Shelter from the Storm

September 4, 2006 at 4:56 PM (Addiction) ()

I read a bit today, about living with, or deciding on the official uselessness of relations, and how that can backfire.

And after reading that….I realize how utterly *cold* I still am about some aspects of my father’s life choices. And that concerns me. It concerns me that I am still absolutely sure I did the right thing. No argument could, or can move me from this point, and yet there’s a mental crack running through that certainty because I suspect my own attitude is dangerous.

It’s winter 1990…I have Hogdkins lymphoma, but won’t know it for a little more than a year. My spouse is also separately, terminally ill. The imperative to protect him, and just second to that, myself…was immediate and sharp in my head when the door buzzer sounded.

It’s two or three in the morning. There is a blizzard outside, a Northeast Ohio lake effect slammer that won’t let up. I believe the wind chill to have been ten to fifteen degrees below zero.

My father, the attorney, an intermmittently recovering alchoholic, often unemployed, had managed to land a fairly steady gig at a local fast foot place as an overnight manager. The trouble was, he got off at 2:30 AM and the busses didn’t start running again from the restaurant until 4:00. So, that night, I suppose he walked north somehow, or hitched a ride and got twenty minutes by car or God knows how long by walking. Came up to my suburb to my small one bedroom place at the edge of Lake Erie, and hit the door buzzer.

He had no hat. He had mittens or gloves on and a short, decent, well kept winter coat.

I know what he was wearing, because of the security camera.

I turned my set to channel two, but I really didn’t need to. I knew there was only one person that would wake me in the middle of the night, heart pounding, sitting straight up in bed, my pulse screaming.

My husband, who had lost his beloved hard working father when he was 16, a man who thought nothing of taking two jobs so his family with a hemophilliac son would be supported……said “Good God! Let him in, he must be frozen!”

And my hand went across the bed like a cross between a salute and a grab bar. “Don’t *LET* him in this house,” I barked.

And that’s when I got the look. It happens in some marriages. When the spouse looks at you with negative amazement, even a bit of fear…the “I don’t know you at *all* do I?” expression.

“But…said my husband, softly and horribly sadly…but he’s your *father!*

“If I let him in here, he won’t leave. Plain and simple. He’ll sleep in our bed and eat our food and steal our money and hide the bottle in some bizzare place even I wouldn’t think to look for it…. I can’t *do* it….We can *barely* care for each *other,* baby! I can’t!”

And that buzzer kept on. For twenty minutes at least.

The next morning, my father called me.

“You know why I didn’t let you in.”

“Yeah, I know.

I’m okay now…I just walked to that all night coffee place where a lot of AA’ers go, …behind the grocery, you know? And then I got warm, and had some coffee.”

“Did you get a bus home?”


“Are you sober?” (I thought so, but I asked anyway.)

“Yeah. Hey, the girlfriend’s having food at her place next weekend…wanta come over?”

“Sure, I’ll ask the husband if we can come by. It’s not far.”

“Good enough. See ya.”

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Berube hits another one out of the park

September 4, 2006 at 12:50 PM (Telethons)


We who oppose telethons must be um…appeasers of Muscular Dystrophy, allowing ourselves to live as we are over here instead of supporting cures over there.

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And, dig around at the Gimp Parade

September 4, 2006 at 12:38 PM (Uncategorized) ()

for some interesting linkage, either at the Gimp Parade, or more posts at Blue’s other parade grounds, “Alas a Blog” or “Echindne of the Snakes”

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It’s still Rock and Roll to me.

September 4, 2006 at 12:31 PM (Music)

Go see Goldfish’s latest entry. It’s a hoot.

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A bit of housekeeping

September 4, 2006 at 12:24 PM (Uncategorized)

Since I’ve made the (now certainly) unwise early move to BloggerBeta, older Blogger versions may be able to comment here, but I can no longer comment on older Blogger blogs using my Blogger alias, although anonymous commenting is still available.

Since I cannot comment I will link back to some good stuff, to follow in a new post shortly

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