In most of my life experiences I have seek to find the answers to the many different questions that I have discovered. An example is the question of why I only grew to be 5’8″ tall. The answer that I found was that it’s in my genetics. About half the men in my family tree where the same height or shorter while in one of the branches of the family tree the men were 6 feet and taller. As a police detective I was constantly looking for the answer of why a crime was committed and who committed the crime. For example, an 18-year-old male was stabbed numerous times in the chest and face while just standing on a street corner. The answer in this case was that he was kissing another woman, not his girlfriend, when his girlfriend walked up to him. In a fit of rage the girlfriend stabbed the young man some 30 times. Another example, two siblings who lived in the projects of a large city were found shot to death in the hallways of the building. The resulting investigation found that the two siblings had begun to sell drugs on one of the floors of the building which was considered to be the territory of another rival drug dealer. The answer for the crime here was that the siblings were the result of a drug territorial dispute.
I would like to think that logic played a large part in finding answers to some of the many questions in my life. But logic was not the reason that I fell in love with my wife. Logic was not the reason for my many moves to find a new home. Logic is not the reason that I love my children and that I would fight for my country. Logic is not the reason for my PTSD. Logic is not the reason that I will begin to cry when I am confronted with man’s inhumanity to man.
Recently, I was faced with a question that I have no answer for. One of my sons had become a drug addict. My son is the father of four children and has been successful in completing his training where he became a registered nurse. My son is married to a wonderful woman whom he is always seem to be very much in love with. My son has a huge family support system where he lives and yet there was a recent report of his attempts to commit suicide, I thought that he was a very stable and strong man. So I started to search again for the answer of why my son would use and then abuse drugs so much that he has become an addict. I cannot find the answer of why he would lie to me and his family members or why he would steal money and become unreliable and untrustworthy. As a narcotics detective I had seen many similar cases of successful and responsible people turning into drug addicts. During those times I also watched their family members try to find the answer of why this person will become an addict. Many times in the search for an answer people would find a way to blame somebody else or something else. Some would blame the environment that the person lived in. Some would blame a prior traumatic event as the reason the person turned to drug addiction. Many would try to find some excuse for the actions of the drug addict. I cannot find the answer of why my son became a drug addict. I only know that he is a drug addict and cannot be trusted or believed. I know that he will do anything he can to get his hands on some more drugs. He is currently in a residential rehab program that holds some hope of his escape from his drug addiction. But like many people who I arrested, I know that the monkey will always be close to the back of the person who is a drug addict. And so for one of those few times in my life I do not have the answer of why he became a drug addict or what the future will bring. I have no concrete plan on how to respond to the many different possible scenarios that his drug addiction could bring into my life. This is one of the few times in my life that I feel powerless and somewhat overwhelmed at this situation.
During this same period of time, it was discovered that I have AFIB, a heart condition where one part of my heart is out of sync with the other. Although, I know that many people have AFIB and it is a very survivable and treatable condition. I once again began to search for the answer of why I have such a condition. It reminds me that I asked the same question when I found out that I had prostate cancer. Why me? The answer could be that it’s in my genetics or that I’m just another random number with the condition. What could I have done to prevent myself from having AFIB? I do not have the answer to that nor to the answer of why I had prostate cancer.
I do not like it that I do not have the answers to the questions that I have presented. I know that I can spend the rest of my life trying to find the answers. I know that I will just have to live with the fact that I will not have an answer. I do not have the answer of why God allows the many different situations that occur in the world and the universe. I do not have the answer of why one life is taken during a tornado and the person next to them is spared. I do not have the answer to why there is so much evil in the world alongside of so much good. I do not have the answer to these questions. I do not believe that I will ever have the answer to these questions. With this in mind, I know that I will not have the answer of why my son became a drug addict.
There are some questions that just don’t have an answer. In a prior blog I wrote about the concept of “why” and the answer was “because”. When it comes to my finding the answers to the above mentioned situations I will have to live with the vague response of “because”.
Even though I do not have an answer, I do have a response to the situations. The response is that I just keep on living. I will take things one day at a time. When times are bad I will just have to suck it up and continue with whatever situation is presented to me. I will respond to my son’s addiction by letting him know that I love him, but I will not support his drug addiction. I’ll respond to my heart condition by following the doctor’s orders and taking my medications.
I will continue to look for answers, but I do so knowing that not all questions will have an answer. I would like to exclaim something cute like, don’t worry be happy. But I will worry and there will be days that I’m not happy. I will respond to the unhappy days by making the next day happy.
Answers, I do not have all of them. But I’m willing to live with not having the answers by trying to enjoy my remaining days on this earth. And I will try to do it like my father did by living through it all with a smile on my face.