A Family Story…
My great uncle Pal died earlier this month at the age of 85. 85 years is a pretty good run, but ask me if I still think it’s a good run when I’m 84.
His death got me thinking about the Fourth of July celebrations held at his house that we used to attend every year. We stopped attending some time in the early 80s. Not because of a family falling out, but I think it was mostly due to my parents no longer enjoying the heavy drinking that was usually involved.
My mother had before that time begun to pull away from all the boozing. She didn’t like the hangovers and just didn’t enjoy the antics alcohol could facilitate. Dad was coming to that same way of thinking, too.
That lead me to remembering one particular Fourth of July holiday. It was perhaps the last time any of our family went to Uncle Pal’s for the Fourth. I told the story of that Fourth when Dad was the drunkest I had ever seen him. Mom did not go that year, she was upset with Dad, but she didn’t stop my younger brother and I from going.
I was working early that day, so when I got off work Dad and Uncle Jack came over to pick me and my brother up to bring to the party. They had both already been there for a while. Dad was driving. Dad was drunk. My brother and I will never forget that terrifying ride. Dad drove too fast, he and Uncle Jack laughing all that way, while my brother and I were white-knuckling in the backseat.
I had seen Dad buzzed before, but not like this. This was a different drunk. Dad wasn’t falling down or acting out, he just wasn’t right. He was barely there. It was scary.
Uncle Pal pumped Dad full of coffee at the end to the night and said, “He’ll be OK.” I was 17 or so and I wasn’t a driver yet, but I was contemplating whether or not I would be able to drive us home. Well, Dad drove. We got home and he didn’t speak of that holiday very much after that.
Years later, about the only thing I was able to get him to say about that day was he didn’t remember most of it. He had been blackout drunk virtually the entire day. As I recall, he was taking an antibiotic at the time, for an infection of some sort, and that certainly must have affected how drunk he got.
It must have really scared him, because Dad never got that drunk again. In fact, today he’s practically a teetotaler and has been for many years.
Canadian Couple On Trial For Not Providing Their Son Proper Medicine
Ezekiel Stephan was 19 months old when he died from meningitis four years ago, after his parents refused him science-based medicine, opting instead to use naturopathic remedies. Had Ezekiel received proven medical care, and had he been vaccinated (his parents refuse to vaccinate as well), chances are very good he’d still be alive today.