The Original Fire

The Original Fire - Grant Me The Serenity

God,

Grant me the Serenity

To accept the things I cannot change

The Courage

To change the things I can

And the Wisdom

To know the difference

This is something I learned years ago…

Something that’s been committed to memory

It happened when mom first started getting clean…

Clean for REAL.

We came down 100’s of miles South which is only about 10 or 15 minutes from where I’m sitting, to come crash my Uncle Jim‘s place.  Some how Mom’s her crazy friend Joyce coaxed my mom into quitting her kick ass job at the Aircraft Engineering company, to stay with her for awhile with her son, and my good friend, Robert.  We all had met in an apartment complex years ago in what used to be the little town of Franklin Tennessee.

The story I heard was… Mom found Joyce in bed with my former step-father.

How that all came about, I have no idea… and why she was able to come into town and talk her into making a move like that… well…

I have to believe that it was just poor judgment on mom’s part…

I got taken out of the 4th grade a week early without even telling my poor Dad that came to pick me up later that week only to find that we had up and moved at the drop of a dime…

Mom and I drove this little beater car all the way down to where Uncle Jim had an extra bedroom for us to crash in…

Haha damn did we cramp the poor guys style…

After a few weeks of me and Robert spending time and hanging out again after not seeing each other for a few years, we both became incredibly BORED with swimming in the pool all day, and playing the SAME video games that we used to when we last saw each other.  (He was a worthy match for me with “King Slender” in “Pro Wrestling” on the ORIGINAL N.E.S.)

Apparently, popping insane amounts of (prescribed) Xanax and drinking on Jim’s Tequila and other booze was getting boring for Mom too… because she just kept getting crazier and crazier with it…

Until one day…

Mom had spent days upon days…

Shit faced

When she tells me that she has something she has to tell me…

She tells me that might die.

Even though I was only 11 years old, I could still discern the differences between sobriety and drunken babbling…  but she had been SO fucked up… for so long…  and I began to wonder what it was that was fueling it…  that I couldn’t tell if she was serious or not…

Typically, when mom would binge like THIS, she was upset about something that happened between her and her boyfriend, or perhaps within the family…  every now and again, something with work…  so it sort of made sense that she had something REAL bad going on for her to take it THIS extreme…

She told me that she had something wrong with her bones… and that they may break easily, and that it may effect her being able to move normally even in the near future,

Etcetera

Etcetera

Etcetera

I really didn’t know how to handle that coming from my drunken mom in the passenger seat, slurring her words together, while her pal went into the quickie mart to get more wine coolers while living in my uncle’s bed-less spare bedroom 1000 miles away from everything I had come to call home.

It was a few days later… that I was sitting in the dining room area of the apartment that we were all shacked up in, when Mom sat me down to finish what she had started to tell me in the car that day…

And yes

She was STILL

Real fucked up.

Her words slurred together, and she spoke as though she only had a few DAYS to live…

She paused for a moment from her drunken banter, said she had to go to the bathroom…

She stood up

Her legged were oddly crossed in such a way that when she twisted to rotate her body to move in the direction of the bathroom…

Her feet hit each other and she was swayed too far over to the left side…

And she fell…

,,,,

She fell head first into the corner of drywall the separated the hallway to the back of the apartment, and the living room…

It was EXTREMELY loud as she hit the floor…

She laid there, completely motionless

Honestly, I was hoping that she had just passed out…  because the shit she was laying on me at that time in my life was a lot to swallow… and I had no idea how to deal with all of that… particularly being so far away from any kind of support or familiarity…

But no…

Joyce heard the Thud from mom hitting the floor, and comes out of the bedroom and is trying to talk Mom into getting up… or at least saying something.

Mom still hadn’t moved and I stood up and moved closer to her to check on her.

I was standing about a foot and a half away from her feet…

That’s when Joyce rolled her over…

And the huge 2 inch bleeding gash in mom’s forehead was first revealed to us.

It was at that moment…

That I had never been more terrified in my life.

My heart sank

In an instant…

I thought my mom had just died.

I thought I was looking at my dead mother…

I collapsed into a ball and just grit my teeth and screamed without breathing…

“no”

After 3 seconds of the most intense fear I’ve ever known… and Joyce screaming to Robert to call 911…

I just snapped out of the fear…

And I leapt up to mom’s side and was BEGGING her to wake up as I held her forehead together…

I was only then that I felt her breathe against my forearm…

and I knew that she was still alive.

After franticly calling 911 and explaining to them what was going on…

Mom woke up.

She woke up and asked, “what is going on?”

When we all told her that she had a bleeding two inch gash where her forehead used to be…

She called bullshit.

“No way, I do not!”  I’m her cute drunken tone that I had become so familiar with over the years…

When we all eagerly showed her the gash in her forehead and wrapped up the 911 phone call without having the ambulance come get her…  I’m sure for reasons OTHER than health…  if you catch my drift, she finally realized the severity of the situation… even though she argued.

“I can’t even feel it.  I’ll be fine.”

Right.

Per the 911 operators instructions, we had to keep her conscious until we were able to drive to the hospital, strangely stopping to see my uncle at work first… and then sitting in the emergency room for what seems to THIS day… being the longest amount of time I have ever waited for anything, or anybody, for any reason.

Still

To this day.

