a nice rest for yourself.

Peggy,

My heart was pounding as I read your blog for fear something went wrong, so I was relieved to continue reading and see that your mission was accomplished. Now it really is up to Hayley. I can’t imagine all the emotions of your day. I’m sending hugs to you daily.

Thanks, Karen, for traveling on this road with me. It helps to have company.

Not sure why my name isn’t linked to my blog. I’m new at this. My blog is:
http://onepillaway.wordpress.com/

So far so good. I was thinking about you and praying for you yesterday.

Such great news!!! Im so happy for you and your family!! While reading your post, it reminded me of how my daughter would and still does, blurt things out about her drug use and jail time. I used to cringe from embarressment and try not to look around to see who had heard her, but I am pretty much used to it now. I could never figure out why she did that and apparently she is not alone with giving the shock treatment to us parents!

Thanks for your comments, Cindy. I’m thinking that Hayley’s self-esteem is so low, and she is so desperately trying to find a place for herself in the world and in life, that she needs to brag about her survival skills and status as a ‘successful’ drug addict. This is all she has right now. This was something she was ‘good’ at. And especially, in the company of her two successful brothers, (the youngest by nine years), who have essentially passed her by in life – or so she thinks.

Hi Peggy,

I’ve known your Haley for along time, and has been heartbreaking to watch over the last few years. After reading your blog I felt compelled to call her, and to my suprise she answered (2 weeks ago). She was very honest with me about how disperate her life had gotten and was ready to ‘pull up’. I was very happy when I heard the news about Saturday, she’ll be in my thoughts and prayers, like you said so well if she was able to live this life of a herion junkie, and not kill herself .. she can do anything, and she WILL!

OMG, Todd. You have been on my list to contact, but I wasn’t quite sure how to reach you. I just learned about your call to Hayley, and wanted to thank you for reaching out to her. I think most friends don’t really know how to do that. I am so grateful for your courage and caring enough to actually follow through with the call, and track her down. She told me that your call made a difference and was part of the ‘critical mass’ necessary to give her the strength to get help. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m putting your email on my personal friends list to send updates to. Feel free to call me any time – I’d love to take you to coffee some day soon. Peggy

Also, Todd. Hayley’s phone is often not working – – – either she has no money for minutes, or it’s not charged (she can’t find her charger – has to take it to a neighbor’s to use their charger) So the fact that when you called her 2 weeks ago, and she actually answered the phone, is just remarkable – and could be some kind of “Divine Intervention” or cosmic convergence working. It was meant to be, I guess. Peggy

Oh my gosh, I am tearing up! What a wonderful Mother’s Day present!!!
Thanks for all the details, what a long ordeal – but it paid off!!! Praise God 🙂 I am so happy for you all 🙂

Drama, now that and addiction and recovery go together dont they. Wishing you all the best and hoping we can catch up soon. Maybe my daughter can help yours in some way later in time.
ttyl

Peggy – woohoo – what an adrenalin fuelled day!! I was so happy to read she had made it safe there. Her journey is just beginning and you can rest easy at night knowing she is safe and on the right track. Best of luck with it all. What a whirlwind!

WOW! What an incredible “adventure”! You know how happy I am to hear this news. I think it was your visit to her on her birthday that sparked something in her to have hope and desire help.

Let me assure you, what she said here is normal behavior:

“Hayley almost seemed to enjoy dropping little bombs/remarks regaling some of the details of her drug life.”

I’m not sure WHY, but Keven is the same exact way. In fact he’s used the exact same line about nice veins in someone’s feet!!! I tell myself its a way of dealing with their thoughts of using…if they say it out loud and make a joke out of it, it has less power over them. That’s just my guess. Keven STILL does that sometimes. Like he’ll be leaving for the gym and he’ll say “I’m going to shoot up, be back in an hour”. I hate it but I try to ignore it in case he’s doing it to get a reaction out of me.

And I think that ALL addicts are manipulative and sneaky and can talk their way in and out of most situations…but NOT when dealing with trained professionals. So don’t worry about that – The people at the detox and Safe Harbor have seen hundreds of Haleys and Kevens and know how to handle them 🙂

I am so very happy to know she’s taken this step (and she’s only a few minutes from my house! That’s kind of cool knowing that)

OMG, Barbara. Hope my daughter doesn’t show up on your door step one day. It’s amazing the connections we make through our blogs, isn’t it? I hope now to be able to have the time to catch up with all of your and your lives – – – and drama. Peggy

Whew, so happy you made it through all that and she is safely in Detox. She is so lucky to have you all supporting her in her efforts to get well. I find that my son tends to still have the entitled attitude whether he is using or not. Hopefull my son and your daughter will find some humility while they are in treatment. (((HUGS)))

Congrats to both you and Haley. She has taken the first step which is not an easy one. A lot of addicts never even make it to this step. I pray for her success and commitment to the program she is attending. Yes, please keep us posted on her progress. Reading about her attitude and inappropriate comments on her way to rehab reminded me of myself. At that time she was still the “drug altered” Haley. Perhaps after detox, her true personality will begin to come through or even a more humbled personality. For me, detox was very humbling. Best wishes!!!!

Thank you so much for your comments. I’m hoping that Hayley will undergo an attitude adjustment at some point, and let go of her anger, defense mechanisms, and ‘spin’ tactics. This will take time, I know. It was just so disheartening to hear her conversation on the way to treatment. Her brother, Jake, remarked, “Ya know, Mom. Unfortunately, Hayley was like that before she started using heroin”. Perhaps a personality transplant is in order? Peggy

Do you have a blog? If so, please send me the name of it. I’m always very curious about recovering addicts, and what I can learn from them.

I sincerely hope she finds sobriety. And that u don’t ever enable and control to this point again.

Dawn,
I’m not overly optimistic about my daughter’s recovery. I know what the stats are, and what our intervention means as far as outcome. It probably could taint the whole process and jeopardize Hayley’s chance at true recovery. I know that. I just had to give it a shot – just once – in order to live with myself. Theoretically, I think that Hayley deserves a chance at sobriety, and needed a ‘hand up’ to try. After this initial help from her family, I will turn the rest over to Hayley and abide by our ‘no contact’ declaration to her should she fail to fully complete the program.

Believe me – I’m not jumping for joy. I’m somewhat skeptical of Hayley’s commitment and grit to get through what is asked of her during the next few months. However, just for now, when I hear sirens at night, I don’t cringe. I’ll take that. Peggy

hey Peg, i’m not throwing stones LOL. I put my daughter through at least 6 rehabs before I got a clue !! Remember, you just started walking this road, I am at the end of the journey so to speak ! I sincerely hope it works.

I hope that your prayers have been answered. What a great Mothers Day gift for you. My children bought me a gift but what I said to them is that all I wanted was your sister healthy and she is so my gift was given already. I was thinking about you all weekend. Prayers are still coming Hayley’s way so that she sticks with the program. She has a long and hard road ahead of her.

Awesome job, Peggy. I wish Haley success. I think the answer is definitely long term and away from everyone. Keep us posted.


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