Dear Dad,

Dear Dad,

While I appreciate the fact that you *needed* to see your Grandbabies, I feel like it's time that I lay down a few ground rules. For the last time.

For most, these would be common sense, but clearly you've forgotten about the first five or fifteen times we've had this conversation.

Please don't show up drunk. They're not used to that kind of behavior. SWR may not be able to tell the difference between trashed Grandpa and happy Grandpa, but FC can. He picks up on things, Dad, he's SO smart. If you were sober when you saw him you'd know that. And she is brilliant as well, Dad. Despite the fact that she's in diapers still, something you like to point out every time you see her.

As much as I love you, and I do love you, I'm sick of trying to explain your erratic behavior to them.

You remember how things ended with Uncle Donny? Grandma? I don't want my kids to go through what WE went through. I won't allow it.

Please don't excuse your inebriation on not eating all day and working in the sun. You are one of the hardest working people that I know. I know that at your core you are an amazing man, giving the shirt off your back to someone who needs it. I can say that without reservation. But Dad, you have a sickness, an addiction that you need to man up and take care of.

I also know full well that you made an extra stop in between working in the field and coming to see us. You only slipped up three times tonight.

When I ask you to "lower your voice," it's for good reason. Don't get louder just to piss me off. It worked with Mom for a few years and you know how that ended. You talk about it 26 years after the fact. You've had a few years longer with me, and it's not working anymore.

I'm living in a neighborhood of people who have been here longer than I've been alive. They're good people. They don't need someone acting like an ass at 8pm.

Dad, I LOVE you. I do. But you can't keep doing this to me and the kids and Brent. And you can't keep doing it to yourself. I can't keep sticking up for you. I've seen too much happen because of assholes who think they drive better after they've had a few beers... And I've transported those who drank themselves literally to the brink of death. You can't see it.

I have.

Think about me, your baby girl. Think about Brent, my baby brother who has busted his ass to gain approval in your eyes. Think about those precious grandbabies you talk so often about.

Think about us grieving at your funeral. Think about us having to testify at a trial for some family that you KILLED because you were so wreckless with your behavior.

It's horrible at best. It's horrible as long as it doesn't effect anyone other than you.

At the absolute worst you're going to kill someone. Or some people. I've seen it, Daddy. I can't make excuses anymore. I have a responsibility to the public, even if I'm not working as an EMT. I have a responsibility to make sure that I don't contribute... That I don't enable you. I won't do it any more. It ends now.

Your actions have an impact that reach farther than you can imagine. And I won't continue enabling you.

You sealed it tonight, and tonight it ends.

If you show up again in my presence, at a bar, at my home, anywhere... I'm going to call the police. You have no license to drive. You have absolutely no business behind the wheel of a vehicle. Tractor, truck, or demolition derby car. You've lost that privilege.

If you show up in my presence under the influence, I will leave immediately. I will not take your phone calls, and I will not come pick you up from jail. I will have nothing to do with you. And neither will either of your Grandchildren.

It ends now.

I love you, but as they say, I won't love you to death.

Me. Your daughter. Your Baby girl.


Chris said...

That's got to have been a hard decision to make.

I'm here if you need to talk about it, and I hope you and family are all OK

Evil Transport Lady said...

Oh geez! I'm so sorry. My mother has the same problem, my kids could pick up on when gramma had too many (which was everyday). It got to the point where I wouldn't let her alone around the kids. It sucks big time.

Bernice said...

Epi, you are one hell of an amazing woman with the strength and sesire to have what is best for your dad, even if it is the hardest thing you have to do.

I hope that he can come to terms with all of this.

Greybeard said...

I hope you can feel it.
You already know it, but he must realize he needs help before the healing can begin.
This may be the first step to that realization.

Neo42 said...

True strength is making the decisions you have to make, even when they hurt. You love your dad, it's plain to see... but you did what you had to.

I'm here if you need me. But you knew that. Y'know.

Carol said...

Unfortunately tough love is sometimes the only 'cure' to this problem.

If it doesn't hit home for your dad, then that's going to be a sad state of affairs. But it's going to be healthier for you and your family in the long run.

I'm saying a prayer for you. It's a tough road to travel.

Laura said...

Wow, Epi...that must have been terribly difficult for you. I'm sorry your family has been dealing with this and am glad that you put an end to it. You are right...the kids (and you and Brent) don't need to deal with it.

Sending thoughts of luv and support your way!

:o) Laura