Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Parliament Hill Ottawa. A Wordpress Production

The Bed Came With Me …

tumblr_ma62hlMxSo1rdkscno1_500 rthompson80

Courtesy: RThompson80

The weather is looking up. There might be a little snow in the long run, but it looks like sun for the next few days. It was a good day. As usual I met my friend to take the 104 to the meeting this evening. A little windy made it a little chilly waiting for the bus.

There are many paths into the rooms. And no two people take the same route, however similar the stories, we grow up, we have our first drink, we love it too much, our lives become unmanageable, we loose things … wives, husbands, children, homes, cars … you get the story!

Then we find our way here …

I’ve seen our speaker for tonight at Tuesday meeting. And at first, when he sat down with his big voice, I figured he was an old timer and would be reminiscent, but I was mistaken. Our gentleman is a generation older than I am today. And he came to the program much later in life, than many others.

He grew up in a large family, and he spent a almost a decade in a boarding school where he was raised, caned and learned discipline. He lived a good long life. Wives, children and a big beautiful home up North that he built himself on a plot of land passed down three generations. So it was a heritage property.

Our man really did not have time to drink, after relating his resume to us, he had his hand in many cookie jars at once, and the drink really did not present itself to him, like he said … “I didn’t have time to drink !”

The older we live, the harder it is to deal with tragedy and loss. First a divorce and a second marriage, only to loose his wife to cancer a few years ago, that just devastated him. Cooped up at home, up North, all alone, left to his own devices, he picked up a drink, and another, and another.

Feeling helpless and worthless because of a tragic loss, he felt that he served no purpose, so why not drink ? Push came to shove and a decision had to be made, it was time to sell the 4000 square foot home, and eventually move into a 4 room apartment in the city.

He continued to drink, until at one point, having to buy furniture for his new home, and not being able to make heads or tails of the building instructions, called his son for help.

Son arrived with sister in tow and our man had a bad knee and ended up in the hospital – not for a day – but for a month. Wait he says … “I need a drink!” No, there was no drink. They strapped him to a bed for 10 days, and he figured this out because he tried to use the bathroom and the bed came with him …

Cue laugh track …

After his stay in the hospital, looking forwards to going home, his son informed him that there was “someplace for him” And that would be a rehab here in the city. A three month stay and two years of aftercare, kept him pretty busy.

The catch here was he was much older than the kids who were there as well, and there were rules, ugh, don’t you hate rules? I think it is much harder to get sober and stay sober, the older you are when you come to the rooms.

He did as he was told. He did his ninety and ninety. He did more than that too. He had made a decision. He was either going to stay sober or he was going to drink. And he says, “once you make up your mind, it is made up, now you just have to follow through.”

And he surmounted and conquered the drink, his next goal was smoking, after 55 years of smoking he put them down and has not smoked since. And I can tell you that quitting smoking is daunting, and can lead to a drink if not done correctly.

The promises come true. And some of them have come true for our man. He has a beautiful granddaughter, from his son’s relationship. He has a new wife today and he is sober a little while now. Every story is unique and never boring.

We laughed, we felt sorrow, and we rejoiced in the news of a newborn.

But most of all we cheered our man who got up there and knocked it out of the park. Well done.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …


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