Friday, August 26, 2011

Henry's Last Son

This weekend I will travel to the funeral of my uncle.  He was the last remaining child on my father's side.  Although we weren't really close, he was still my family....a connection to my past.  We seem to lose more and more as we get older.  Hopefully with each loss, we will gain some wisdom.

This week I volunteered to take my first AlAnon meeting into the jail.  It was one of those things I always wanted to do but was a little intimidated by.  It ended up being rewarding.   My Dad grew up very poor and his father, Henry, was often abusive.  My Dad told me a lot of stories of people who helped him out along the way by mentoring or giving him a chance he might not have normally had.  He always paid that forward for as long as I can remember.

My experience at the jail confirmed the notion that everybody needs the opportunity of education, understanding and compassion, and another chance without judgement.  My uncle was a good man.  He provided a home for his parents when they could not have afforded it on their own.  My Dad was a good man.  He was always helping those who had less than he did.  At Christmas or Thanksgiving, we always fixed plates for older or lonely folks and delivered them to them. 

My Dad and his brother were the sons of an alcoholic.  The stigma of addiction followed them everywhere as it does to alcoholics and addicts today.  But, they rose above it.  I tip my hat to these men and in appreciation for the good choices they made, I too will give back.  They set the example.  There is nothing nicer than offering hope to those that feel that there is none. 

Today I say a prayer for the soul of my uncle and for Henry.  I pray for those ladies I met who are looking for a better life without really knowing how to get there.  I pray for our addicted loved ones and those who care for them.  I am thankful for the positive examples in my life.  Those examples are the food that feed my soul.  I hope that you to can take your experiences and use them for good.

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