An Anniversary of Sorts

I was going to post about something different today and then I looked at the calendar and noticed the date, the date I missed. Last week was the 25th anniversary of my dad's death.

I don't put it on the calendar or think about it every year and sometimes I completely forget. I was 25 when he died and it was the eve of a big weekend in our small town. Thousands of people come to town to celebrate and there is lots of eating and drinking. We also had planned a multi-family yard sale one block back from main street.

We went through with the yard sale and still did our share of eating and some drinking. We know he would have done the same thing so we carried on.

My dad was an alcoholic and although it was a shock when he died, I don't think we were surprised. He also had a bad heart and high blood pressure. He drank heavily the night before and before he went to bed he promised my mom that he would be good the next day. He was only 54.

The next few years were tough. My brothers and I all lived out of town now and my husband and I drove the 90 mile trip frequently to spend time with my mom. She never drove, except when she had to drive my dad home after a night of drinking. We had fun too though. Sometimes we had the best Christmas's with just us three and once we took her to California on a vacation with us. Nothing she ever wants to repeat though! Too much for a small town gal.

Growing up with an alcoholic is like going barefoot through broken glass all the time. I find myself still walking kind of tippy toes through my house as not to make any noise. He was always in a good mood when he was drunk. It was the sober moments that you had to watch out for. Luckily they only lasted until about noon.

He was never abusive at all, but I can always remember being scared of him. After he died it wasn't that I missed him so much but I missed more of what could have been. My brothers and I hardly talk about him, not even today, 25 years later. My daughter cries sometimes because she never had a grandpa. I know he would have LOVED her. I think he did favor me a little more because I was his little girl. So I am sorry that she didn't get to meet him but then again I wouldn't want to subject her to his lifestyle of drinking.

I'm not angry anymore, just sad. I'm sad to think of what happened that made him (and his brother) start drinking at such a young age. And I'm sad to think of how one man's actions changed the lives of his wife and kids forever.

But the only thing that brings me to tears quicker is when I hear the song "I Did It My Way", by Frank Sinatra. It was the song we played at his memorial and it truly was how he lived his life.


Anonymous said…
I lost my father at a fairly young age. I believe I miss him more as an adult then I ever did when I was younger. My biggest regret is that he didn't have the opportunity to know me as an adult or to meet my wonderful husband. It's right that you should keep him in your heart, both the bad and the good.
Signe said…
My mom lost her dad when she was in her mid 30's...he was an alcoholic as well. I was tiny when he died and I wish I could have known him better.
Jeff Baker said…
It runs in my family... my father's father died as a result, and my brother and sadly I as well have a heavy tendency for the drunken getaways that ease the mysterious pain we feel. I am much better these days, although my brother is suffering under tremendous guilt. My therapy has become my writing. Thank God.

I cried for you... and me today.

You are so kind to mention my birthday and even my curiosity which gets me in so much trouble is now less concerned about who our mutual friend might be... thanks for stirring me.

Blessings to you. -- jb
kden said…
Thank you for stopping by Jeff. Although I don't dwell on it, children of alcoholics share a certain bond and one can immediately feel the others pain. I agree, that writing is great therapy. Hope to see more of you.

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