Question: What is a response you would NEVER expect to give when your friend asks how your day with your family was…
It’s just so weird. I still can’t wrap my head around it. My dad is sober. MY dad…sober.
Today, while my mom was at work, my sister and I went to visit my dad. Usually this is something we dread, but since he hasn’t been drinking, he isn’t being nasty or harassing us like he used to. I actually even had a pretty real conversation with him today that went like this:
Dad: “do you know that mom JUST told me last week that I went through withdrawal in the hospital” (for those who don’t know, my dad had a stroke in October and was in the hospital for a week with horrible withdrawal symptoms)
Me: “she just now told you that?”
My sister: “dad, you don’t remember ANY of it? It was really, really bad. I thought you were going to die”
Dad: “no, I couldn’t believe it when mom told me”
Me: “dad, you were freaking out and looked HORRIBLE. The doctors wouldn’t even let us come on the day that it was the worst, only mommy went”
This is where the conversation really got unbelievable…wait for it…
Dad: “I thought mom would be nicer to me now that I’m not drinking and smoking”
Me: “dad, can I tell you something without you getting mad??? When you were drinking, you were not the nicest person to mom or to us (um, understatement of the century!) You can’t just expect mom to be all lovey-dovey because she probably still is really angry with you at how you have treated her over the years”
Dad: quiet for a minute “yeah”
Wow. I mean, there have been moments where my dad has been relatively sober where I have been able to talk to him, but this is just so different. Everything is just so different. I think my mom and my sister and I are afraid to really trust his sobriety because he can’t drive yet. He might not ever be well enough to drive, but if he does get to the point where he can, that is where the real test of his sobriety will happen.
But, I have decided that I am just going to enjoy these moments I have with my dad while he is sober and stop thinking so much about what might happen. I mean, I can’t control it anyway! But it was nice to have an afternoon where we felt like a “normal family”, kind of like when I was a kid. In fact, while my sister was in another room doing something, my dad and I sat down with a clock that he built many years ago that I am going to inherit at some point (I was hoping today lol) and he showed me how he carved the inlay and taught me how to work the winding key and pendulum. It brought me back to when I was a little girl, back before he really became an alcoholic, when he would bring me down to his shop and teach me how to use his compressor or I would watch him cut wood on his table saw. It showed me that even though I know I can’t erase the bad memories from the past two decades, that there might still be time to make new, good memories with my dad.