Saturday, December 02, 2006


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity . . . Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

Where do I begin??? Truly, the last couple of weeks have been both the best and the worst of times. My sister-in-law is so far gone...she was arrested twice in a three-week span for public intoxication. The "friend" she was staying with called her parents and asked them to come get her. They said they would only come get her if she would agree to go into treatment for her alcoholism. She agreed, so they made the 6-hour round trip to get her home. She was a mess. She hadn't bathed in several days, and she had stopped eating. She was so weak, she had to be supported to walk to the car and couldn't get out of the bed by herself when she got here. It was really awful. But the next day was Thanksgiving, so she wouldn't be able to check into a treatment center until after the holiday.

Thanksgiving was fairly pleasant. My daughter was home from college, and she always loves to make the dressing to go with the turkey. My mother-in-law bakes the turkey, and I usually make most of the side dishes, including--of course--cheesecake. My in-laws go get my father-in-law's mother out of her
nursing home and bring her here for dinner. We had a really nice meal. It was actually better than I expected. (Sister-in-law stayed in bed most of the time...but we did get her bathed...and yes, she stayed a little drunk. We let her drink some, just to keep the DT's at bay. We knew we were not going to be able to deal with that. When she did get up, she laid around on the floor most of the time, making random unrelated comments to anyone in earshot) But all things considered, Thanksgiving was really nice.

So, the next day was the day sister-in-law was supposed to go into treatment. She refused to get up. Wouldn't take a bath. Finally had to be physically put into the car. She slept the whole trip (about 1 1/2 hours) and then was able to get out and willingly go in under her own power.

In about 6 hours, she was so agitated that they allowed her to call someone to come get her. (Our mistake--we didn't get a coroner to declare her a danger to herself, so they couldn't lock her down and make her stay.) She didn't call us for two days to let us know where she was staying. And so, she is with another "friend", not working or even thinking about working. Not even asking about her son, of whom she lost custody this week.

And we have all just decided to move on. We think about her everyday, but we can't even have her committed against her will unless she comes back here, so we go on about our business. And pray a lot.

There is other really terrific news, though! Lots of it! My husband officially completed his drug program and probation successfully. He will have his convictions removed and will be able to get his laboratory technologist certification when he finishes school next summer. He will be able to vote, again, and get his guns out of the pawn shop! And when he starts working, we can start looking for a place. Hooray! Life is good.

And more good news! My daughter has broken off her relationship with the 33-year-old man from Illinois. Praise God! My prayers have been answered. And she was recently elected as the treasurer of her campus chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. She's made plans to go visit her (male) friend in Arkansas after finals, and they are going to go see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert. (Him, I approve of. He's a year younger than she is, and a music major in college. A really nice, young man.)

So, for these last small successes I am profoundly thankful!
And now you know the "Rest of the Story" (Paul Harvey)

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