“…One of those rare books you can’t put down…Stories are both heartbreaking and uplifting…A must read.” –Patricia Rosen, publisher of Sober World Magazine
I will never forget the day he prophetically said to me, “Mom, she’s going to get pregnant and you’ll end up raising her baby.” My immediate reaction to his statement was to dispel it. I honestly didn’t believe that would ever happen. She loved kids, had always talked about being a mom and deep down I just knew she wouldn’t chance getting pregnant while doing drugs—no way. Or so I thought.
When I received her call saying, “Mom, I’m pregnant,” my heart dropped. When I asked if she had stopped doing heroin, she said she was going to a doctor and he had put her on methadone. I figured if she was seeing a doctor all was well. But then she told me the doctor wanted to do a test because he thought the baby might have Down’s syndrome. In my typical fashion, I reassured her. I told her not to worry. If the baby had problems, it would be fine and of course, I would help her.
My husband, our five-year-old grandson and I were waiting for our flight back home when my cell-phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number and almost didn’t answer. It was a young woman’s voice.
“What? What did you say? Are you saying she’s…gone?”
“She expired at eight thirty this morning,” the woman apologetically said. I could hardly speak through my trembling and my tears. “How?” I managed to ask—my voice cracked. She said she didn’t know. Because our daughter was alive when she arrived at the hospital, an autopsy would need to be performed to determine the cause of death.
I was numb. But now it was real. We were mommy and daddy in the truest sense—grandparents raising our grandchild.
Lynne Gassel is author of FIFTH CHILD: The Turbulent Path That Led to Raising Our Child’s Child and is Administrator on The Addict’s Mom G2G (Grandparent to Grandparent) website that supports other grandparents raising grandchildren. In addition to writing, she is a fine artist and a singer.
Laura Chapman is Co-Founder and Vice President of non-profit organizations, “Families in the Fire” and “Zachary’s Closet” and committed to supporting families of addicts raising their children’s children. A contributing author to Aloha, The Message of Hawaii, she is a copywriter/editor.
The Addict’s Mom UNEXPECTED HEROES: Stories of Love and Sacrifice in the Face of Addiction (284 Pages) can be purchased on Amazon.com in soft cover ($14.95) and Kindle/E-books ($9.99) ISBN -13: 9780692480557.
I created “The Addict’s Mom” (TAM) 9 years ago when I learned that two of my sons were addicted to drugs. TAM embraces mothers and other family members of loved ones who suffer from the disease of Substance Use Disorder (SUD.) TAM offers members, both online and in person, the opportunity for open and honest “Sharing Without Shame” of their pain and challenges with their children who are addicted. Sadly, my own boy, Daniel Montalbano, died recently.
When Lynne Gassel joined TAM, she discovered that there are many members raising their grandchildren, just as she is. Their grown children are in active addiction, in prison, or tragically, deceased; thus, the reason to provide a safe and stable home for their grandchildren. In response to the need, Lynne and I created “The Addict’s Mom G2G” (Grandparent to Grandparent) group that offers grandparents the opportunity to share their unique, sometimes tragic, and personal experiences.
Now, I, on behalf of “The Addict’s Mom” am proud to announce another significant accomplishment of our wonderful TAM members: our first published book. I am very pleased to present our newest project from our TAM Grandparent Group (G2G.) Unexpected Heroes: Stories of Love and Sacrifice in The Face of Addiction, is our book written by TAM members Lynne Gassel and Laura Chapman. They each offer their own special insight into raising their grandchildren; these remarkable women present a compelling view of their lives. By sharing stories of the challenges, angst and joys of raising grandchildren, it is their wish to help other grandparents cope with the daily trials of guiding their own grandchildren to a successful future; a future that the parents of these exceptional children did not achieve.
The grandparents in these touching stories are heroes, not only for accepting the responsibility for their grandchildren, but more important, for protecting precious young lives when their own parents could not.
In the words of Lynne’s grandson: “You were the only one who fought for me. I will never forget you!”
UNEXPECTED HEROES: Stories of Love and Sacrifice in the Face of Addiction. Order your copy now, and support the work of TAM. Proceeds from book sales will support The Daniel Montalbano Memorial Scholarship Fund benefitting families raising grandchildren as a result of addiction.