"You will not enter this house! You will not take my child," I say to death.
Death stalks my son.
I feel his presence daily. I sense when he's close. I can practically smell his putrid decay surrounding us.
Death goes by many names — Molly, Uppers, Weed, Kiddie Dope, Horse, Benzos. In fact, he will change his name to tempt you, to treat you, and to take you.
A dime bag is all it takes to invite him in.
I'm not sure when I first became aware of his presence. He's a sneaky S.O.B. and he fooled me for many years.
I've already mourned the loss of my baseball-loving boy. His carefree smile died long ago. Perhaps that was the first sign. His eyes are darker now, his demeanor sadder. He carries a heavy burden each day he awakes and chooses life.
Each night I pray that my child will continue to choose life.
My son sometimes courts death like a lover. "Come closer, baby," he whispers. "Take the pain away. Take me."
Other times, he pushes death away, terrified of its powers. I've seen him weep like a child begging for mercy, pleading to be safe from death's grip. His suicidal confessions have brought me to my knees.
Yet death's powers are determined. He never really ventures too far away. The right combination of drugs and alcohol will make you so sick that you pray for death to take you.
Death knows this. He counts on it.
My mom instincts tell me when he's returning. I all but stand at the door and yell, "You will not enter this house! You will not take my child!"
I've said as much to the personification of death in an unknown car in my driveway. When I realized what was happening, I stormed over to this man's car and got in his face. I didn't shout; I said it quietly; I said it intentionally.
"Get the f*ck away from my house and don't you ever come back, or I swear to God I will kill you myself."
It was a foolish thing to do. I could've been killed myself. But I would do it again.
I've already lost my once-little boy. I will stand beside my now-grown son and fight Death.
Although my son is healthier now, I know Death hasn't fully retreated. He will not enter this house as long as I'm still alive.
This article was originally published at www.rebellesociety.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.