An ordinary day, in our household, changes with the decade. There are only two things that remain consistent: the sun rises and I peruse the daily newspaper with the first cup of coffee each morning.
It’s the end of the eighties. We are in the midst of raising two teenage boys, I work more than full time, and life is challenging.
I wake up in the usual groggy fog, focusing my blurred eyes on the clock. My head throbs, my mouth is dry, and my stomach feels about to heave. I can’t remember what I did the night before.
I pour my coffee with jittery hands and begin the morning nag ritual, an impatient drill to get the boys off to school. It is Wednesday, my work at home day. My concentration is poor as I am distracted with the task ahead of us this afternoon.
We have an appointment at a rehab for our fourteen year old son. We’ve been in counseling for months now and nothing has changed. If only he would clean up his act, we could be a normal family. He’s resistant when I pick him up after school and inform him we are going to see a new counselor. He pushes his Dayglo green hair out of his eyes. “I’m not the one with the problem,” he says.
As we wait in the lobby for the assessment results, I study the sign above the receptionist’s desk, “This Too Shall Pass.” An hour later the counselor delivers the recommendation. “Your son’s drug habit is out of control. We can’t risk him leaving here today.” I am scared and desperate as she hands us papers to sign. Leaving the facility, I read the lobby sign once more. Maybe when the sun doesn’t rise, I think.
When we return home my husband offers me the usual evening martini and I turn it down. It’s not an ordinary day. I have decided I’ll never pick up another drink.
Margie Witt joined Story Circle Network over ten years ago intending to “write the book.” Memoir may be the goal but is currently best pursued in short stories as life unfolds with complex challenges. Balancing work, play, and raising a grandson leaves little time to write so blog posts appear with less frequency these days at www.wittbits.blogspot.com