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Homesick

Charles hated being away from home for things like sleepover camp that was out of town. University of Richmond baseball camp in Richmond was fine. But anything outside of Richmond he hated.

I so needed him to go for that two weeks during the summer. I loved him but he could be exhausting and needed a break. I got hate mail from camp weekly. Not “I hate mom” mail but “I hate camp” mail. His letters were so woeful and disenchanted with camp life, they were entertaining. I wish like anything I had one of those letters now.

All the kids just loved him. I can’t even figure out when he had time to be so miserable with all that hero worship going on.

One time he went to a camp in Virginia and when I came to pick him up, he immediately told me about all he disliked about the camp. What’s more, his lips were huge and swollen.

The counselor looked at me like I had two heads when I asked him about it. Apparently, he didn’t notice and neither did Charles. Giant rosy red puffy lips and he didn’t even notice. They were swollen for days. It must have been an allergy but we never found out what it was. To make me feel guilty, he said it was probably a poisonous spider.

When we sent him to therapeutic boarding school out of state, he was homesick. We felt so guilty. Sending him away wasn’t plan A but we were in fear for his life to make such a desperate move.

He just wanted to be at home. But at home, his drug use and cavalier attitude about life were truly frightening. It was like he was a jet plane headed to the side of a mountain at full speed. It was like he was OK if he happened to die by accident saving him the trouble of doing it himself. At least that’s how it seems now.

He was always homesick when he left home. He loved Richmond and didn’t want to be away from us.

While he was away at school in Utah, the high school from which he graduated, he made the song you see in this post with his friend Max.

He talks about heroin in this song before he ever did it. And he never did needles. He snorted it because he had an irrational fear of needles. Such a foreshadowing in this song.

Nineteen and homesick. My sweet boy.

What I miss most about Charles

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

2 thoughts on “Homesick”

  1. I love reading your posts about Charles’s personality, his likes and dislikes, the struggles and challenges. Even though I never met him, I’m getting to know one of your precious sons. Thank you for sharing him with us.

    1. He was so different and yet so adored. It was amazing to witness how people gravitated to him. He was the kid people loved or they hated. Nothing in between. He had more that lives him than the latter thankfully

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