Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Choices in Bat Country

I've said this before and I'm sure I'll say it again. I come from some crazy people. It's part of who I am and I come by my own crazy very honestly.  You can look at 98% of my family and think "Oh yeah, that totally makes sense".  It's not like I come from some Norman Rockwell fantasy and everyone's confused on why I'm all bat-shit. That being said, I have managed to become a fully functioning adult with a family of my own.  I'm sure I'm doing a good job of keeping today's psychology students in tomorrows workforce (you're welcome) but I don't think I'm doing any lasting damage. No more than eventually living through five teenage daughters will do to me.  It seems to be a fair trade. 
What seems to be difficult for me to understand is how my parents seem to be unable to make the same basic functioning adult choices that the rest of us manage to make every single day. Like they couldn't make a good choice if it fell out of the sky and landed on their sister!
Good choices - Sister...
 I do appreciate that they are on some kind of rotation so one of them seems to be acting vaguely adult-ish at a time.  It's helpful since there's three of them and one of me (how do I keep getting myself outnumbered like this?).  When one of them decides to go haywire it seems that it's an example of Go Big or Go Home.
My father is an alcoholic. He has been sober for 15 years. Because of the alcoholism he was non-existent as a parent and there was something that clicked in my head at one point and I got it. I don't really have a lot of anger because he didn't actually do anything. He just wasn't there.  Over the last 15 years we've managed to carve out a relationship that has hinted at normalcy.  My grandmother had a great hand in that (missing you more than ever right now Grandma) and we managed to almost be functioning. Then dad got cancer.  He spent some time in April of 2009 and all that needed to be said was and I was at peace with things. 
Insert a lot that is merely details I'll skip and we ended up living within an hour drive of each other for the first time since I was in high school.  It took a couple months of us getting settled in here to be able to get there to visit but when we did it was fantastic.  Dad said it was the best day he's had in years. It was great for us, too.  Then, little by little, I started hearing about XYZ that was going on.  OK, bumps but nothing more.  I had decided that we needed to make this a monthly thing and was all-in-all happy with the whole thing. 
What I was not prepared for was the total shit-storm that I was about to be hit with. Usually when this kind of thing is coming you at least get some kind of foreboding music or something. To keep this already ridiculously long story to something more manageable I'll hit the highlights of this bad-decision laced road trip.

We can't stop here! This is bat country!

  1. Drinking again. 15 years of sobriety out the window. Awesome
  2. All for some woman. Really? One that you "never felt like this before" about but didn't k now was a raging alcoholic and drunk by noon? Got it. (here's a hint: you don't REMEMBER feeling like anything before because you were too drunk!)
  3. Running off on "One last adventure"  sounds all fun and shit, but isn't truly realistic. While you may be in remission you have CANCER, stupid. 
  4. Something about Colorado, motorcycles, getting married and diamond mines
It was all a conversation involving a lot of "but I have to's" and "I need's".  All wrapped in a "I want your blessing" blanket. Um, no. All of this is a choice. A total and absolute choice with little thought for the ramifications and consequences. 
Every single day we make choices. Hundreds of little and big choices that impact our lives, and those of the people we choose to share them with.  If it's what we have in our first morning coffee or what time we go to bed, it's a CHOICE. There is very little in this world we have to do. Our hearts have to beat, our bodies have to function and our brains have to make a choice. But that's where the have to's end. No, you don't have to abandon the one chance you have to see your daughter/granddaughters on a regular basis. You don't have to run off and not face the life that your choices has led you to. Life is not a series of adventures. It is a series of choices, some easy, some hard. Some lead to adventures, some don't. These are the things that make up our lives.  I am not lucky that I found such a great life. I worked at it. I busted my ass and made the choices that I sometimes didn't want to. 
So now I just wait. I wait for the phone call that the last choice was a bad one. That the
rest of the choices are mine. Now I have to make new choices. Just when I was getting happy with the old ones.

Update: Dad is moving in with the girlfriend but has "come to his senses" about the motorcycle/Colorado/riding into the sunset thing.  We shall see what comes to pass on this one. Fingers crossed.

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