The only way to describe my father was he was a raging drunk – the more he drank the crazier and more abusive he became.
When I was about six I planted a few watermelon seeds thinking maybe I could make a little money and give it to my mother.
I did both and if I recall correctly I made about three dollars – not long after that my father suddenly took an interest encouraging me to plant more when the season was right.
Being only six years old I took my fathers interest as being genuine later to find out as the next patch came to fruition that he had discovered he could barter watermelons for booze.
I made a couple of unsuccessful attempts to plant a few about a half mile from our house – it wasn’t having to carry water from a stream a few hundred yards away but that I had no way to keep deer or anything else looking for a meal out of the “garden”
such as it was.
The fact that I was no longer cultivating watermelons where my father could help himself led to drunken tirades that I wasn’t of much use, lazy, often accompanied by a slap upside my head or a kick whose accuracy depended on how drunk my father was.
So yeah, I’ve got a real problem with people who get drunk and act stupid, I’m not willing to tolerate their presence and don’t have a problem telling them so.
One thing I’ve learned is that an alcoholic will never change until it is their decision – if they’re not interested in quitting you might as well talk to a tree, it has to be their decision.
It’s obvious that giving up alcohol isn’t easy, but when that decision and an honest effort is made people should be supportive in any way they can and help to open the door for them.
I know people who have quit and are getting on with their lives – I have nothing but respect for them, wish them the best, and if a need arises will help in any I can.
My father’s addiction was such he would drink anything that had alcohol as one of the ingredients, and I mean anything.
As I grew older I often wondered how he had managed to stay above ground – how he even had a functioning liver and kidneys.
Maybe my father deserved a better life, I wouldn’t argue the point either way, what I would argue is that life is about choices and my father never expressed a desire in word or deed to make good ones.
Someone sent me a link the other day to the above video, a song titled To Leave Something Behind by Sean Rowe – I’d never heard the song or was familiar with Rowe.
But I like the song and in a way it’s driven the point home to me that it’s about what we will leave behind in our passing.
Rowe sings about the machine taking the soul from a man. Maybe that’s what alcohol does – it robs a man of his soul.