My childhood was a little rough, to say the least. Unstable and unpredictable. My brother and I didn’t know what our day-to-day life was going to be like because we had a father that was an alcoholic. Not a nice one. We didn’t know what kind of mood he would be in, how he would treat us, if we needed to hide…
One of my snapshots in my mind that I will never forget as long as I live is when my parents sat my brother and I down and said that they were getting divorced, we were so excited! We longed for stability and we were most at peace when he was not around. Now we had a chance.
I hated what alcoholism did to my father. I used to hate my dad too.
I could not wait to leave Buffalo when I was younger and took the first chance that I could get when I left for California. We had an awful incident at my graduation party and that was the perennial “last straw” for me.
Here’s where the story get’s good…
My father is a new man. He has turned into one of the most wonderful, helpful, giving, sacrificing, spiritual men I know. He stopped drinking with the help of AA.
He is different in every single aspect of his life and it has been an absolutely incredible transformation from the inside-out.
When he stopped drinking, the REAL version of himself come out. The version that I had longed to see as a child. The man who will drop everything in his life to come help you. The man who I can talk to about my day, about God, about issues…about wonderful things going on. The man who is hard-working and predictable. The caretaker. The listener. My father. Just writing this both brings a smile and a tear to my face because soooo many memories come up…bad ones from my childhood but then such amazing ones from my adulthood.
He has abandoned his old self to God and he has asked for forgiveness, not only to his family but to God Himself. We have forgiven him completely. He is a new man. A good man. A great dad. One of the greatest dudes I know.
He realized that, without God’s help, he could not go on the journey that he was to take. So he embraced it and has been successful. I know that he feels a lot of guilt from back then and I hope that one day he will give that all to God too and realize that God forgave him long ago.
I think that too many people think that they can just go at it on their own, but I disagree. You HAVE to have a relationship with God. It just makes everything better and it is the key to happiness. The key to success. The key to mending relationships and the key to complete transformation and redemption. Realize that we weren’t meant to do things on our own.
I love you, dad and I am very proud of you.
In the AA Big Book, it reminds you at the end to: