It wasn't a complete disaster, though that's how it felt in my gut. Nothing turned out as I planned it, yet the world didn't stop turning. By 4 o'clock the dinner was over, the bellies were (mostly) full, and a nap was necessary on my part. During that drowse, the kids left, stopping in to say a quick goodbye.
When I was fully awake I was able to look around and feel somewhat defeated. The air mattresses that caused an argument over their frivolity? One was only used for a night; another sat quietly in the closet, still boxed. The blanket was still in the wrapper. She didn't stay. My home is foreign to her now, and she can no longer do as she pleases here.
You see, she only took two bites of food -- a half-slice of jellied cranberry sauce -- though much of the food I had made was bland enough for her supposedly ailing stomach. Somehow she managed to drink down an entire bottle of Smirnoff plum spritzer. She'd convinced her brother to stop by the liquor store - which was amazingly open on Thanksgiving - to pick up two bottles of the vodka plus a six-pack of Guiness. Before the drinking started, she was nice and solicitous and helpful. When the drinking started, that all changed.
She chugged away at her glass while I said grace. She was dressed provocatively in a shirt that was all but see-through. Her hair appeared to need a wash. There was nothing in her that respected either herself or us. I grew more and more fatigued as dinner wore on. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't enjoy myself. Food actually hurt to swallow. I kept thinking, "In two months she'll be behind bars." I can't know that, of course, but barring a miracle between now and then, she'll be convicted of driving on a suspended license with expired tags and no insurance. Her license was suspended because...we don't know. I suspect I know, given her behavior at dinner. I've known people who move beyond eating to just drinking their calories. I knew a man early in my career who drank his way through lunch every day. He was dead within the year.
It's hard to see my daughter this way. It is even harder that she cut short my visit with my son by convincing him to take her over to his place for the night so they could finish off what she'd bought and probably everything he has stashed in his kitchen for when friends come by. I'm not sure he sees how far his sister has fallen. I'm glad she has him, but I always worry that she'll influence him in a bad way.
The pies are put away. The leftovers are in the freezer, and hubby and I are going out to see a comedy today. My life didn't stop because of her madness. I know that we've done everything we can possibly do for her. Now she is in God's hands. She is in His divine care, and He - the Great Healer - has the power to get her back on the right path. Shame on me for having high expectations yesterday. Things won't change until she wants them to.
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseas'd,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?
Macbeth (to the physician) in Act 5 Scene 3
This isn't really a video as much as a song with the album cover shown. This haunting tune, by Mad Season, is sung by the late Layne Staley, whom we met in Seattle a couple of years before his final descent into addiction and death. He was a profound young man and spoke as directly to us as though we'd been friends forever. He looked at my son, with his big blue eyes, and said, "You look just like I did when I was little." I could see more behind those eyes, though. I could see him pulling for my son, to never ever be caught up in the madness that is addiction, to never lose his life to a substance. If only he'd cast the same spell of protection over my daughter.
Peace - D