Friday, March 22, 2013

The View From Here

This will be the view off my balcony tomorrow night.  The cap'n and I and eight of our friends are checking into the hotel across the street to celebrate my fifty-first birthday which is on Monday.  The streets in Merida Centro will be shutdown and all the restaurants will move their tables out onto the streets and families will sit at long tables until well after midnight laughing and talking while their children chase each other around the Plaza Mayor.  The street musicians will wander the streets and the music from jazz bands playing in ancient courtyards will spill out onto the streets. I wish I could say they are doing this just for my birthday, but they do this every weekend.

My friends and I will toast each other, they with their wine and cervezas and me with my coca-lite, and we will  remark, yet again, at the miracle that landed us all together in this beautiful city.  And I will wonder at the miracle that these people have stood by me in both my drunken past and my sober present. 

Yes, I am bragging.

And I'm not done yet.

Even more momentous than the loyalty of my friends is the trust that my family has once again gifted me with.  A phone call came yesterday from my stepson and he asked, "Kary, can you come help with the kids while Nic (my daughter-in-law, his wife) under goes treatment."  While I fervently hate the circumstances, I am honored that they would ask me, our relationship has never been as close as I would like it to be, and I'm pretty sure I have my drinking to thank for that.  No More!  Then tonight my youngest son called and said "Mom, could you come watch the kids....?"  I think he'd pretty much be okay if I "babysat" until they graduated from college.

Trust and loyalty.  I couldn't ask for better birthday gifts.

Some of you are saying, "What's the big deal? I have loyal friends and I babysit for my kids all the time.  And I still drink."

Good for you, and I'm saying that without even a hint of sarcasm.  I mean it.

But I know, without a doubt, if I had not quit drinking, I would have none of this.

So if you're starting to feel alcohol threatening all those things and people you hold dear, instead of asking yourself, "What am I going to be giving up if I quit drinking?" ask yourself, "What am I going to lose if I keep drinking."

Happy Birthday to Me!


  1. Some of the greatest gifts I have received while in recovery all involve a common denominator: my family. They totally trust me now, and even ask me for advice on how they can get friends or a struggling co-worker sober. Unfortunately, I cannot possibly instruct someone on how to induce sobriety upon another, but you get the idea.

    The very man that had me banned from his property over 6 years ago, now depends on me for my weekly visits as we sit and watch a basketball game, or I try, and fail, to get him to watch a game of soccer. This man is my father-in-law. What a blessing.

    Happy Birthday, Kary

  2. Happy Birthday. You have an amazing life. I love how you wrote, " 'Instead of asking what am I going to give up if I quit drinking?' Ask yourself, 'What am I going to lose if I keep drinking?' " Puts a different light on the subject.

  3. On Monday???? Bul keken then, si???

    We honeymooned on Riviera Maya - LOVE Mayan culture and that French architecture.

    Your post today is brilliant; made me cry, but brilliant none-the-less. That said, everyone has been writing some stellar posts this wknd.

    Ok, you get to be ONE year younger than I - and what joy in this blessing! Would SO love to see pics.

    Happy Birthday and I envy you basking in the warm sun.

  4. Happy Birthday my beautiful, sober friend.


  5. Lovely post, indeed. I too loved the 'Instead of asking what am I going to give up if I quit drinking?' Ask yourself, 'What am I going to lose if I keep drinking?' line. Very poignant. Trust is something that takes time to rebuild, especially for our loved ones...and it seems that their actions speak to the level of trust they have in you. What a wonderful thing to see and read about.

    Thank you for this - wonderful.


    And happy birthday!