linking with Tell Me True Story
At the end of the short street I turned the car around. The wipers flapping in the sleety winter rain. There was something not quite right. Pulling back into the driveway I rang the bell, the door was locked. Ringing it again. Mom opened the door. Looking surprised, guilty and defiant, she stood-blocking the door. With the voice of my (then) one year old son in the background, I waited.
When I’d dropped him off, I’d noticed the furtive avoiding glances of my mother-the conspicuous absence yet again of my father.
The Holy Spirit whispered something. Thinking it would wait til that evening when I could collect my thoughts during the day then speak to the parents that evening. “Now” He had Whispered at the end of the street. Where I turned the car around.
Walking into the family room-kitchen seeing my over Six foot Father, I gasp. Emaciated, he sipped his oatmeal. Michael sitting on the counter, gently chatting away with his Hero. The center of his attention.
What turns people to hide, to embrace shame, to love guilt? Decades of Shame lay in that room. Hiding. Decaying. Not yet knowing or accepting it’s doom. Whispering. What traps us there? Again and again. Unable to break free.
Quickly assessing. “What’s going on?”, Antabuse. Self medication. Again. (what kind of doctor allows this?) The problem was that my father would drink on top of the drug which was designed to make you sick if you drank. A vicious cycle to the frail weak human body. Emaciated, weak from vomiting and malnutrition….and decades of alcoholism.
Calling my Salem school to let them know I wouldn’t be to work the- RN picked up. (DONT TELL ANYONE my mother whispered. The age old mantra) “Tell her” Holy Spirit whispered…louder. Leslie the RN was quickly filled in on what was going on and guessed much more that I left unspoken .
“Listen to me carefully Shandra” if your dad has really been without alcohol for 3 days he’ll start Delirium tremens . If he has been drinking on top of the antabuse it will be just as bad-perhaps worse.” I didn’t tell her it was already happening. Perhaps I too couldn’t quite grasp this surreal life- again. I had wanted us all so desperately to be finally NORMAL. ‘Thank you, Leslie.’
“Shandra?” Yes, Leslie. “If any of this happens when you’re in the car, driving, it will be bad. Get him to a hospital . Now.”
My mom’s face. My dad’s face-his body beginnings of swaying- tremors. One year old Michael. All looking to me. This day marked the beginning of the end for Life as Wayne and Levon had lived it.
( I’m embarrassed to say I can’t exactly recall where my brother was at the time. Los Angeles Music Institute? At his well-paid job in (Oregon’s) ‘Silicon Valley’ with his wife and 3 step children? Why cant I remember? My bad.)
The journey began…22 years ago…open the phone book- call…Corvallis, Oregon. “Bring him yes, we’ll interview and make a referral”.
Remain calm. Breathe. Getting everyone in the car we turned south. Pouring rain, wipers keeping pace to the surreal conversation of Nana and Michael in the back seat chatting as if everything was normal. I driving . Papa-Dad tucked into the passenger side, chatting and weeping. Just another day in the life of.
to be continued…
Shandra – just cleaning house.
Next p5- 3 Nails, King’s Road, One hospital Bed & no choice.
All rights reserved, December, 2103
I’m also linking up with the Lovely community over at http:/ /letmetelluastory.blogspot.com . Stop by. Add your link. Read some. Make some comments. You’ll be happy you did. Do some encouraging. We’ll be happy you did.