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Grapevine : November 2011
they led very active lives; but it was the only solution to the problem of "What will we do with mother?" Though they were very caring and helpful in many ways, I was still pretty much a zombie and was, of ne- cessity, left to my own devices all day every day. Each morning, they were off to their respective jobs before I made my way downstairs. Slowly, I began filling my days by helping a little around the house. I wasn't yet thinking very clearly, but the idea that I should "pay my way" had always been part of my upbringing. It happened after I had been there for about ten days. When I came downstairs that Friday morn- ing, there in the middle of the liv- ing room coffee table were two tall glasses, each half--filled with that old, familiar amber-colored liquid. When such occasions had arisen in the past, I had simply been a garbage disposal and would quickly drain each glass before taking it into the kitchen. My first impulse on this particular morning was to do the same. It seemed to be an irresist- ible force. Then I remembered "Easy Does It" and "One Day at a Time," and I asked God for help---not for one day, but just for two minutes. Two lousy minutes were all I needed. Somehow, with help, I mustered all my strength and fortitude and car- ried those two glasses to the kitchen and poured their contents down the drain. I will never forget the wonder- ful feeling of gratitude and release that overwhelmed me after I had ac- complished that, to me, miraculous feat. I had passed a very big test and was proud of myself. The somewhat smug feeling stayed with me for the rest of the day, and I busied myself happily with more than the usual number of chores, sometimes even singing as I worked. It was a very good day. When my son and daughter- in-law arrived home that evening, they commented with pleasure on the shining house and asked what had spurred me on to such activ- ity. I hadn't planned to tell anyone about my traumatic experience, but in a sudden fit of sharing, I told them not too modestly about my achieve- ment. I did not receive the expected congratulations. They both laughed. After they had quieted down a bit, my son said, "It's a good thing you handled it the way you did. But in a way it's too bad, because I'm sure you would have enjoyed the iced tea." C.H. East Windsor, N.J. I mustered all my strength and for- titude and carried those two glasses to the kitchen and poured the contents down the drain. aagrapevine.org 19