06 February 2010

February Fifth - A day of fear

I share this story now because this is a day that puts me in a panic mode. This is a day I wish would just disappear forever. This is kind of long... but it needs to be... after you read it you will see why... thanks Dave

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There are many days that hold a very special place in my recovery. Dates that I remember with sadness as well as gratitude. An example 1/11 - the day I tried killing myself. 1/16 - the day I admitted to being an alcoholic. 7/7 - after five plus years of sobriety I decided to do more research. 9/4 - the day I accepted being an alcoholic - that one drink was too many. 10/26 the day my dad died. There are a few other days that remind me why I am doing what I am doing. But no day has affected me as much as February 5th.

Actually I used to hate the whole month of February, but now my HP has shown me that some good things have happened in February, but the fifth has brought nothing but tragedy to my life. It started 33 years ago, on January 31st. My mom and dad were on a month long binge. They got drunk on Christmas and just never stopped. And every night ended with screams, bloody noses, and cigar burns on moms face. I was a senior in high school and trying to stay out of the chaos with my own self-medicating. On the 31st, mom had had enough beatings and she left the house. Dad laughed at her as she threw on an old ratty fake fur coat and wearing the same clothes she had on for over a week.

Feb. 1st came and gone and mom was still out and about. This started making dad nervous and he cleaned up the house and threw away all the liquor in the place. With promises, to me, that it would never happen again. For the next three days mom did not come home, and I have to admit, I did not miss her. The house was quiet and for me peaceful.

I went to school on Feb. 5th and afterwards got pretty lit with some friends on beer. They dropped me off and I walked in the house and my dad was sitting on the couch crying. My oldest brother was also there and I asked "What's the matter?" My brother told me that mom was dead. He tried to console me, but I left and went in our basement and found some of her stash and proceeded to get drunker. I was the happiest kid on the face of the earth. The fighting was finally over!!!

The next day, I found out how she died. She was seen in a bar on Jan. 31st and no one saw her after that. She died shortly after that final drink about 100 feet behind the bar. No one saw her because it was February and it was cold and snowy. From the 31st to the fifth of February she laid frozen to the ground. And the only reason she was found was because another town drunk stumbled over her. Her body was ripped off the ground leaving parts of her skin frozen in the earth. The morticians tried "fixing her up" but it was a lost cause and we had a closed casket.

That was 1976. Fast forward 13 years to 1989. My ex and I had our first home and a nice gentleman his family had took us under their wings and he taught me a lot about being a responsible home owner. He was a father figured I never really had. After a short battle with cancer, he too, died on Feb. 5th.

Fast Forward another 11 years to 2000. My soon to be ex-wife is diagnosed with cancer and she has her first surgery on 12/23/99. In the next ten days she will have four more surgeries and on 2/2 we believe that finally the surgeries are over. Our whole family is shell-shocked. Her 11 year old daughter has constant fear while two older sons try to put on a strong front. What helped her the most was the girlfriend of one of those boys. Andrea was a very special gal. While she dated the one son, she held a warm spot in all our hearts. She spent many nights comforting Betty and listening to her fears. Early on 2/4 my step-son proposed to her and she said yes. The next morning Betty and I were awaken about 4 in the morning to the bangs on our bedroom door and her son screaming "Andrea is not breathing." On 2/5 at 7 in the morning 18 year old Andrea was pronounced dead due to a rare heart defect.

Fast Forward another 5 years. It is 2005 and I have found a valued friend and mentor who helps me find my God given gift with writing. I can not say how much this man meant to me. He was a mentor, a friend, and in a way my idol. A super man, who died of cancer on 2/5.

There it is. Why I dread that day. Four people who in someone had a major impact on my life that all died on the same day - February Fifth. Now every year I pray, "Please God, not this year."

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