Biographical Non-Fiction posted May 16, 2017 Chapters:  ...14 15 -16- 17... 

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...the visit

A chapter in the book Family Poems and Stories

Minneapolis Adventure - Part II

by Mustangpatty1029

I so wish I could tell all of you that my visit found Gregory clean of drugs and willing to talk about going into counseling.  It is in my heart of hearts to say that the rest of the visit was perfect in every way, but it is what it is.  The disappointment I have wasn't revealed to him, though I know he felt it.
Early on Wednesday morning, Gregory came to my room so we could go out to breakfast.  His knock on my door was a wonderful sound, and I hurried to open it.  His welcoming hug was wonderful.  He seemed taller than I remembered, but it is probably because I'm starting to shrink. 
I drank in the sight of him.  My baby boy was standing in front of me for the first time in well over a year and I couldn't help but notice he's skinny, lanky and sporting a full beard.  His glasses were a pair he got in the military and his clothes were clean.  The smell of his body wash lingered in my nose, and I basked in his presence. 
We both skipped over the events of the day before and started our usual chatter about everything and anything.  We made our way downstairs to the restaurant in the hotel and were seated at a table off in a corner.  It didn't really matter; the place was practically empty.  We talked to our hearts' content.
While I could tell he wasn't high, I knew he was controlling his intake to accommodate my visit.  We didn't delve right into the subjects I wanted to talk about, but since we have total honesty between us, I was clued in.  He's still doing drugs and he is selling to support himself.
We went for a walk in the downtown area.  Minneapolis has this maze of skyways between the many buildings.  You need to know the names of the streets you are looking for, or at least the name of the building.  It felt like we walked for a long time to get through just a few blocks.  I enjoyed seeing the city from higher up, and found the walkways a lot of fun.  My leg was bothering me, so we stopped in a coffee shop and grabbed a seat by the window.  The mocha was great, but the conversation was one of life's more difficult.
I brought my copies of the chapters of 'One Man's Journey to Get Clean,' and took them from my bag.  Gregory read through them and asked me at one point if those were his copies.  When I said yes, he took out a pen and made notes in the margins.  He reads faster than me, and he was through all ten chapters within forty-five minutes.  When he was done, we talked about everything.
"Mom, this is really good, but you have to know that the piece has the overall feeling of an episode of 'Intervention.'  I do know that you want me to get off the drugs and go into rehab.  You need to know that I'm not ready.  I need to come up with a plan.  What will my life look like later?"
He reached for my hand and took it in his.  His smile was beautiful even though I hated the words.  "You can't make me better by wishing for it.  I know you will always pray, just like I know you will always love me.  Your character of Mary is you, and I wish I could give you the happy ending right now.  I wish I could promise you there will be one."
My heart hurt, but I had known all along this could be the case.  I tabled the discussion for a bit, vowing to myself that we would talk about going to see a counselor later in the trip.
We decided to split up when we got back to my hotel room, so Gregory could go and 'do his own thing.'  I was thankful for the time to journal the things he told me and look over his notes on my stories. 
He wrote notes on how to make the story stronger.  He gave me more insight into the underworld of drugs, dealers, and the ways to survive.  I knew these words would make the book stronger and help me tremendously with the rewrite, but it hurt to know where the information came from.  I set aside the project and resolved to take a nap before dinner.
We spent the next few days enjoying the city, good restaurants, and each other's company.  We started each morning with breakfast, and completed the day with a nice dinner.  We were only together for three to four hour blocks of time, and though I knew exactly why this was, I took the time between to make notes, rest, and put the information I gained into perspective.  It was sometimes overwhelming. 
He took me to his apartment and I met his roommates.  There are four of them living in a two-bedroom apartment.  There is only one tiny bathroom, and I was surprised by the cleanliness.
Gregory showed me the hobbies he uses to occupy his time.  He has started building boxes of lightweight wood and he gave me one he finished to give to his Dad.  He has also been painting wooden flowers you can find in craft stores.  He presented me with a bouquet, and each one is uniquely beautiful.
On Friday afternoon, we went to an appointment I set up with a counselor.  Gregory was willing to talk and they spent about an hour together.  He has a follow up appointment next week, and I can only pray he will continue to go and that it will lead to rehab.
Early Saturday morning, Gregory came to my hotel to spend some time before the car service would arrive to take me to the airport.  I hadn't really slept, but I was packed and ready to go.  We talked about future trips I would make to see him and I asked him if he had a plan now.  He reached into his bag and showed me a handwritten list of the steps he needed to take to rebuild his life.  It was a detailed list and I knew he put a great deal of thought into it. 
We went down to the lobby and I checked out.  The limo driver was waiting for me, and Gregory and I hugged.  We said our goodbyes.  I tried to remember every detail.  I let him go and got into the car.  The visit was over and I had more information, but there were still no concrete answers.



the picture is one I took of Gregory while we were having coffee in the sky way cafe. I was surprised at the beard, and the glasses he's wearing really reveal just how near-sighted he is.
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