March 7, 2002

David and I have both had big steaming dollops of heartache plopped onto our plate in the past twenty-four hours ... and some of it is proving to be a little tough to swallow.

Mine is sort of a good news/bad news dollop, I guess. The good news is that after months of nail-biting, nightmares and near nervous collapse over Daughter #2 -- who basically dropped off the face of the planet last summer, shortly after the wedding, and has rarely been seen or heard from since, especially by *me* -- I finally know exactly where she is.

The bad news is that "where she is" is in jail.

My ex-husband called me at work yesterday afternoon to deliver the news. Apparently she was picked up on drug charges on the 2nd  --  almost a week ago  --  and has been languishing in jail ever since, awaiting her arraignment. None of us even knew she was in jail until Ray received a letter in the mail, notifying him of the arraignment schedule.  We don't have much else in the way of information at the moment,.but I'm trying to get a copy of the arrest report. Hopefully that will help fill in some of the gaps. (What kind of drugs are we talking about? How much did she have in her possession? Was it for personal use, or was she planning to go into business? Did her scum-sucking / low-life/*waste-of-perfectly-good-skin-molecules* boyfriend get arrested, too? Or should I fly to TicTac and run over him with my rental car?)

I'm experiencing a veritable smorgasbord of emotions today: sorrow, guilt, anxiety, fury, resignation ... a sort of foolish maternal relief (at least she's not laying in a gutter somewhere) ... an even more foolish sense of hope (maybe this is the rock-bottom she needs to hit, before she can turn her life around?) ... but above all else, deep and abiding love and concern for my daughter.

Maybe the second time will be the charm.

David's serving of heartache is even more bitter and tough to swallow, I'm afraid. A few days ago his brother (who served as Best Man at our wedding last summer) went in for a routine eye exam. The ophthalmologist discovered what he described as a 'freckle' on one retina, and he immediately sent Chris to a specialist for more tests. Last night David called his parents and got the news: a malignant tumor. Again, we have next to nothing in the way of details, other than the fact that the prognosis is 'cautiously optimistic.' We hope to find out more this weekend.

In the meantime, all I can say is that this is an awful lot of bad news to try and digest all at once. It's like expecting a finger sandwich -- your recommended daily allowance of crap and crisis -- but finding yourself on The Glutton Bowl instead, facing down a 40 ft. Italian sub.  Still, David and I are both determined to deal with these crises as rationally -- and as togetherly -- as possible. This isn't "my" problem or "his" problem: these are "our" problems. (Just like this isn't "my" family or "his" family anymore: it's "our" family.)  After all, when we got married last summer, we signed on for better or for worse. God knows we get more than our fair share of *better* on a semi-regular basis.

Guess it's our turn to choke down a big heaping helping of *worse.*

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