When I wake the next day Jason still is not home. Lane goes to school. I am glad I have the day off. Jason is always a mess the day after a relapse. I don't expect him till around noon so I take a nap. The phone rings at 11:30. Not recognizing the number I answer it. It is Valley Hope, the rehab center that would not take him back. The person on the phone asked how Jason is doing. She said that she had been wondering about him. I try to give the generic answer that he is fine. She keeps talking. I start to cry. I tell her that Jason disappeared the night before and I do not know where he is. She tells me she will keep us in her prayers. I'm sure you know what I was thinking I need not type it out.
I had already planned to have a few friends over that evening. I have a friend that I have not seen since Jason's overdose. My time had been focused on Jason. I did get out some for Lane's ballgames but not much else. I had invited her over along with some other friends who she had not seen either. I am thinking about cancelling just in case Jason needs me to sit with him.
As it gets closer and closer to five and I still have not heard from my son I decide to clean up the house and go ahead with my get together. While picking up the house I find his phone. No wonder he has not answered my texts. He has always been the best of my sons about answering me. Even at his worst times he will at least tell me he loves me. People start showing up at 4:30. My friends bring pizza and wine. We laugh and talk for a few hours before everybody bundles back up to go home.
I wake at three in the morning and am worried about Jason. It is extremely cold out. I am worried that whoever he is with could not deal with him and kicked him out. He could freeze to death outside. Without his phone he will have no way to call me. I fall back to sleep around 5:00 am.
When I wake up at eight I decide I will call all of his friends today and see if anyone has seen him. I am also going to put out a missing person report. Oh yes, it is my ex's, his dad's, birthday today I will send him a text to wish him a happy birthday. I am not sure what I will tell him about Jason.
I put on my coat to walk to work.
As I walk down the driveway I look into an outbuilding window. There is Jason. My heart leaps in excitement and relief. "Jason is home." I say out loud. I yell his name. He does not answer me. He is staring at the wall. This is typical for the day after a relapse. After his last relapse I found him in an empty apartment my sister was moving out of. He stood and talked to me while looking straight at the wall not even turning his head towards me. He was hungry. I told him I would bring him biscuits and gravy. As I turned to leave he said, "What no hug?"
He still does not answer me as I turn towards the doorway. I decide I will be a little late to work so I can get him inside and fed. Then I see the rope. I drop everything and run to him. I spin him around to see his face. It is rested and peaceful. His eyes are closed. His lips and tongue are dark purple almost black. I run back out screaming. There is a pickup driving by. I run across my yard to stop it. I stop myself. Run back to where I dropped my phone. I call 911 and tell them my son is dead. I call in a replacement to work for me. I call his dad. I call the school. I do not want Lane to hear about this on Facebook or through a text. I call a good friend who I know will come sit through this with me. I wait for the ambulance.