Baby Lily squirms on the living room floor as Ari speaks to a nurse from the Southcentral Foundation who visits every two weeks. Ari is proud of Lily’s progress. It looks like she’s trying to sit up, she says. Ari’s only concern is the baby’s dry scalp.
Ari is pleased with her quick progress toward recovery. She’s been clean for 10 months now. Last week Kellen lost her job cleaning the church. They decided to subcontract the work to another company. Kellen has been talking about looking for another job, and exploring how to collect unemployment in the meantime.
Lately, Army recruiters have been calling the house for RJ. He had spoken with one at the job fair in March. RJ no longer talks to them. Carol says she has explained to the recruiters that he has lost interest, and it would not be a good fit anyway.
RJ will need a plane ticket to Naknek soon. He’s preparing to crew on his brother’s fishing boat for the sixth year in a row. It’s RJ’s only income of the year. Will has been stressed about giving a speech at his graduation ceremony for ACE/ACT, an Anchorage School District program for young men and women who need support after high school. Yesterday, he found out he won’t have to talk, because he qualifies to stay in the program for one more year. He’s considering whether to stay enrolled. It’s been more than a year since he’s had to visit the psychiatric emergency room, Carol says.
Leah is enjoying the the Job Corps program. She comes home to visit every couple of weeks. She has been involved in shadowing someone at work as part of her accounting studies. She expects to stick with the program for a year.
Simone was missing from the house for four days in early April. She relapsed again. Now she’s back home, regularly attending Nine Star and hoping to finish her high school coursework in the coming weeks. Next week she’ll have one month of clean time.
Lately, Simone has been having nightmares. This morning at 6 a.m., she climbed in bed with Carol. After a while, the two got up and left the house to attend an early recovery group meeting together.
Originally published May 3, 2014 by Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage Daily News.