Writing 101- Day 16: Third Time is the Charm

Writing 101 Assignment – Lost and Found – Day 16

My parents divorced when I was 13 years old. My dad moved away, and for many years we saw him only on certain occasions. Those occasions were never happy times. In fact, they were bombarded with a sloppy drunkenness, high emotions, and tears. My father would barge into our Christmas celebrations, stone drunk, and ruin it for all of us. For many years, I viewed my father in a very negative way.

When he lived with us, he was verbally abusive and always drunk. At the dinner table he would not allow any of us children to talk or laugh. We were there to eat, and eat only. Usually, we left the dinner table in tears.

One day, my mother called us to the kitchen. My father was standing next to her with his head hung. She had gone through the house and found all the liquor bottles that he had hidden, and was pouring them down the sink. I remember having the horrible feeling of shame that he must have been feeling.

For many years, he wove in and out of our lives bringing with him doom and gloom, and fears with tears.

After we left home to start our own lives, he moved back to our area. Finally, he became sober. Mostly. On occasions he would drink to the point he had to go to the hospital and then he would stop drinking again.

One day the local alcohol rehabilitation center called me and told me they had my father and because of his heart problems they could not keep him, would I please come and pick him up. (He didn’t have heart problems. He had told them that to get out of it).

I went to the center to pick him up and he was very ill. I asked him if he wanted to stay at my house that night, and he asked me to take him home. I drove the twenty miles to his house. But, I wasn’t comfortable leaving him there alone.

The next morning I went back to his home to check on him and he was still very ill. I called the ambulance. When they got to his house they told me, “We can’t take him, they will just send him to the alcohol rehabilitation center.”
This made me mad. I told them, “YOU WILL TAKE HIM TO THE HOSPITAL AND YOU BETTER TELL THAT EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR NOT TO RELEASE HIM UNTIL HE HAS BEEN SEEN BY HIS OWN PHYSICIAN!” So, they took him to the hospital and the physician admitted him.

He was able to see his regular physician and had medical tests performed. The tests revealed that he had cancer of the kidneys and only had a few months left to live. When he was well enough, he was released into a long-term care facility, somewhat close to my home.

After work, every day, I went to the facility to visit him. We would sit outside and enjoy the nice weather, sunshine and talk. I knew that my visits with him were important to him and I made sure I didn’t miss a visit (except on a very rare occasion).

Whenever I would pass the nurses station they would smile at me and tell me he was outside waiting for me. Sure enough, there he would be!

We talked about so many different things. I finally got to know my father in a very different light. For the first time in my life, I became close to my father.
I was there with him, along with the rest of my family, when he took his last breath.

Even though on that day I lost my dad, the truth was, I had finally found him.



28 thoughts on “Writing 101- Day 16: Third Time is the Charm

  1. I agree with Jodi, very touching. I have not been around because my laptop crashed yesterday morning and it has been heck trying to get it back working. I think I finally was able to comment around 3 or 4 this morning! Since I use my laptop for work, I’ve spent most of the day trying to reconfiguring and blah, blah, blah my computer. But enough about me.

    I just combed through my email and saw your excerpt you sent to me. I am sorry I missed it. However, this post is better (my opinion). In the excerpt you sent to me, I did not feel the emotion that I should have felt, given the topic. It was a little bland. This post, however, packs an emotional punch. And I didn’t detect any humor in this post. You seem to temper your emotional posts with a bit of humor. Which is fine, except you are a better writer when you just lay yourself bare for the reader to examine. It does leave you more vulnerable, but that is what makes you a good writer.

    Nothing you ever write would ever offend me. I know you care more about others’ success than your own, at least that is what you have written, but writers by their very nature are a tad egotistical. Embrace that side of you, because somewhere in your soul, you my dear, are a write. And somewhere in there, you do have ego, albeit not as much as most. Nurture that side of you and just watch how much growth you will experience as a writer.

    As always, I wish you peace and look forward to you forgiving me for be inattentive.


    • Thank you so much Victoria for that, I really appreciate it. You have done nothing to need forgiving. LOL! Yes, I do want others to succeed more ha myself because they have so many more years before them. It is easier to “bare my soul” if I can inject some humor in it, I guess so people know that as painful as it is, I can still find some humor in it (much much later, of course!) God bless you my friend!

  2. No tears this time (remember my last comment 😉 but I really enjoyed reading this. It’s good that you got to see that side of him at least, his sunny side.

    • Thank you. I’m glad I didn’t make you cry this time. 🙂 I too am glad that I got to know him before he passed away or I would always have something missing in my life. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  3. I really appreciate this post- I can relate to a lot of these emotions where my own father is concerned, and it makes me so happy for you that you were finally able to find him and have him as a positive aspect of your life, if even for a short time.

    • Thank you! I am glad you were able to relate but I’m also sad that you were able to relate due to your own father. I truly hope you still have a chance to make good memories with your father.

  4. This is a really great piece. You really have a talent for communicating emotion. I’m so glad you were able to reconnect in a positive way with your father.

    Have you heard of ALanon? It’s for children of alcoholics; someone told us about it recently and said it was really helpful (we have some alcoholic history in our background as well). Just thought I’d pass it on.

    A couple of technical notes:
    somewhat, close to my home. (no comma needed here)
    After work, everyday, (I would probably make that two words: every day)

  5. Beautiful story! I am glad you “found” your real Father after all those years. That you have a forgiving heart to have allowed him into your life.

    I believe once we get out of our own way, write from our hearts, our voices flow as I have seen yours do with this and several other post.

    You know all blogs can be reviewed/edited by others before publishing, to check the technical stuff.

    Well done!

  6. You are to be commended for laying it all out there, Joy. Thank you for trusting your readers to go on this journey with you. As someone who is not comfortable “going there” in the writing I share with others, I admire you. As a piece of writing, there are two lines that jump right off the screen for me – “…they were bombed…” in the first paragraph (though I think there’s a typo there) and, of course, the last line. Overall, this piece covers so much ground, I think you’re looking at a garden that could grow many, many stories. One Christmas, with your dad, could become a story in itself – for example. One thing I use to teach kids was about “small moments” – focusing one a smaller span of time that you slow down with rich imagery would be a good challenge for you. You certainly have plenty to choose from.

  7. Thank you for the feedback! I went in and looked for a typo but couldn’t find it but did find some wrong word choices and changed those. When you get a chance, please see if that typo is still there. Yes, I have many stories but they are all so depressive! I hate bringing my readers so much sadness and gloom. There is even more that I didn’t put in this post. Thank you for your feedback!

  8. This is a touching story that you told. I am so glad that you got to know your father in another way. It would have been so sad if he had died without you having those last few months with him. Good job in getting the emotional stuff out there.

    • Thank you Harry. I wondered if I conveyed the emotions connected to these experiences. In the end, “love conquers all.” I agree with you, I am glad that I got the opportunity to know him too.

  9. This was very good, if flowed really nicely and ended on a touching and sweet note. You had one line that I thought was especially vivid, “For many years, he wove in and out of our lives…”. Excellent!

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