March 29, 2017
I sat there at Butter Buzz coffee in San Diego on what would have been her mother’s 58th birthday and wrote in my journal…
“She was born on Easter Sunday morning in 1959. She died on a Sunday morning in September 2015. But what about the dash in between? She was an alcoholic, yes. She died while on hospice services because her liver failed and she was not a candidate for a transplant.
But who was she?
Well, she was a beloved daughter in a family of eight children. She was an athlete. She was a long distance runner. She played softball and field hockey and once had 57 saves as a goalie in a single game. She was a social worker, a stay at home mom, and later a teacher who graduated with a 4.0 GPA in her Master’s in Teaching. She adored teaching. She inspired children to fall in love with learning. She was an astounding writer. She was a phenomenal cook. She loved her daughters. She spoiled the family dog. She was stylish. Vibrant. A lover of the ocean and seafood. She admired her husband’s humanitarian lifestyle. She was devoted to her parents and her family. She had a great smile and an even better laugh. She valued education and encouraged her daughters to pursue degrees. Her heart was kind.
When you don’t address things in your life with God’s guidance and with proper help, memories and trespasses of your past can start to haunt you. They can fester as anger and manifest in your present as anxiety of what’s to come. My mother never intended to become an alcoholic. She never intended to perpetuate generational sin. But it was familiar and comfortable and it was the coping skill which was modeled to her.
Eventually there was a day when it was no longer a crutch, no longer a coping mechanism, but in fact a full blown physical addiction. I loved her enough to want to learn something from her journey. I loved her enough to recognize a life cut short. And I loved her enough to want to honor and commemorate the beauty of the dash in between. America is losing tremendous people to this disease. It is an epidemic. Alcoholism knows no color, it knows no socioeconomic status. It is in both blue collar and white collar worlds, it dwells among people of all races and it’s claiming remarkable people.
I don’t want her death to be in vain. I want people to know. I want people to know the dysfunction and destruction it causes. I want children of alcoholics to know that there is a beauty and promise in embracing the despite part.”
“Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” —John 20:27