Today is my sobriety anniversary. It’s hard to believe it’s been 16 years since finding myself in the back of a police car on my way to jail after a weekend drinking spree. Ironically that infamous day was on a Sunday in 2002. My dad picked me up that day from jail. I’ll never forget that feeling of complete humiliation. It wasn’t until after my dad passed away in 2011 that my mother shared how my dad had been by my side for three days after as I experienced the withdrawals from alcohol. It’s crazy, but the one thing I still remember is my dad feeding me soup. Four days later I was in rehab where I spent the next 28 days in recovery. My life has never been the same.
Every year I usually re-live my story however this year I would like to do something different. Today I’d like to find the gratitude in the strength god has given me to remain sober. My life changed forever that day. My life hasn’t always been easy since then but the good news is I haven’t faced my challenges drunk. It’s been 16 years and I no longer want to re-live the past. That time in my life is over. Today I’ll just wish myself a happy anniversary and continue moving forward.
Sobriety is hard work but it’s possible. My song today is Silver Springs by Fleetwood Mac. I chose this song because my dad was a huge fan of Stevie Nicks. He had the opportunity to meet her many years ago. It was the highlight of his life. Silver Springs is a beautiful song that depicts a love of what could’ve been. Here’s to me and to my dad and to the love that could’ve been if he was still here on this very special anniversary day.
Today is Cinco de Mayo. A celebration for many latin americans. It also happens to be my parent’s anniversary. My mother and father were married on May 5th over 50 years ago. It still behooves me to this day how my father talked my mother in to marrying him. She was nothing like him at all. Unfortunately, my father passed away five years ago. While this is a day of celebration, it is also a reminder that my father is no longer with us.
I have only shared a few things about my father on my blog. He was the coolest man I’ve ever met. He was tough, determined and never gave up a fight, especially if it came to principle. My father was strong in his opinions and never backed down. He always fought for what he believed in. The strength and determination I have become known for to endure any challenge that comes my way is an attribute I learned from my father. He was my hero and my best friend.
My father grew up in Texas. He grew up poor but worked hard to build a profitable company that he referred to as his “empire”. He was tough and he was fearless but he had a very giving heart. My father was the only man I knew that drove around in a Chevy pick up (he wasn’t a fan of Ford) with a machete in the back seat and a 45 in his glove box but cried every time he watched Steel Magnolias. He had a crush on Julia Roberts. He was charismatic and had a wonderful sense of humor. My father could turn a robbery in to a story that was so funny you’d need kleenex to wipe the tears from laughing so hard. In fact he was at the local bank once when it got robbed. He was the only person not shaken by the experience. After the robber left, my father ran across the street to the bakery to buy himself a donut and returned just in time to be interviewed by the local TV Station. He was a riot and a cool cat!
I was in my car yesterday listening to the radio station on Sirius and Creedence Clearwater came on. He was belting out “Hey Tonight” which happened to be one of my father’s favorite songs. I was a little teary eyed but as I listened to the song I remembered a story my dad shared of a time he took my mother on a road trip. It was in the summer and my father decided to roll out his convertible corvette and drive to Bellingham, Washington which was over 5 hours away. He drove off that hot summer day with the top down and my 5’2″ mother sitting in the passenger seat with her freshly permed hair. They drove off that day with my crazy dad behind the wheel. My father shared how my mother’s perm was flapping in the wind as she was dodging the bugs attacking her face. My mother was convinced she was being attacked by horseflies. She was not a happy passenger!! To add insult to the injury, my father had his Creedence Clearwater cassette blasting as he listened to “Hey Tonight” repeatedly the entire trip to Bellingham. My mother begged him to stop playing that song but daddy refused!! By the time they arrived, my mother was a disheveled mess! According to my father, mother had birds in her hair building nests and she was so furious she demanded a DIVORCE! This didn’t faze my father at all. In fact, he booked a room at a trashy hotel and called it a day!! He just thought it was funny.
I’m happy to report, my mother forgave my father and she didn’t divorce him that day. She was by his side the day he took his last breath. I will never forget what my father did right before he passed away. He kissed my mother and as she stood up he picked himself up and said “I Love You!” He was gone only a few minutes later. That moment still brings tears to my eyes.
I called up my mother today to wish her a Happy Anniversary. I know that my mother still misses that crazy character she called her husband for over 50 years. She said “I don’t have anyone to share my anniversary with” I began to tell my mother funny stories about my father and before I knew it, Cinco De Mayo was a happy day for my mother again.
In honor of my parents and their anniversary today, I am posting this youtube video of Creedence Clearwater belting out my father’s favorite tune!!! Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!! We love and miss you every day and despite your craziness Mother misses you too!!!