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  • Writer's pictureMary Jensen

Airplanes and Ice Cream

Finding peace when you live with an addict

When my son was young we used to go to the airport to watch the planes take off and land. He must have been about four years old. There was a small parking area just outside the fence line of the airport’s landing strip. On a short stretch of grass between the parking spaces and the fence line there were a few picnic tables. My son and I would sit at the picnic table closest to the fence.

We loved to watch those planes. He was always amazed to see them drop out of the sky and glide along the landing strip. We would imagine the places passengers were traveling to and from. He liked to make up destinations, like Dragonland and Toy Island. Most times he picked Planet X which was his favorite character, Buzz Lightyear’s home planet.

For me, these times were very precious. I loved spending time with him. Watching him marvel at these huge birds was pure joy.

This was also an escape

Finding peace when you live with an addict

As much as I enjoyed taking him to watch the planes come and go, for me, this was also an escape from my own reality.

Chaos from addiction engulfed my home. It was brought on by living with an active addict who could not break free from the addiction.

The airport landing strip, in spite of the loud jet engines, was a calm quiet place to get away. I would sit and watch these airplanes and wish that my son and I were aboard going to some faraway island.

There was always hot fudge

Finding peace when you live with an addict

I dreamed of a place where we could sit on the beach and play in the sand without the dark cloud that seemed to forever be hovering over us. My son and I imagined opening our own ice cream shop on a beach. We would make up new ice cream flavors complete with toppings and hot fudge. There was always hot fudge. There was always laughter. Until it was time to go home.

Dread weighed on me as we got in the car. I did not want to go home. I did not want to face reality. Living with an addict is hard. It will suck the life out of you if you let it. I learned one way to keep my sanity was to get away from the chaos. Find a calm place. Let my mind wander. The airport was my calm place. It was a place to create happy memories to counter all the negative ones.

I am reminded of those days

Finding peace when you live with an addict

Now, my son is grown up. The chaos and the addict are no longer in my life. Still, whenever I see an airplane taking off, I am reminded of those days and that little boy’s face lighting up in awe as he watched the big metal birds take flight. Those memories still bring me peace.

Copyright 2018, Mary Jensen, All Rights Reserved

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