Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Family Day

Saturday was family day. I love those days. Katie and I brought along a friend. Friends make family days even better, we think.
There was some part of the day devoted to every member of our family and certain of our friends.
Though before days’ end, we had gotten some framing done – a watercolor/characterture I’d had done of our grandbaby for Tommy’s office and two art prints of the Florabama Coast where we went on vacation and of the Vieux Carre in New Orleans for Katie’s bff) We also picked up some scrapbook items for my bff.
We started the day, though, at a shoe sale, where I took pictures of every kind of wild shoe I could find to forward to a friend for her amusement. That friend did not get to come along on the trip, but I wanted to include her somehow. She and I had just discussed a blog where the writer stated what she needed most after a long, hard summer was to be amused. We agreed, so I started the day amusing the both of us with pictures of my feet in shoes I (for the most part) would never buy. I did purchase a pair that are rather out of character for me, mostly because the friend who DID come along has some like them and influenced me.
She and I both bought mostly shoes for persons other than ourselves. It was family day, after all. There was also a perfect pair of jeans search that took up part of the day. Lunch was fabulous, except for the guacamole made tableside, which the experts deemed to be too “limey.” The conversation, in particular, was fantastic. Katie discussed her decision to try out for cheerleader. Amy announced that she is auditioning for a solo part in her choir’s next concert. Their brother is auditioning for life. Sadly he ventured near death again recently.
The good news is that he decided, given his devotion to a certain female in his life and at the urging of certain strong willed family members/friends, to bring said venture to a close. He continues to struggle with a narcotic addiction that began when, as a young teenager, he suffered the horrific loss of a close friend. He has struggled since then, and struggles still. Recently, he remarked that he realizes he always will.
My response sums up something I have learned working with many people with substance abuse and mental health issues. How those came to be is not so much the issue as how they are handled. “Someone with diabetes will likely struggle forever. They have diabetes on Christmas, Thanksgiving, on their birthday and on summer vacation. They will adjust their conduct, their choices from now to the grave, or else they will become sicker and sicker and ultimately, they will die an early death as a result. One has to take responsibility for one’s issues, one’s problems, one’s addictions and diseases. If we do not, they will consume us.”
I told him this, quite frankly, as I have many times, I will do all I can to help him be well and healthy, but I cannot; I will not, participate in his destruction.
He called as we were leaving to spend the day with his sisters to report he is able to eat again. He believes himself to be making progress. We took change by to him on our way out of the city on Saturday, so he could get vending machine snacks if he wanted them. It was a small gesture, but one intended to encourage him to try out for a life without chemicals.
We hope he gets there, or at least decides to commit to the long journey ahead in earnest.
As for my darling daughters: I can hardly wait to see Katie tumble across some field or gymnasium floor again. And if Amy gets a solo part, I will be there on the front row to hear her. And I will invite as many of my family and friends as I think would want to go with me.
We will make it a family day.


  1. Hmmm. Family. Heartwarming, heartbreaking. Thanks for an honest glimpse of your family day.

  2. I am having issues posting my comment. I love reading your blog. It is a perfect mix of sweet and sorrow. I have to tell you my heart stopped briefly when my cell phone said Gayla's cell was calling. I am glad it was only a blog crisis.

    I have a friend from my former life who writes a blog about addiction, disability, etc. You and she have a lot in common. I will find the link and send it to you.