The day I found out my dad had relapsed, I went to a seminar led by Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny, one of the founders of Dog Brothers Martial Arts. The seminar was pretty small if I remember correctly but we had a great time. I think 2005-2006 marks my introduction to "combatives" although I don't think anyone called it that when we were starting. It's crazy to think that next month I'm taking a certification exam based on the foundation from all those years ago.
Anyway, when I got out of the seminar, I had a bunch of missed calls but no messages. And that's where this picks up...
|Not from that seminar but this is one of the first photos ever taken of me doing aikido! It's around the same time period.|
1/10/06 :: Title: The Long Version
...waiting for Crafty Dog to leave so I could shake his hand, I saw my brother Donnie called. I told Michael (note: my friend's husband and my off and on classmate) that he probably just wanted to come over and I'd call him back. I didn't and I am glad because driving home would have terrible if I hadn't gotten multiple calls from girlfriends about lunch this week which prevented me from finding out.
When I got home, Mike was sitting in his chair in his office, looking grave. All the lights were off in the house except for the lamp over his shoulder. Mike had me pull up a chair.
"Sharaze, please don't assume the worst." He took a deep breath, "your dad has been missing since yesterday morning at 11 am. He went to your cousin J's place but he never made it home."
Can you imagine? Stories I've recently read about alzheimer's patients, moms disappearing and closed cases ran through my head.
"Your mom called me to ask me what to do. I recommended she file a missing persons report since he's been gone over 24 hours. As the police left her place, J called to say your dad had come by. He said he didn't know where he'd been for the last day and a half and then he left again. The police are now looking out for your dad's truck because they think some of his health problems may have caused something to happen."
At this point, I started to cry because I knew. Mike told me not to jump to conclusions but I knew that although to our knowledge he had not relapsed, he was back on drugs.
We called friends to ask them to pray. While I was on the line with Stephan, Mike told me my dad was home and it was bad. Very Bad.
He'd been at a crackhouse with another of my cousins. E was high, came by J's place, and then he and my dad drained my parents' checking account and had a multi-hour binge.
The good news? my mom is smarter (or more burned) than I gave her credit for. Most of their money is in the savings and he has no access.
My sister went over there while he was missing. I talked to her and to my mom about how he was doing. It is almost painful to hear the lack of anger, the lack of drama that once accompanied these times. My sister was polite. She said, "it's bad. He's wasted. Not on alcohol." My mom says the first thing he said when he came in was, "you're going to leave me, aren't you?" She just said probably so. And then he sat down to a bowl of cereal. His first food in 2 days.
He has high blood pressure and cholesterol. He is 50 pounds overweight. He has sleep apnea and his blood sugar last night was 380. Mama said that she wonders why he'd do this when it would probably kill him and would almost certainly kill his family.
She is at work now but stayed at my grandmother's last night. Penny offered her place and we offered ours but she wanted to stay at her mother's which is across the street so she could make sure he didn't start selling things off like last time. During what I call "the darkest time," he sold everything out from under us...our house, our clothes, our toys, our cars.
Donnie and I both called him and said hi. Tonight we will meet and talk about what is next.
I will go to work where we are learning about recovery from grief and addiction and where people know what to say and have been there and done that. Stephan is processing the story and will be our adviser.
And maybe I am grown up enough to ask him why and actually listen.