Fred For Your Head
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Fredly's Blog

Fred For Your Head, Fredforyourhead.com, Fred Reiss.

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My alcoholic sister left me years ago but she died last week

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It is with a resigned sadness and hapless regret I have to say my sister Stephanie passed two days ago. She had been fighting her alcoholism for years, along with us But alcoholism took her away from us. When she was born our Dad said, “She was born with a broken wing.” And she was very vulnerable and delicate but had a generous and trusting spirit. She needed the love of another man who would be her other wing. Unfortunately, she married a calculating batterer and verbal abuser, who seduced her with his calculating charm, slowly isolated her from family and friends, and cruelly snapped her other wing. After he blew all the yolk out of her giving and trusting soul for himself, he called up Dad and said, “Come and get your daughter.” He wouldn’t even man up as her husband. And he threw this shattered empty shell her back at the family. He psychotically stabbed her with a knife and left it in her, and for years and years we tried top pull it away from her, but she kept clinging to it, and stabbing herself, and continued to drink and manipulate any of our support to keep on drinking but always telling us what we wanted to hear but kept on furtively drinking. And so, regardless of how much love with offered, she continued drinking, wailing in self-pity, making nasty accusations, destructive, and not even resembling the sister we all knew.

Well the cruel dark wave of alcoholism washed through out family and dragged her away from out outstretched arms. I stand on the deserted shore surrounded by empty bottles of booze, vanilla extract, and liquid hairspray she found alcohol in, ruefully looking over my shoulder into the past and see a beautiful, happy and laughing sister, who was always supportive to me, fun to laugh with, who was supportive and generous to co-workers and friends, and dancing to Boz Skaggs “Lido.” She had disappeared long ago, and never returned. And then my tears roll, and I collapse inside, hanging my head down, but knowing she knew—she knew she was loved, even in the darkness.

But our love couldn’t save her…maybe it saved something in her, we can only hope.

And I guess I drift away too.

I look about, knowing it’s happened to others wander like me, slightly dazed gray-out specters of hope along the shore, looking for the shells of her memory, and staring with contempt and unforgiveness at that gray foam flecked 90-proof riptide that has dragged so many away from us. So we struggle to untie the unresolved double-knots of the past but continue to try and help others who want to remain but aren’t strong enough to fight the riptide alone, to provide the broken wing that will give us flight…flight!

I miss her, maybe this story might have you save someone.

Stef would have liked that.

Fred Reiss