Jan 07, 2012
I find myself on an emotional rollercoaster today. Early this morning I learned that a long-time acquaintance of mine passed away yesterday afternoon of cancer. His esophageal and liver cancer were a direct result of a lifetime of drinking and drug abuse. It took almost 35 years, two rounds of rehab, multiple bouts of alcoholic hepatitis and pancreatitis, a major heart attack and a destroyed marriage for him to want sobriety. For the past few years that he's been sober, all the miracles of sobriety happened for him. The bomb hit with his diagnosis 14 months ago.
The one saving grace in his death is that he had time to truly live a life of sobriety and enjoy all the blessings from it. He made the most it even while enduring the months of chemo. While they did not formally remarry, his relationship with his wife was restored and better than ever and she has been by his side throughout his recovery, final illness and death. I thank God they were both able to enjoy each other sober before he was called home.
Through a series of recent and unusual events, I will be helping out a very old (established 1879) and very small Methodist church choir in our area this Sunday. Turns out it was the childhood church home of my old friend and his family were lifelong members there. His wife is understandably overwhelmed and when I asked her if I remembered his connection to this church correctly, everything fell into place. Yes, it's the same church and she wants that pastor to officiate his service. She hasn't been able to even think about finding an officiant yet and I'm so grateful that this one fell into her hands right when she needed it. I believe I detect the hand of God at work here. Call it a happy coincidence if you like; both of us see it as the work of God.
Yet another thing happened this morning that added to the surreal feeling of this day. A friend here at Med Help with whom I have communicated for quite some time - is it two years now? - was instrumental in getting me to see that my way of dealing with my husband's addiction wasn't working. He's a recovering addict himself and bent over backwards to get me information on one of the best rehab facilities in the country that just happens to be 20 minutes away from my house. When I finally had enough, I knew exactly who to call and where to go. No fumbling around on the phone and internet in the middle of a crisis situation. Without the support and knowledge I gained from his friendship we would probably still be lost in a sea of addiction, enabling, anger, fear, guilt, frustration and darkness.
My husband and I were at our weekly aftercare meeting this morning and among the 200+ bodies packed into the initial staging area, right there in front of me appeared my old Med Help friend. He hasn't been around here much and I knew he was struggling with some major life upheavals. I was very much afraid he was talking himself into a relapse and yes, he relapsed. BUT - he checked himself back in for treatment. I'm so proud of him! It takes real courage not only to do that once but to admit that you need more help and voluntarily go back for it tells me he desperately wants sobriety. So C-, if you have internet access and are reading this message, we got your back!
God works in mysterious ways. I feel blessed to be able to recognize it now.