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Friday, July 8, 2011

Conversations With the Dead: 11/30/79 Houston, Texas

Dear Teresa,

Got your letter yesterday. And as far as algebra is concerned, I'd be lost! But after all, "C" is average, so that's not so bad. Math was always my worst subject anyway.

Well, I got me a job, and it's right next door, so I don't have to ride the bus and all that jazz. I work for a Camper manufacturing company and all I do is answer the phone, and a little typing, taking orders and a little filing. I just work from 10 t0 4, so that's neat. With my check, and just paying $100 a month for room and board (I was paying $200 but as assistant manager they knock $100 off) I can live on that, because they furnish a lot of stuff like deodorant, etc. And I really need to work with sick alcoholics. This is helping me more than anything. But I'm like you. I sure hate not being able to be with you this Christmas. But we WILL make it up this summer. And by then I know I'll be 100% better. But I do want to see you so bad. But I should be able to get a car soon now that I'm working so I can at least make it some weekend. It's silly to try it without a car to get around in while I'm there. I think my boss over at the house knows someone who will sell me one and let me pay it out. So just hang in there, and PRAY!

We had a big Thanksgiving. We had open house, and we cooked for three days to get ready for it (and you know how I hate to cook!). I'm already dreading Christmas.

Yes, Al-a-Teen is really good for kids of alcoholics. It's really hard on them. I can say that, because I was raised in an alcoholic home, and I know how it was for me. You knew I guess that Granddaddy Scott was one, bless his heart. I actually hated him for 27 years, because I didn't understand. He was really a good man, he was just sick, but I didn't understand until I went through it myself.

The American Medical Association says it is a disease, and it is. We are sick mentally, physically and spiritually. It's an allergy of the body, coupled with a compulsion of the mind. We can't be cured, but we can get the disease arrested, just like TB or diabetes. We have a daily reprieve, depending on our spiritual condition. That's why we try to live only a day at a time. After all, that's all we have anyway. We can't do anything about the past, and when tomorrow gets here, it'll be today. We can plan, but leave the results up to God.

The first three steps in our AA program are: 1. Admitted we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable, 2. Came to believe that Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, 3. Turned our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understand Him. And then there are nine more steps, and we try to use them in all our affairs. It's a way of life, and the principles are exactly the ones I lived by, those four years I was sober. Some of our pet sayings are: "Let go and let God", "Easy does it", and "One day at a time". But people make it in this program, that never would make it in church.

Well I guess I had better close and get to work. Let me hear from you, and be sweet. I love you, and I'm VERY proud of you.


P.S. If you ever need to get hold of me by phone, call me at area code (713) 741-3355 (the house), person to person. At work it's (713) 741-2936.


If I didn't know better, I'd think you're reading over my shoulder.

I vaguely remember you hating your father for his alcoholism. So you understand how I feel. I don't want to go through it myself to know how YOU feel. I'll just try to empathize from here.

You typed this letter. All but the postscript and your "Mother" is typed. It's strange not to see your "T's" with their diagonal crosses, your big loops and circles for dots above the "I's".

I'm glad you are in AA. I want to understand. And I'm tempted to call those phone numbers, thirty-two years into the future, just to see if you will answer. Person to person. That's what these letters are. I visit these instead of the grave. You are here, a sprinkling of your thoughts to paper. They really do transcend time.

I just swept up some broken glass. My four year-old autistic son broke a candle. I thought of you as I swept, wondering what you would think of my life. I love him so much, even if I don't understand so much of his behavior. Like with you, I just dismiss the lack of understanding, step over it like a body in the way. Love transcends all of it, the distance, the gravity, time and death. Maybe you should have renamed God, called him Love instead. Love has a lot more power.

Julian just called me into his room to look out the window. His speech is so awful but I understood "sky" and "dreams come true". He's remembering the song from Pinnochio, the "If you wish upon a star..." The sun is out but he is thinking of evening stars and wooden puppets who dream of becoming human. I wonder why.

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