Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Next Right Thing

My sister is an alcoholic. Untreated.

She's 53 (two years older than I) and has had 3 DUI's. After the last one, about 10 years ago, she got to spend a few months in government provided housing. At the pleasure of the County Sheriff. She no longer drinks and drives, choosing instead to only drink at home and almost always only at night. I don't think she ever gets rip-roaring drunk anymore. That's a good thing.

Having said that ...

Saturday night past, which also happened to be New Year's Eve, Barney died. Barney was one of her 2 dogs. He was a rather husky, mixed breed terrier. He was 11 1/2 years old.

Sis and her common-law husband were outside on the patio Saturday night at their semi-rural home, watching the neighbors shoot off fireworks. Barney was freaking out over the loud noises and bright lights and wanted to go inside. A little unusual for him; he's never been one to be afraid of anything. So they let him inside and they stayed outside to keep watching the show. A little while later she found Barney dead on the floor in a bedroom. Apparent massive heart attack. He had a good life.

Having said that ...

My sister phoned me Sunday evening to let me know of Barney's death and to tell me she would not be around Monday to visit our Mom in the Nursing Home. She only goes on Monday's and Thursday's because of the long drive. She told me that she was too grief stricken to leave the house.

Having said that ...

My recovery program immediately kicked into action. My first thoughts were to tell her that the very best thing she could do, in her state of mind, would be to go visit Mom; stay on the regular schedule. This would help get Barney's death out of the forefront of her mind. Even if just for a couple of hours, she would be helping another human (her mother) in their time of need. I wanted to tell her that she would never forgive herself if Mom were to die before she made it around for the next visit.

My program also told me to keep my damn mouth shut.

18 comments:

Mary Christine said...

Sorry to hear about Barney.
So, did you tell her all that stuff, or did you keep your "damn mouth shut"?

AAwoken said...

All you can do is lead by example. Hard, isn't it?

muylajuana said...

I'm so sad about Barney--and so grateful that you're doing your program. You're a good brother. Glad you knew when to keep your mouth shut.

Scott W said...

I remember sitting and petting Barney while Bruno tried to steal the show. I am grateful I got to spend time with him and I send good wishes to Lisa. Please give her my regards and condolences.

And as for you, buster, get to feeling better.

Trudging said...

Restraint of tongue and pen, it is a good thing.

12StepSteve said...

I wish I was better at keeping MY damn mouth shut......

Sorry about the pup, and I hope that both you and your sister are feeling better soon.

Sam said...

Sorry, too, about Barney.

Thanks for the lesson.

DayvudD said...

Condolences for Barney. So sad. Great job. your sister's higher power is with her. It's the damndest thing... the only people that usually can't hear us is family. Hmmm... Hope you are feeling better. PEACE.

sirreene said...

I have to agree with aawoken here and believe that you did indeed to the right thing by holding your tongue no matter how difficult it was for you.

R.J. said...

I'm not familiar with the "rules" of AA and the logic behind them. Why is it better to keep your mouth shut? Is it because you are afraid it would push her away from you and make her stop communicating her feelings and thoughts? There must be some pretty good reasoning behind keeping quiet because I know it must be killing you. Hope your sister keeps strong and makes the right choices during this sad time.

Shannon said...

Gosh Daave, I dont know I read your blog and I like what you thought about saying to her... but then, I agree too with bitting the tongue. Cuz we dont know whats best... but still liked what you thought- so in my humble opinion, either one was right...

is your flu bug gone???? feel better... and I am so sorry to hear about Barney...

dAAve said...

*************************
FOR THOSE WHO ASKED ...

I did not tell her any of those thoughts that I had.

RJ -- the reason why?
Not because she may or might not talk to me about her feelings in the future. Basically, what she does (or doesn't do) IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS! I cannot change her way of thinking and neither can she as long as she continues to drink. That is what alcohol does to an alcoholic. We think differently than a "noraml" person.
**************************

Scott W said...

Or even normal persons.

Jake McCafferty said...

I'd say you did the right thing keeping your mouth shut this time. You can't reason with people when they are grieving.

Also, check out today's BaT post. I'd like to hear your thoughts, considering your longtime involvement in the oil bidnez.

NMAMFQLMSH said...

I'm with the lead by example too but I have one hell of a time keeping my mouth shut as you probably know by now.
I see you,
JJ

Lee said...

So sorry to hear about Barney!!

Blue said...

Congrats on holding your tongue, it must be very hard… but it is attraction rather than promotion. I am very sorry to hear about Barney, no matter who you are it is very hard to lose a pet.

temppixie said...

Posted something really great, then aol crashed, so just wanted to say with you man, before it crashed and burned again!