Falling Down

I don’t know if I’ve ever had a week in my life that had such nice little things happen, compounded with utterly worse news.

I guess I’ll start with the bad.

Less bad: it looks like that the federal mediator finally helped hammer out a contract for our school’s teacher’s union, after shenanigans on both sides that have caused a massive delay in the contract being done. We’ve had no contract all year. That sounds like good news. The bad news is it sounds like it isn’t going to be ratified by teachers. Their claim is that the pay raise is well below the current inflation rate (it is). I know that we have teachers who are living on pretty tight budgets, and have long commutes and the increase in food for young families and the rising cost of child day care, but I am sure that they are unaware of the years of bad faith and mistrust these job actions cause ….. in the end, they will get the money they want, they will lose part of the time they could have spent with their families (making up lost school time), they still will not have enough money, and all in the name of “taking a stand” that they can’t win. I’m grateful that I have a job that pays well with good benefits. I guess I am of the minority in this sinking economy.

Unsightly bad: My father recently completed detox after 2-3 years of my mom begging and pleading with him to stop drinking after about 10-12 years of sobriety. He took a weeks vacation, and detoxed. He then celebrated with drinking. My mom left him on Saturday. My sister and her fiance got him to sign a written promise to go to AA and get cleaned up. He signed, and mom came back.

Monday was his first AA meeting. He walked out after five minutes and celebrated by getting drunk. My mom stayed home only because my sister is currently stuck at home, and because she figured that my dad would be dead without a little care. He has reached the point of having seizures, and collapses when trying to stand. Last night, he dislocated a finger, and ended up cutting up his face pretty bad. My mom and sister dealt with him. Today he was driven reluctantly to the hospital, and has been checked in. The doctors are saying that he needs about a month of longterm recovery. We are hoping that he has hit bottom enough to realize that he has no more options. My mom is very emotionally fragile right now, but refuses help. My sister is also pretty frazzled and is staying strong. Had he not been hospitalized, I was going to visit him at work to say good-bye to him, because I wanted to make sure that he knew I wanted nothing to do with him until he was sober.

Oh yeah ….. some good stuff.

My seniors this year have been the best group have ever worked with. We are under two weeks until graduation, and about 90% of them are still working strong! They have great attitudes, and have done everything (as a group) that I have asked. Next week, they will take a national post test for my physics curriculum, and prove that this has been a good year. They are going to knock this out, and I am going to have a very warm summer as a result.

Yesterday, one of my classes presented me with a gift. They had t-shirts made with my face on one side, and several humorous quotes on the back (properly attributed to the speaker …. only some of which were me). I was touched …. and in the middle of the chaos, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

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4 Responses to Falling Down

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your Dad – that’s awful. I hope this really is bottom for him and he can start recovering. Are any of the rest of you going to Al-Anon? Most of the people I know who have gone have found it helpful (especially people of faith).

    I’m glad that your students are providing at least one brighter area in your life.

  2. Alan P says:

    Good luck with this, Tom. Is “having nothing to do with him” a solution, or is it better to show that there is support? Something like this happened to a friend on Arlis’s side, and they were completely cut off. I always wondered if that was the way to do it. Somehow they have to hit the bottom, but do they also need to know that someone will still help them when they get there?

    Give my love to mom and Pep. I’ll try to call or stop by when I’m up for Memorial Day (you know it’s not a pleasure trip).

  3. ferocity says:

    ferocity says : I absolutely agree with this !

  4. Stocky says:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Stocky.

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