Behind the mask

Behind the mask

 Living in downtown Annapolis, we’ve been watching reconstruction of Lawyers Mall, the open-air, bricked plaza facing Maryland’s State House, for more than two years now.

Recently, I spoke with one of the dozens of workmen.

“Just a few more weeks,” he said.  “It’s been a daily haul, but we’re almost there.”   Even his thick, dusty mask couldn’t hide the broad smile.

Something about the worksite and the intensity of the men – their focus, teamwork, and pride in their achievement after a long haul – made me think of my son, and because of him, of all the men and women I’ve met in recovery.

Jacob’s addiction lasted for years.  Once recovery began, it took another year and a half before sobriety took hold.

Rebuilding an iconic mall takes time and focus and a huge team.

Rebuilding lives after addiction takes time, focus and a huge team, too.

As Jacob’s mom, I like to think I was part of his team.  Professionals tell me that family support in addiction is important.  But in reality, I played only a sideline role, standing at the curb and watching as each brick got laid, each tree planted, each elegant streetlamp was placed just so.

The hard work of focus and finding his team had to be his.  I needed to do my own work, find support through Al-Anon, and build my own road to recovery,

Any day Lawyers Mall will re-open with all the fanfare it deserves.

Every day I celebrate that Jacob – like so many impressive men and women I have come to know through him – is sober and healthy.  As am I.  And our work continues.

Could there be a better reason to smile behind a mask?

13 Replies to “Behind the mask”

  1. You nailed it – with sensitive observations that resonate with your readers. Thank you for showing the real meaning of teamwork. Onward and upward, dear friend.

  2. Happy Holidays Lisa, the timing of this post is on point as each of your post are. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  3. Your honest, thoughtful, tender sensitive, insightful essay about your and Jacob’s daily struggles —sometimes with a mask and sometimes without—touched my heart . Beautiful!!

  4. Lisa, so beautifully written reflecting your strength, tenacity insight and compassion.
    What an amazing mother you are.

    1. Linda, hah! Not sure my children would agree with you…but you are very kind.
      Hoping you are well, and if I can ever help, or just listen, let me know.
      Best to you for the holidays and next year.

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