Today marked the 40th anniversary of the day my mom took her own life, mirroring to a shuddering degree what my dad, her husband, had done exactly 12 years prior. I spent today in reverent remembrance of the amazing, loving woman my mother was – even as she was, as we now know, tormented by undefinable psychological pain. 

I realized during these past two years of enduring silently the ingratitude and ignorance of people who would rather judge than learn that people choose ignorance over knowledge because it gives life to the mean-spiritedness people mindlessly practice at the expense of others.  I’m okay with that – to forget is human, to forgive divine.  And I choose to forgive.

My parents were brutal alcoholics – onetime exceptional, loving, vibrant individuals and professionals who became zombie-like victims of the tantalizing lure mindless inebriation is. 

So, people: alcoholism does not cause unseemly events – to the contrary, it denies the main actor’s recognition of his/her primary role in their occurrence. 

People achieve sobriety not only to change (virtually everything about) their lives, but also to develop through active service work and recognition of the value of pain a moral, spiritual self-awareness to address head-on those moral shortcomings of alcoholic mindsets that prohibit the addicted souls from recognizing themselves as responsible for their (unethical) behavior.

So, here’s what true sobriety entails: not drinking or using, working a program of complete abstinence from extraneous substances and from individuals (often former very close friends) still in the grasp of addictive behavior.  and participating actively and willingly in the recovery of others still in the grasp of this horrid disease.  It includes practicing the necessary inconvenience of feeding and clothing the homeless, taking AA meetings into the den of insane self-righteous denial (prisons – namely, Death Row); it means keeping your mouth shut when morons chastise you for behavior they could never possibly understand.

It even means allowing people to take 33 years of earnest, honest, recovery that benefitted so many others and to trivialize it as behavior so alien to what it really is that it defies even humor.

So, Mom, I love you still.  And I understand; I truly, sincerely do.