My friend is in a sad dilemma today. Far, far away from the dreary grey and cold of mid-St. Louis, she’s flying down to sunny Florida through the great blue sky. She hasn’t seen her husband since the day after Christmas. Could this be a grand reunion she’s planned? She should be looking forward to hugs and kisses, sitting in the sand with the sun shining down on pale white faces. Sadly, I sense there will be none of that. I know my good friend dreaded packing for this trip to palm trees and the beach. An ultimatum is going to be given.
You see, my dear friend’s husband is an alcoholic. There I’ve said it, the unspoken word. The secret is out! This friend of mine is one of two close girlfriends who have been part of my life for many years. We go to dinner or window shop. We call each other on the phone or stop to text. We laugh and play and can tell each other anything. Sometimes, we do absolutely nothing. They are both part of my life, like sisters only better, at times.
This friend with the alcoholic husband has told tales I won’t go into here. None of them are good. I can’t think of any you’d want to hear. She is probably one of the strongest women I’ve ever known. She’s tried her best to make things work. Her heart is there, but the drink is stronger than her love for him or his love for her.
I’ve written about alcoholism as a “Chronic Condition” in a post about my Maternal Grandfather long ago. It was entitled, “Little Grandpa.” I dare to say it is the most common of chronic conditions that exist. I am sure there is not a person reading that hasn’t been touched in some way by this dreaded demon. If not, than someone surly close to you. A friend or neighbor…..or someone you don’t even realize.
For me, it’s in my genes, on both sides. It doesn’t really matter. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just there to be aware of, to educate others and be conscious of. Alcohol can be insidious. It destroys friendships, takes away jobs, breaks-up families, and even kills. Yes, that’s what I said. Alcohol kills.
So, my dear friend is giving her husband an ultimatum. In order to save their marriage he must give up the bottle. When I left her the other evening in the soft glow of the restaurant light, I saw the sadness in her eyes. I felt the defeat at the end of her words……when she let out a heavy breath upon her sigh.
My dear friend has my love and my empathy. I texted her while she was on her way to Florida, up in that plane in the vast ocean sky. I though a few simple words of support might help, at least she’d know her friend was here for her. I doubt they will help with the ultimatum.
No matter what words are spoken by my friend’s husband, I’m willing to bet she’s heard them all before. She knows deep down inside of her what she must do. That’s why it hurts so much. Another promise broken, another family destroyed, another box full of hopes and dreams lost because of a clear glass of liquid on the rocks.
Yes, alcohol kills………