In Pulp Fiction, Harvey Keitel portrays Winston Wolfe, a ‘cleaner’. He would come in and clean up people’s messy situations. This is how I began to think of my parents….my cleaners. I would make the s.o.s call and they would be there almost before I had even hung up the phone. Mr. Wolfe’s jobs pertained to bloody body parts and splattered brains. While not as gruesome, the cleaning jobs for my parents were no less harrowing with a great degree of mental carnage. Grief, confusion and an abyss of sadness is what awaited them on this clean-up mission.
Mort was banished, again.
While my mom sat with me and Maddie, my dad took Clare into another room and had a deep, open and honest conversation. Talking about alcoholism, my dad’s experience with it, what Mort was doing and my top priority of protecting the girls. What could have been a heavy load for a nine-year old was clarity and comfort for Clare. She came bursting out of the room and fell upon me with a rib-crushing hug. She stroked my face as fresh tears swam on hers, apologizing over and over for being angry with me.
I have always told my girls that THE most important job in my life is to keep them safe and happy. That is what being a mother is about. Clare spent the rest of the night saying, “I understand, I understand and you are doing the best job ever.”
I knew with that, no matter what, that my girls and I would survive this….whatever this ‘crazy’ was.