My name is Haley and I’m a 7th grader at Yaxche School. I just recently moved from the small town of St. Augustine, Florida, to the even smaller town of Taos, New Mexico.
I believe that family is a very fragile thing that can be easily cracked or shattered. Even if your family is one of the luckier ones that is strong enough to get the super glue out and piece it back together, the scars are still there. For a long time I never thought about drugs or alcohol. I mean sure, you don’t do drugs, age 21 i the drinking limit, smoking causes lung cancer, and if your are smoking make sure you completely stamp out your cigarette butt or Smokey will get you. You know, the basics, but I never really thought about it…until someone in my family was diagnosed.
He was so kind. He was the guy that would give up his seat on the bus so a family could sit together. Or take a picture of that little girl in her floaty new dress, not because he needed it of coarse, but just so she could feel pretty for a few minutes. The one that all the kids threw water balloons at during the birthday parties because none of the other men were brave enough to face the hoard of screaming children. But after the alcoholism set in, that all changed.
It wasn’t a big deal at first, but then the number of empty beer bottles grew, the nights got longer, and the fear started to settle in, making a permeant home in our once cozy abode. Nobody really wanted to talk about it, but it became impossible not to. Eventually the awkwardness, anger, and fear hung like dripping fat in the air, making it hard to breath.
I still remember those nights. The ones where I would spend the darkness either throwing up in bathroom or pacing around the kitchen, all because we got that one call. That one sickening conversation with his friends saying that he left their house drunk and they don’t know where he went. During these nights, our family developed a routine. First we would call all of his friends, if there was no answer there, we would call the police station, finally we called the hospitals. After that we would sit around the treated wood of the kitchen table and cry.
About four months ago my dad was admitted to the Betty Ford Rehabilitation Center. He is out now and slowly but surly he is becoming the person I once knew him to be, giving up his seat on the bus, making that little girl feel like a princess, and taking on those screaming hoards of children. I believe that family is a very fragile thing that can be easily cracked or shattered. Our family was once shattered, but we are slowly re-gluing the pieces in hopes that we can live with the scars.
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