It started with a conversation Shelley and I were having about her Dad, and his condition of early alzheimer’s and alcohol addiction. The reality of having her dear father living 17 hour drive west of her and desire to help him was confusing. Her heart was split with the responsibility for her young teenage daughters still back East. Her youngest finishing high school , and the other out of the nest but still use a watchful mama eye on her.
The time to help her Dad had arrived. The bubble of addiction had been burst. After visiting her Dad last Christmas she realized he covered real well on the phone, and he was eating junk, systematically drinking , and still driving. Gulp.Torn with memories of her childhood, and the sweet little family circle she and her brother made up with her mom and dad she decided to see how she could help the situation. Her Dad was still living in the family home and she had a big, loving relationship with that place, too. Her own divorce, 7 years ago and the break up of her little nuclear family, spurred her to look across the midwestern horizon and realized she had to help. SHE could help, her skills in connecting people, fixing healthy food, keeping up with exercising, and most importantly in my mind…confronting and talking about hard issues. Shelly was good at it. She had trained in Non-violent communication and had training in her previous life in communicating, and she did it quite well. She decided to go, for the summer, she wanted a passenger to help her drive, but really more for safety and companionship. She offered a return ticket home and I agreed to go.
April is my birthday month and the end of April is still winter in Vermont. April is the tease of warmer days, but delivers very little heat . April and May are both mud seasons. After my visit with Shelley I would fly out of Minneapolis and visit my friends Mac and Dar in Chicago for a week or so and then fly home having helped my friend get her goal accomplished.