Her children disowned her because she was a crack whore. She’d do anything for a fix; even stealing from souls she birthed. Nothing was sacred. When she came to visit, she had to be watched like a hawk. The man she took up with after their father died was a three time loser who’d spent more time behind bars than free on the streets. His connections kept her addicted so she’d continue turning tricks to feed a horde of freeloaders. She was a puppet and her offspring wanted to save and love her but knew she was beyond salvation from outside forces. If she wasn’t willing to save herself, they couldn’t do anything but protect themselves.
Taking care of strangers’ needs in dark parking lots and ratty cars, she grew thin as the drug stripped her of flesh and substance. Her heartbeat quickened when the crack swirled from the pipe and filled her failing lungs, but death loomed with each exhalation. Dark lesions tinted her skin and her addled mind assumed it was okay to use anyone in her quest for another puff. Her children pretended to not be home when they heard her knocking on the door. They hated ignoring her and grieved at their inability to save her from herself but realized she’d chosen to travel a dead end road and would be mired until she chose a different path. Though they hoped for such a solution, they’d come to expect the opposite. Their mother seemed hopelessly addicted and in search of artificial ecstasy. When her face appeared on the morning news as a participant in a kidnapping/robbery the kids weren’t surprised. The charted course led to an expected destination. They were embarrassed to be her progeny when cameras and questions came.