This I Believe

Anthony - Brookfield, Illinois
Entered on February 27, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
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Holding On

I lived my life not worrying about the consequences of what the people in my family did. I lived life just like a care-free normal person. I was happy with my life. My parents were divorced. I used to visit my Dad at his house. We would always go to the movies and I loved it. I should really start with how my Mom and Dad got divorced. It was because of a habit my Dad had. It was a horrible habit that endangered his life and made my Mom’s life horrible. She could not take it anymore and she left him with my brother and me. His habit was drinking an ungodly amount of Jack Daniels and then he would become violent.

My Dad continued to drink after my Mom left him. He would only do it once or twice every year so I thought it was no biggie. The weeks he got drunk I would not visit. I would wait until he was sober and when he finally could call and ask if I wanted to visit I jumped at the chance. Life would go on as usual. This continued every year and I didn’t think a thing of it. Soon something happened that changed it all.

My Dad loved my Grandma and Grandpa. One day my Grandpa got sick and he was in a coma. He slowly slipped away and died. This hit my Dad hard. He began to drink. This time it was serious and he would be incapacitated for several weeks. He would be sober then a week later drunk. One night he drank so much he almost killed himself. My Mom took him to the hospital with a blood alcohol level of five hundred! This is death in normal terms. It means fifty percent of your blood is alcohol. The doctors were stunned that he was even breathing. But, my Dad lived. He left the hospital and my Mom had to drive him home. That night he threatened to kill himself. He always would threaten to kill himself while he was drunk. We couldn’t get him help unless he consented which he didn’t so everyone thought of it as an empty threat. A few weeks before I had said no to an offer of going out to eat with him because I was nervous he was still drunk and I didn’t want to risk it. I should have taken that offer regardless.

I believe that you should live your life with everyone you know and love like it will be the last day you see them. My Dad died that night. He killed himself. He drank alcohol and then he swallowed sleeping pills. He died alone. He died face down, his face smashed into the floor. His girlfriend found him the next day, not talking, not breathing. His face disoriented from the blood that rushed to it from being smashed into the floor. I came home from school like any normal day to find my Mom crying her eyes out. She gave me the news that my best friend just died, my Dad. I believe that you should hold onto the people you love as if they will slip away at any given moment. I still miss him. I should have never let him leave me.