A GRANDMOTHER'S PRAYER by Marie Abbott

Years ago when my grandson, Kyle, was only 11, we begged for help to keep him safe and out of trouble. Several physicians later, and many tears and meds for him, we were told, "Wait till he gets in trouble with the law. Then he will get help."

His school told us the same thing. No one understood that what they were telling us was our fear. We didn't want this sweet soul of a kid getting into trouble with the police. We were not that kind of family. He was not that kind of kid. We were not going to let that happen. We would fight, pray, restrict him, and take him to every doctor we could find.

We were in denial.  When serious mental illness takes hold of our kids, we have no control.  Mental illness wins over and over again.

Kyle is now barely 20 and has four different friends sleeping in his apartment — friends whose families must have said and fought for the very same things our family fought for.

We must fight and tell the world how our kids don't have a chance. They didn't pray for mental illness anymore than one would pray for cancer. We need to fight for hospital beds in which to keep our kids safe. Our kids need to have safe places to live, affordable meds, support and understanding of their illness.

God hear my prayer.

 Kyle and his buddy, Beary

Kyle and his buddy, Beary