My children are on their way to South Africa. Yesterday would have been my father’s birthday. He would have been 85 or 86. I’m not sure. He died when he was 33, from alcoholism. He didn’t know me and he didn’t know them and he sure didn’t go to South Africa.
I don’t like to travel and I actually fear it. I like being in interesting places, but getting to and from frightens me beyond what it should. I have traveled and I’ll continue to, but I won’t like it. Not until I’m entirely ready to give up that fear. So thinking of my kids so far away is hard for me to accept. That’s the best way I can explain this particular anxiety. I feel like I can’t bear it, and yet, I do.
Good AA that I am I do not need it to be explained to me. I’m grateful beyond explanation that I have these children, that they are sobriety babies, that they have the means and the desire and the ability to take such a trip, that they love each other enough to do it. These are things that are truly, truly, way beyond my expectations or imaginings.
I work with adults who have multiple, severe disabilities. Two of them died in the past week and a half, two who had been with us for almost 20 years. The parents of individuals like this inspire me endlessly. Some of these parents devote their entire lives to their children, only to lose them, and I can’t imagine the pain.
Minute by minute, I’ll get through my kids’ trip. Soon it will be a memory (like my daughter’s solo trip to Greece a few years ago). My kids will not tell the story years from now, “Then we went to South Africa, and our mother was so freaked out, she drank.” Of course they won’t.