I was sitting in the dry cleaner’s parking lot yesterday and my young friend Ellie called me. I don’t hear from her much these days. It feels like there is something missing in my life, like I forgot the pearls I was going to wear on the kitchen table. Or there is a needful thing in the pocket of a coat I left hanging in the closet. It’s not like I ruminate all the time. But occasionally, I get hit with the thought, “Oh. After all the things we tried, all the effort and prayer, we lost. We lost the girls…”
I hate when that happens. Anyway, Ellie (who is attempting to make the best of her lot) called yesterday. She said she had been worried about me. She reads the blog, and because she hadn’t seen anything new for a week, she thought something was wrong. This is a person who has learned early in life (cover your eyes Ellie) that shit happens. She has learned to protect her interests. So she, more than anyone I can think of, would notice if someone important to her goes off the grid.
Ellie says there is no Thanksgiving tomorrow where she lives. Her voice sounded flat. She and I have a strong connection. We’ve both been through a lot; and both of us have been influenced by her dad. We both know what alcoholism can do to a family and how it’s possible (with love and hard work) to get it back. Ellie reminded me that one of the important things in recovery (and in life) is accountability. Community. She reminded me that if you fill your life with folks who wonder where you are – when you don’t turn up – you have a much better chance at staying sober. And a much happier, healthier life.
It’s Thanksgiving. And so I want to remind you Ellie, that I notice when I do not hear from you. That I hold you accountable to our friendship and our love. And that even though you do not have a Thanksgiving where you are, I am THANKFUL for you. I am thankful for your sister Evie. I am better for knowing both of you…
And since I am feeling thankful, I want to thank the community that has built up around this blog. For the laughs, the struggles, the prayers, the support, the love and the accountability.
Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving.
And for fun:
Today I’m not drinking because it’s almost Thanksgiving!
How come you’re not drinking?