Thursday, October 4, 2007

My Parents

Tomorrow my parents will be celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary. I find the idea of being married for 33 years a little unbelievable, particularly for my folks. You see, my mom was 15 and my dad only 18 when they wed in '74. Yes, you read that right. My mom. Was. 15. Oh! And pregnant. (Let that soak in for just a minute and think about what you were like at 15.)

Scary, huh?

It hasn't been an easy 33 years, though. Not for any of us. My dad was an alcoholic (I know he still is but he was a drinking alcoholic then) until I was 10. He was never physically abusive but there were times when hitting would have hurt less than the things that he said and did. During his last drunken weekend hurrah, he and my mom were arguing really, really bad and he took the shotgun and went outside, sat in a lawn chair and shot the weapon. He then held it between his legs and slumped over it. Of course, it looked like he had committed suicide and my mother, then only 25 with two kids (10 and 5), freaked. He sat up and laughed at her. That weekend he also wrecked our only car and destroyed (and I do mean destroyed) our kitchen.

My mom took us and went to my grandparents. Dad sobered up a few days later, for work, which he never missed and came crawling back. She told him he had to choose, her or the booze. Surprisingly, he chose her. And, honestly, the drinking man was much easier to live with than the non-drinker. For a long time. (There are still no guns allowed in my mother's home.)

That was eons ago and most of the stuff that happened then has been forgiven and forgotten. My parents are stronger for the hardships that they have faced and, honestly, they are more in love than ever. They have turned into pretty good grandparents, which has helped me forgive and forget, too.

Our relationship is not perfect. My dad and I have difficulty with affection. But a lot of the demons that he was drinking to forget were childhood traumas that no one should endure. My mom and I have a pretty good friendship but there are issues. (But don't we all have mom and dad issues?)

Regardless of what the past was like, my parents are definitely a model for sticking it out. Even when they probably shouldn't have. So, today's post is for them. (Even though they don't read this and don't even know it exists because this post would probably piss 'em off a little.)

Happy early Anniversary, Mom and Dad.

1 comment:

VDog said...

Wow, wow, wow. Alcoholism and abuse are so hard to get away from, even once the "symptoms" disappear.

My heart goes out to you.

(I've obvs got experience in this regard, too.)