Three years ago at this time I was in a place far, far away, visiting my daughter. A place where graves were marked with numbers rather than names. I wonder who is under number 137, man or woman, boy or girl? Did number 137 meet that fate due to alcoholism? It’s entirely possible. Alcoholics throughout history had no access to a program of recovery like I have.
Now I’m visiting her in a much colder place, one not so far away, but still far. She’s buying a house here. She’s doing very well. Cleaning out some of the picture mess of my ex-in-laws’ past I made a pile for my daughter. At her brother’s baptism party her father, his best friend, and my uncle all sit together. All gone, all dead from drugs and alcohol in their 50s and 60s. I know that her father and his best friend tried the program and achieved periods of sobriety. I doubt that my uncle did. He’s the one I called to tell him about me and my program after he was already dead. I picture my voice playing into the empty kitchen, him dead around the corner on the couch. That really happened. The phone I called was part of scene of my last drunk, at my grandmother’s kitchen table, my uncle arriving at the end of it. I didn’t drink after that, and he did.
That’s what’s on my mind. My days are pretty good. I’m still struggling to make personal sense of a “president” who said yesterday that job numbers used to be phony, but are real now, even though the Bureau of Labor and Statistics said they haven’t changed a thing. That, and the people who support him. It’s a struggle for sure, and I’m grateful that my mind pretty quickly turns to program to try to deal with this. I guess I shouldn’t complain about being schooled in advanced acceptance.