Maybe he cheated death only once or it may have been dozens of times. I'm not sure of the exact number of times but I know he cheated death. There were many times when I dreaded hearing the phone ring. I didn't want to know if death had found him. I wanted to bury my head in the sand and pretend death wasn't hunting my father.
My dad was sick for many years. He had so many health problems ~ heart issues, kidney stones, vascular problems. He was too thin, he was too pale, he was too frail. It killed me to look at him wasting away. Death was chasing him, teasing him, taunting him with booze. My dad's love affair with liquor almost let death win. After years and years of hitting the bottle he hit rock bottom. It was the best time, when he hit rock bottom. He started getting well when he gave up the liquid in the bottle.
I think the bottom came during Christmas at our house one year. The kids were little ~ probably one, three and seven. I caught my dad drinking out of our liquor cabinet at 6:30 in the morning on Christmas day. The day went downhill from there. My dad was being so nasty to Lucas because he was a rambunctious three year old, doing rambunctious three year old things. I finally had enough of his nastiness. I told him these were my kids and my job was to protect them. I went on to tell him that we loved him and love having him around but he wasn't welcome in our house if he was drinking. We were happy to pay for a hotel if he felt the need to drink. My dad sounded like a little boy when he told me he wouldn't drink at our house anymore.
I couldn't be more proud of my dad. At the age of 73 he started attending AA meetings. Nearly every day he has gone to his meetings. Every day I am so happy for him and our family. He is so much healthier than he was so many years ago. The heart problems are monitored, the kidney stones are gone, the vascular problems are eased, all because he gave up his addiction. Besides being healthier he is also happier. He has a great relationship with all of my kids. There is no more nastiness, no more anger, no more cheating. I am beyond proud. I am more than thankful.
Zach said today how happy he is to have my parents here in Richmond with us. I can't imagine what life would be like had my dad not cheated death.
Oh, for the love of my children...