I stayed home from work today. Appears I have vertigo — leaving me nauseous and dizzy and wobbly….around noon I received a rambling text from a former student. not just any student, this kid was in my class for 6 years — middle school and high school. talented, empathetic, stubborn, ridiculously beautiful, easily led.
She floundered junior and senior year. her mom got sick, her friends ran wild and she ran with them. Barely graduated, barely. Thinking back, they did her no favors pushing her on and through. she may have benefited from another year of structure.
But it was not to be. She graduated. straight into drug use, abuse, addiction. went to jail, to rehab, to halfway houses, to rehab…..struggled. got in touch with me when she was clean and then would disappear for months.
Until, around 3 years ago “momma rock, I’m pregnant…hes a great guy, in treatment too, we understand each other…” struggled to stay clean in pregnancy, failed. Baby daddy disappeared. Baby born addicted to heroin, 3 weeks in a locked ward in the hospital, then sent home with mom — no requirement for treatment or followup required.
For the past 2 years she has been in and out of touch. mom and I speak fairly regularly. She asks me to touch base every once in a while, says Kelli feels a bond with me. Mom has custody of the baby, beautiful 2 year old Kenna.
So, today I get a text. Asking me to find her a shelter. Asking me to forgive her, asking me for money. I sent her the centralized intake number for shelter. Told her she never had to ask me to forgive her anything, but that I could not give her money. She typed ” I understand” and not another word.
I contacted mom and told her of our conversation, she thanked me for giving her the number and said, she too didn’t know if kelli was clean or using and that she understood why i didn’t offer cash.
I wish I had offered to take her shopping. I wish I had been able to drive her to a shelter. I wish heroin had not gotten ahold, so many years ago, of such a beautiful, innocent soul.