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Rick Underwood

Dear new friends in caring,

As promised, I will share a time I received spiritual / pastoral care.  Karen Lovett, a long time friend and, who I hope will chime in during our time together has been a constant support to me through the years in many ways. The specific time that comes to mind, for which I will forever be grateful, was a day many years ago when my son who was 18 years old at the time made one of many bad decisions.  My son who has been clean and sober for 9 years now, was a senior in high school.  His addiction had already taken hold and his behavior was irrational and out of control.  His academic performance was almost non-existent that year, but the school offered a “deal”.  If he would attend a make-up class for 6 weeks, every day, they would give him a diploma.  He made it 5 weeks and 4 days. The night before the last day, he came in extremely drunk.  I completely lost it with him and an altercation ensued.  I extricated myself from the situation full of fury, guilt, sadness, and hopelessness.  My first call was to my friend who compassionately listened to me pour out my heart without judgement or advice.  She actively listened and empathized with my feelings with non-possessive warmth and congruency. While the caring I received didn’t change anything about the situation, I was able to pull myself together and to determine what my next steps would be.  It was very clear to me that I had just had an open-eyed prayer that was a trialogue with my spiritual caregiver / friend, the Holy Spirit and me.  Similar conversations went on for 13 years before my son finally got sober.  The support, guiding, sustaining, and healing that occurred through the years were greatly enhanced by these pastoral / spiritual conversations. He has now finished his undergrad degree with honors, applied, has been accepted and begun law school, while raising a family and running a business.