Friday, January 1, 2010

There’s Nothing More Important Than Family…

“Your hair looks pretty tonight,” dad said rubbing the back of my head as we sat on my couch. “You have hair just like my father’s.”

“Why did you do that today about the orange drink?” I asked, diverting my father’s affections.  “You carry it too far sometimes.  You and mom can both go overboard.  I have too few comforts left.”

“I’m sorry,” my father replied kindly.  “We just don’t want you to go back to the way you were.  Do you realize how far you’ve come?  You are like a different person – a completely different person.  You are the son I lost years ago.”

I sat quietly watching The Weather Channel waiting on my medications to take effect.  Dad was very, very late tonight and it was almost midnight.   I had grown so weary I was about to collapse.  I had almost given up on him and gone to bed. 

We watched as the clock on my television turned to midnight.  A huge cacophony of fireworks erupted in my neighborhood. Maggie was outside bringing in the New Year by barking her fool head off trying to protect me, dad, and the house from all the noise.   The drug dealer next door was throwing a big party and two boys were fighting drunkenly in the front yard.  I sighed. Dad chuckled.

“I love you son,” my father said, holding my hand.  “There’s nothing more important than family.  That’s why we are always going to stick by you from now on.  I will never let you go back to that monster you once were.  I promise you that from the bottom of my heart.”

A tear streamed down my face and dad wiped it off.  I’ve come so far, but it’s been hard – very hard.  You would never understand the pain on those first days I quit drinking and I wanted a drink so badly I could die.   I would never imagine making it through a New Year’s Eve sober a few years ago as well.  I realize my father means to do the best for me now.  Without his help, I would still be a drunken wretch, or even worse – a mentally ill homeless drunken wretch.

“Name two things that would make you feel better,” dad said, patting my knee after letting go of my hand.

A glimmer of  joy lit up my eyes.

“What would you like for the New Years?”

“I would love a new 2 Terabyte hard drive for my computer and a steak dinner from Barne’s,” I replied, hopeful.  I never get to shop or eat steak much and Christmas was such a boon it had whet my appetite for such things.

It all sounded so contrite and materialistic, but those were the simple two things I wanted.  I long ago ceased to make insurmountable New Year’s resolutions. 

“It’s a done deal,” dad said, smiling.  “We will go eat at Barne’s restaurant tomorrow night and I will order your hard drive.  You just promise me to stay sober and to take your medications.”

You could see the relief in dad’s eyes.  He thought I would make wishes much harder to fulfill.  Like asking for money again.  That would be impossible for him to grant at this current point in my life. 

“All I want for the New Year is for my children to be healthy and happy,” dad said before leaving as he stood up.  “I am determined you are going to be such a way.”

I stood up as well to walk him to the door.  Despite my tired weariness, I had a big grin on my face.  It has been such a good few weeks mentally and tonight with my father warmed my heart.  Dad is not very affectionate – usually hard as stone.  I bid dad goodnight and came directly in here to write this while it was fresh upon my mind.  Happy New Year’s!!!

21 comments:

skinny minny said...

what aconversation to have with you Dad! You are doing so well it gives me hope to conquer my own issues. HAPPY 2010!

This IS The Fun Part! said...

I love that he is acknowledging all your efforts - and rewarding them so nicely!

That hard work is paying off . . . .

Grannie

justLacey said...

As parents we always want the best life for our children. Sometimes we go about helping in the wrong way, but we mean well and sometimes know no other way. Happy New Year Andrew. I hope it is one of your best so far.

Cheryl said...

This was so sweet. Maybe bittersweet too. Happy New Year, my good friend.

LM said...

You started my New Year off beautifully. Happy New Year, Andrew. LM

Cheryl said...

Check your e-mail :)

Golden To Silver Val said...

This sounds all good, Andrew! I'd much rather have a large hard drive than double your alloted amount of cheap Walmart orange drinks, wouldn't you? Why I don't think you'll EVER fill up that hard drive, although music does take up a lot of space, as I'm sure you already know. This was a wonderful father-son talk and kudos to you for initiating it and kudos to your dad for answering you like a mentor should, making sure you realize how much they care. The new year is looking good for sure. Now keep up your end of the bargain. Oh....and enjoy that steak!!! Bring home the bone for Maggie.

Becky said...

Thank you Andrew for so honestly and transparently sharing your life, your journey. I have a SIL w/the same trials / diagnosis as you and this helps me to love her better...to try to love her better...to pray for her and her son....to pray to BE more to her than what I have in the past. THANK YOU and all the very best in 2010...

Cheryl said...

E-mail!!!

Anonymous said...

WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010! WITH LOTS OF HAPPINESS,GOOD HEALTH AND GOD'S BLESSINGS!

WISHES FROM
INDIA

becomingkate said...

I think that you and your family are doing so well. Happy New Year Andrew!

Lena said...

Andrew, that post brought tears to my eyes. You dad is caring for you the best way he knows how. It must feel like a miracle to him to have his "lost son" back.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

mommy2twogirls said...

I always thought you were a very kindhearted person and I think your Dad is too, deep down. Happy New Year!
L

Hap Joy Free said...

Happy 2010,Andrew.....Wishing you and your family a brave, fun and loving year ahead.

Here is my new blog, hope you will continue to visit!

http://hapjoyfree.blogspot.com/

Christina

- PT said...

I thought that was very sweet and it warmed my heart just reading it. Thank you for that. I hope you have a well year...Happy New Year Andrew.

Leann said...

Andrew, your father is so dead on. There is nothing like family. It warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes reading your interaction with him last night. You are truly blessed. You HAVE come so far and I am so very proud of you. I know it has been a journey.

blessings to you in 2010 and enjoy that steak dinner tonight!!

Susan said...

Hi Andrew,

I popped over to see who had given Cheryl her amazing new look and was completley surprised to find to not a geeky web designer but a wonderfully writen, honest post. Of course, I had to read more...I'm blown away. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself.

Sharyna said...

I don't think you give yourself enough credit in your recovery! Your dad had help in getting you where you are today!

Irishcoda said...

That's really awesome, Andrew. You've really come so far! Happy New Year!

Maire said...

Happy New Year! That was so beautiful, Thank you for sharing. Please stop by and see the pics of my doggies, they look so cute in their Christmas dresses!

B J said...

Wow! Glad I found your blog. I relate to so much of what you've written, but from the other side.
My dad, my mom, my husband and my son...