After our talk, my dad went home and broke the news to my mom. I then followed up with a visit to elaborate and fill in the blanks. There were tears, but they weren’t from me. I think my mom had several emotions and memories at play when digesting the information. In her wife role, she was no doubt casting her thoughts back 34 years to the ‘ultimatum’ conversation with my dad, in her mother role she was concerned for me as my marriage had for the most part seemed pretty great, and in her grandmother role she was wondering the effects that it would have on Clare and Maddie. She was shocked and saddened.
I then phoned Mort and informed him that I had told my parents everything…he was Mortified (couldn’t resist). I can’t deny that my intentions were to shame, embarrass and plain old humiliate him into admitting and confronting his issue. Telling my parents was the fastest route there.
My dad arranged to have a one-on-one with Mort. Rather than ripping into Mort as many would, my dad handled the situation with diplomacy and respect. He simply told him stories and real life lessons of his own and many of his old college friends that had staggered down the alcoholic path.
He broke it down into 3 categories of alcoholism. The first group (and very rare group) recognize that they have an addiction and combat it before anything is lost (my dad belongs to this group). The second group are those that will lose things along the way…family, job, self-respect…but eventually they overcome their addiction. Then there is the last group….those that not only lose everything, but it only ends when they lose their life….their addiction will kill them.
He said that it was about choice and personal decision. It was up to Mort which category he wanted to be in.
Photo credit: http://www.pamtremble.blogspot.com.au