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Grapevine : August 2010
MYre- lapse occurred six-and- a-half years ago, some- thing I never want to forget, and end- ed around 4 A.M. on a summer morning. I called my dad for a ride from a convenience store payphone, located in the bad part of downtown Dallas. e problem was that I didn't know where I was. I went into the store and asked the perplexed clerk for the address and, a er what seemed like an eternity, my extremely patient father pulled up to save me once again. is was a er repeated skirmish- es with alcohol the people at your meetings?" I re- plied "Pretty good." And then he said, "Good, that means you are doing OK." I said, "How do you know?" He told me, "When you think that the people at your meetings stink, it means that you really are the one who stinks." I barely understood what he meant at the time because I was new to the program, but now I see the simple wisdom in those words. Uncle Richard had a liver trans- plant in 1993, when he was 10 years sober. Eventually they left Akron and moved to my mom's hometown in Texas. A few years ago his health started to decline and his body was not able to process all the toxins from his liver anymore. He began to have dementia-like symptoms. At times he was himself, and other times he was confused and disoriented. My aunt stood by his side and cared for him at home as long as she could until he needed to be hospitalized. This year, our family Christmas gathering was to be at my aunt and uncle's home, though his health con- tinued to be poor and he was cur- rently at the nursing home. Many of my family members have made it into Al-Anon or AA over the years, though the rowdy, drinking crowd still make up a large part of the family. Uncle Around 4 A.M., I called my dad. LAST CALL 30 August 2010