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Telling Not Showing

Telling Not Showing

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/11/opinion/booze-revisited.html?_r=0

The above link is to an article on alcoholism written by Dick Cavett. I don’t agree with all Dick writes, e.g. Dick implies that he sees nothing wrong with some people taking a small drink as a means of coping with stage fright. In my opinion, using alcohol to self medicate for any reason is unhealthy. Addiction in all forms is a subject I have strong feelings about. Both stories in the link are compassionately written (there’s a link to a second story contained in the intro of this one, you just click on the word ‘here’.). They touched me deeply. My father was an alcoholic and I have battled various addictions during my life. Addiction and mental illness run like a winding river through my family.

I loved my dad and miss him very much. He had 10 years sober (bliss) when a chronic illness (not alcohol related) forced his early retirement from a job he loved, a job he’d held since he stopped drinking. He’d found his niche, took pride in his promotion to manager, I think he discovered his self respect in this job. Not long after his retirement he began drinking again, telling us (and himself) he could now be a social drinker. It only took a few months for my loving, gentle, delightful dad to once again become an alcohol obsessed, often morose stranger. He died just after his 67th birthday. We were all with him, and we all loved him.

My son adored his Poppa Thomas, and was devastated by his death. He wrote the poem, Thomas, after dad’s funeral. After years of battling depression then drug addiction, Ken , ‘followed’ his Thomas, 8 years after he wrote the poem. As many of you know, Ken died by his own hand.

I’m reposting Ken’s poem, Thomas, because I believe his words show far better than I can tell, what it’s like to love a person who suffers from any addiction. Ken’s words also show that it’s possible to see past the addiction to the heart of the person.

Tricia 1/2014

Thomas

A picture is all I have
To remind me of your life
This emotion runs so deep
Oh why can’t I follow you

Your wisdom and your heart
Greater than your legacy
Of the ones you left behind
Oh why can’t I follow you

I long for the time
When your smile meet mine
Tucked gently inside a bottle
Oh why can’t I follow you

I weep at the reflection
In the eyes of your wife
For since you said goodbye…
O why can’t I follow you

A soul so weightless
The wind took you from me
I never got to show you
Just who you were to me

This lid is sealed so tight
On your final kiss
Tasting death on your lips
Please wait for me

Kenneth Bertram

Son and Sky

Son and Sky
 
Laughter back in her life
Interesting projects
Meaning and purpose abound
And yet
Three sleepless nights this week
It would appear her body
Is aware
The black stallion of Mother’s Day
Is galloping toward her 
Hooves pounding the tempo
Requiem for a Dead Child
Fourteen years since
Her so sad son
Laid down the intolerable burden
His life had become
Her childless mother lesions
Ache
With familial longing
As she sits in the dark
Waiting for dawn
Slowly it comes
Swathes of colour
Join together
‘Till the sky is a breathtaking blaze
Her atheistic heart
Longs for a moment
To see her artist son’s hand
Painting this gift of morning skies
But what was
Can never be again
The yin of grief settles
Beside the yang of love
It is enough for today
 
Tricia 5/2013