This entry is part 16 of 16 in the series Issue VI: Fall 2010

by Wanda Santalis

She looked at herself in the mirror one more time, and decided… she was ready.

Her name is Irene. She is one of God’s greatest gifts to have been brought forth. She is so strong willed. Inspiring even through her failures. Never looking down on her, after opening her heart and eyes during her addiction. She realized she wanted her bad days along with her good days in her life.

About a month ago, Irene got locked up. She was drugging hard. Having unsafe sex. Drinking to the point of no recollection, diminishing her self worth and respect and losing touch with reality. She forgot who her children were, what they needed or wanted, what they craved or cried for. She lost total sight. Afraid all the while to sit with herself, because she would be faced with her actions’ repercussions. She was in denial.

Irene sold all her jewelry. Let terrible things occur right before her very eyes to those she loved. Nothing seemed more important at that time but her high. Her loved ones couldn’t believe she went so out of control.

For years they prayed for her. Prayed that God would save her and rid her of her addictions. Then finally their prayers were answered. Last month, Irene was given the longest time she had ever faced before. A county bullet. Better said, eight months. Irene has feared this greatly. But more than anything, feared facing the truth. Facing her reflection. She writes a letter to her loved one stating these exact words:

I looked myself in the mirror one more time and decided I was ready.

She goes on to say,

Ready for change, Wanda. I’m ready for change.


Is my mother.

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