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How?

August 24, 2011

As I write this, I will freely admit that this is the darkest time of my life. It feels like everything I know is falling apart and I am struggling to hold on to something. I never could imagine that a person could experience sadness, anger, frustration, depression and hopelessness all at the same time. All of this is due to the recent hospitalization of my alcoholic dad.

For years, my mother has always said that her biggest fear would be to come home and find my dad on the floor of the garage. Friday afternoon, it came true, as she found him on the floor not moving. When she reached him, his eyes were open and he was talking. He told her that he had fallen in the garage and could not get himself up. After several attempts to pull him up using a stool, my mom called 911. He was taken to the hospital and admitted that evening.

I flew down the next day, not sure what to expect when I got to the hospital. It was worse than I could have ever imagined. My dad, the man who made me the man I am today, was gone. In his place was an empty shell of a man who had no idea where he was and what had happened. A man, who for his entire life, worked with his hands, could barely lift a small can of ginger ale to his mouth for a drink. A man who called my mom everyday to check on her after work, was now giving her the finger because he thought she was going to a show. What makes the entire situation worse after the fleetingly brief moments of lucidity. As a kid, my dad had always called me Boze. I could not tell you the origin of this nickname, but every time I called, I was always greeted with the same name. When I walked into the room, his face lit up and he called me “Boze”. In writing this, I think that may be the last time I ever hear him call me that.

I have just come to the realization that next Father’s Day, I will not be able to pick up the phone and call my dad an old fart. In February, I will not be able to call him and harass him about his age and collecting the social security I am paying for him. Most of all, in December, my mom will be alone for her anniversary. The man who has been her partner, friend and companion for the past 40 years will be gone. All of this could have been avoided if he had simply put the bottle down. Instead, he chose a bottle over his wife, son and granddaughter. So, how do I bring myself to forgive him for doing this to us? How do I tell my daughter, who absolutely adores him, that Grandpa drank himself to death? I guess in general, I need to ask how?

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From → Alcoholism

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