Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Daughter

This is a photo, taken a couple of years ago when we bloggers used to post photos regularly, of my hand, my daughter's hand, and my two granddaughters hands. It is the only anonymous photo I have of my daughter - well, that is not exactly true. I have the photo of the tattoo she got on her wrist - "Mom" - oh dear Lord.

In a few short hours, my daughter will celebrate one blessed year of sobriety. A year ago today, she was on death's door, and no, I am not exaggerating. Her friends literally threw her out into a parking lot because they didn't want her to die in their house (nice friends, huh - it sure was not too hard for her to let go of them....) She was able to call someone who was able to come and get her even though he was sick to death of "rescuing" her - and he nursed her back to health one more (and please dear God, last) time.

On January 30, 2009, she found her way to what would become her home group. It is full of people I got sober with back in the 80s. Some of them knew her when she was a little girl. One of them, a 300 lb. fairly dangerous man named Tiny, used to babysit she and her siblings so I could get to meetings. (When she tells people this, they marvel - probably at the fact that her mother could have such poor judgment!) One of the people still at that group was my boyfriend for many, many years and has his own trouble child. We used to compare notes, and commiserate. For a while, his problem child was sober in the meeting and she and he would sit together and cause trouble. Oh dear, of all the things I thought would never happen. He is now in the process of cleaning up again.... I pray he gets sober.... I pray for all of us and our kids....

Tomorrow we start a new meeting at work, I have a key role in this meeting, and it goes from 10 to noon. I told my boss today that I have to leave at 11:15. I just don't care. I have to be at my daughter's birthday meeting. I will drive across town and see my daughter celebrate her first year of sobriety.

It has been a good year for her. It has been hard, it has been a struggle in many ways. But not a struggle to stay sober. She was done when she was done. And I understand that. I was done too. And when I asked God to relieve me of the desire to drink, it was gone. Then all I had to do is get to work to keep it gone. I believe this is what she has had to do as well.

It has been a thrilling year for me. Also a challenge to steer clear of her program. I believe she has a good sponsor and I know she has taken the steps. I know that she is actively involved in AA and doing the stuff that you are supposed to do. And I also know that it is none of my business.

I am just so incredibly grateful to have had this year with my daughter. No matter what the future holds or what the past has done.

One day in October, I took the light rail downtown alone. As I passed the sights along the way, I recalled a couple of trips my daughter and I had taken this past summer. As I recalled those moments, I had a startling realization. In the last year, I have had more of a history with my daughter than I have ever had in the 30 years of her life. Before she started drinking and using, she was so out of control, I couldn't enjoyably take her anywhere. Once she was about 14, she started running away from home and doing her thing and we never did anything together - but we were always close - if that makes any sense. Oh, I know it does to mothers, so I shan't explain anymore.

I am so very grateful as a mother for the last 365 days of my daughters life.

Thanks to the Grace of a loving God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous - and the wonderful people in it - that's you! Thank you. xoxoxox

13 comments:

Pam said...

I remember how scary it was last year when she got sober...the praying that she would realize what an awesome thing God was doing for her. She has come so far Mary.

dAAve said...

Give her a GREAT BIG HUG from me, please.

Lou said...

Sometime in the past year, I decided I was going to take every good day with my kid, and be in that day. I gave up the hurts, the scary phone calls, the chaos of the past. I gave up the worrying about saying something that might push him over the edge tomorrow. I look at him as person, with failings and strengths, and live today.

This is a beautiful post, and may your hands always be there for each other.

Ed G. said...

I wish special blessings for you and her on this amazing day.

Blessings and aloha...

Scott W said...

The endless gifts of sobriety, of right-sized living, just seem to continue on and on and on.

Enjoy this day. It truly is a gift.

Kathy M. said...

Lovely. Congratulations to you both.

Willa said...

How wonderful both of you get to celebrate this special day together.

AnyEdge said...

What a wonderful thing this must be for both of you. Congratulations to her.

Enchanted Oak said...

As a sober mom of a sober daughter, I know exactly how thrilled you are today. Happy birthday to your daughter, and blessings to you on this miraculous day.

Hope said...

What a great day this is!

anona said...

To read your beautiful words of the story of your daughter "on death's door" was incredibly inspiring to me because just a few short weeks ago I was there too, and you've given me a glimmer of hope that maybe a year from now my parents can be as proud and full of joy as you are now. I'm new here and I've only been sober now for 8 difficult yet wonderful days. What a beautiful thing for you and your family, congratulations. Hope you enjoyed the day!

Kim A. said...

I am just beaming for the both of you. And as a Mom, I totally get it.

namaste

Mike Golch said...

I celebrat that Birthday as well.I celebrated my 19 one dec17 2009.Soberity is such a great gift.The price is good all you have to do is ask for it and follow the program.that is a blessing indeed.I know I'm rambling.and now I'm shutting up.Mike G.said that!