This is Bill…
He’s my step grandpa. Here he is playing my wife down the isle at our wedding.
Aren’t we all? Yes. But, he’s been told it’s terminal liver cancer.
Jeremy, why are you sharing this? It seems like a big downer.
Because, I think his story will provide inspiration to us all that we CAN change!
Bill has always been called Bill by us grandkids. They were married before I was born. In my heart he’s grandpa but we all call him bill because he didn’t see himself as a grandpa type perhaps.
Before the blessed moment that he met and married my Grandma. He was an alcoholic. Not like a functional alcoholic either like a stumbling alcoholic. The first 30-40 years of his life were a mess. I’m sure on more than one occasion he said. “This is just who I am.” “I can’t seem to change it!”
This is a big deal because my actual grandpa died in my late teens (he was 71) and spent most of his time on his own pursuits, alcohol, and women being a couple of his favorites. He was a functional alcoholic in that he maintained a solid high earning job and scored a nice retirement. But I never had a grandpa type feeling towards him. My grandpa on my father’s side died before I was born mostly likely due to complications of alcoholism. He was 57 I believe.
Alcoholism is one of the terrors of our culture. It does so much damage to our kids and families that it’s tough to find a person who has not been affected by it in some way.
Bill did not drink for the entirety of my life so far (40 years). How did he do it?
He had a reason “Grandma” and he sought help. He has been a weekly attender at AA meetings for these 40+ years. He did it! In some ways he performed the impossible.
He never got too confident about it and thats part of what helped him maintain it. If you were to ask him today he would strongly say, “I am an alcoholic.”
Maybe it’s not alcohol. But, if we are honest there are several things we’d like to change but we can feel stuck in “that’s just the way I am.” “I’ve never been any different.”
Look at Bill he is proof! YOU CAN CHANGE!
Now it’s not easy and it doesn’t mean you can wipe out the consequences. His liver is failing due to the cancer. I imagine years of alcoholism in the past has played a role. But he made it past 57. He made it past 71. He’s 83 and has done a great job with life.
There are other consequences too. His son also William (Willy) who he had before meeting my grandma has been a wreck his entire life. Bill was a Sh#t father as most alcoholics are. (perhaps part of the reason he never wanted to be called grandpa). He has apologized many times for this but he doesn’t control other people. He has to accept the things he cannot change (the past and other people) and change the things he can (himself and his actions).
I’ve seen people lose 100 pounds and then need several orthopedic surgeries on knees or back. This is not because they have not changed and become healthier but because there are still consequences for the past that still need to be delt with.
If there is a change you want to make that will improve you.
IF there is something you can do to be healthier.
The sooner you do it the less costly the consequences on relationships and your body. And if you aren’t sure you have what it takes.
Look at someone like Bill. It was tough but He DID IT!
And, You can too!
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