My beautiful mother struggled with mental illness and addiction for all of my life. She got sober so many times and then would fall back into old ways. It was heartbreaking to watch her struggle because she would have given me her last breath on earth when she was sober. For years, she was doing amazing and thriving in life. She helped me raise my son for the first seven years of his life and they were as close as close could be. A back injury led to pain killers and then to a downward spiral of alcohol and heroin use. My Mom went out on her own after divorcing my dad and met a guy who made her think she couldn't live without him. He ruined the rest of her life. She was in and out of jail, homeless, and even I had to cut her out of my life for a while because it was so toxic. She wasn't even at my wedding because she was nowhere to be found for months.
After her last arrest this year she went to rehab and was doing well, or so we thought. This man who ruined her had left the state and we were working towards rebuilding our relationship as mother and daughter. Then on her birthday she met up with this guy and went to the city to get high. My Mom overdosed and went into massive cardiac arrest on the train home, on her birthday. He left her for dead and by the time anyone noticed she was uncomfortable, she was already brain dead. I never got to say goodbye to my Mom, I never got to wish her a happy birthday this year, I never got to tell her how much I loved her that morning.
My beautiful mother is now at peace, I hope, and no longer struggling with her demons. I just hope she knows how much I miss her and thank her for making me the strongest person I know.