The doctor stitched up her forehead, but we were still required to try and keep her conscious for as long as possible due to the concussion…

I don’t know if it was the drugs they gave her…

Or the drugs she took herself…

Or if she just drank THAT much Cuervo

But whatever it was…

She was still

STILL

Real fucked up.

I recall FINALLY getting her back to my Uncles place and walking her out of the car and into the elevator all the way across the parking lot…

She stood up

And not even 5 seconds later…

She stopped in the middle of her slurred sentence

Her eyes closed

And her body became dead weight…

Everyone ran to grab her before she hit the ground too hard…

I remember the strain I felt…

Trying to hold her up all by myself

I recall how hard it was for the 3 of us to practically drag her to the elevator, and how awkward I felt when an older woman caught the same elevator we did as I strained to hold her up while she was passed out…

This event changed everything about this crazy summer adventure.

Joyce more or less panicked and freaked out to the point of running away from the situation…  she left a note which was later to be a running joke between Mom and I at how bad the grammar and spelling was… haha…  we were like two intellectual snobs scoffing at the ignorance of those that we terrified with our behavior…

The note basically stated that she was sorry for running off like that, but there wasn’t anything that she could do and that she felt it best to run off before things got any worse.

That…

Was probably the best decision she ever made in her life.

Mom went on to sober up a little after that… not completely… but just enough to remain coherent and not slur her speech nearly as much.

She started to tell me how she was going to get help…

That she was just going to have 1 wine cooler a day, and that she knew that she had said that once before…  but this time she was really going to do it..

Not try to do it

But DO it.

The next day, she went and drank a second one… and I sat outside with her by the pool as she drank it… and I got on her ass.

“Mom, I know you had one earlier today, you said that you were only going to have one a day.”

Even back then, I was very adamant about TELLING THE TRUTH.

I considered that a lie.

Funny, how when you are younger and things are so much less complex.

Regardless of the justification, or the negotiation, that is EXACTLY what it was…

A LIE.

She went on to explain how one doesn’t do anything for her…

“So then, why drink two?”

I had a good point.

“Instead of one a day, I won’t drink more than two, and I’ll only drink two sometimes.”

-sigh-

Mom was faced with papers to give up custody of me shortly after…

Uncle Jim wanted very much for her to sign those papers…  he loved me… but he knew that the best thing for me back then, was for me to be in a more stable environment.

And being with mom…

Well…

That wasn’t it.

Mom said no.

Mom said

“No.  I just can’t.”

She began to turn her life around that day.

She joined AA, and got a sponsor…  we actually ended up moving in with them for almost an entire month.

I remember my first ORIGINAL Nintendo crapping out at their house… something screwy with the video connection…  and it was too fuzzy to play on…  so my digital baby sitter was no more…

Instead, I was plopped in the lap of my moms sponsors 16(ish) year old daughter.

Haha

She was the first girl to ever really “teach” me about what “Love” is…

I suppose it was more of an observation than anything…

Aside from my mother… I think it’s safe to say… that she was the start of my fascination of the Female.

Mom did VERY well with her “homemade rehab” and became even more spiritual that I ever could recall…

Coming from the background of having a father being a Southern Baptist Preacher…

that’s a lot.

That’s when I learned it

She called it “The Serenity Prayer”

God, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change

The Courage to change the things I can

And the Wisdom, to know the Difference.

It’s permanent

It’s like a tattoo of the mind.

I will never forget it for as long as I draw breath from this earth.

I was later put on an airplane on Friday the 13th…

Alone…

And I lived with my dad for awhile…

Again…

Mom SOMEHOW won a court battle that still called for dad to pay child support and for them to share joint custody of me…

Which meant…

That we were moving back to the “Midwest”…

Again.

I recall how hard that was for mom… starting completely over like that.

Literally staying with friends in their basements until our presence was just too much to bare on their household, or mom got freaked out by the advances of her friends husbands… or the advances of her lesbian admirers posing as “just helpful friends”.

I remember being by her side for every step of the way.

Me and that woman shared something that I have never seen in any other two people…

It was like some kind of bizarre kindred understanding… like a completely non-verbal communication… complex in itself, yet, rich and intriguing.

I never once held a grudge for what mom put me through…

Because even back then,

I knew…

That woman had SOME kind of FIRE.

She was The Original Fire.

That’s right.

My Mom…

The Bad Ass.

How the HELL are you able to keep custody of your child with a psychological record like hers, and after the stunts she pulled??!!?

How was she able to climb ALL THE WAY BACK to being on her own without the help of others?

Working 2 or 3 jobs, waiting tables, cleaning peoples houses…. Taking on paper routes!  We even had a room mate for awhile when we got into our own place again…

Until eventually

She went in to interview for a permanent position within a Top 10 Fortune 500 company.

Perhaps THE largest company based in the area she grew up in…

She somehow learned that the receptionist that informed the interviewer of mom’s arrival was the candidate for a promotion.  Mom was actually there to fill her place as this woman made her advancement… and from what I heard, she was quite full of herself and being extremely condescending…

Haha

The interviewer looked over moms IMPECCABLE resume…

And gave her the job the receptionist was slated to fill instead.

Mom later went on to advance multiple times within the company and money was no longer as issue for us in comparison to where we were from… driving $50 cars with no floor boards and watching television with rabbit ears.

I love that woman.

I never wavered from her.

The entire experience taught me…

Tough times never last…

Tough people do.

I love you Muvs

Thanks for everything.

#214180434

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