How do we save our loved ones?

It’s been a year of hearing loses from our family members who drank or had been on heroin. How sad. Cousins and friends crying to me with the pain of loss. It’s still hard to bring them comfort when it’s been eight years since Lori died from her drinking, and I still hurt and cry. None of us really get over the pain with losing anyone we loved. We go on because that is what we have to do to survive. Going into a corner and not coming out is not what the dying want us to do. They are at peace. We are the ones left with the empty gap and hole that will never be filled.

I think what they are really looking for is just someone to listen. I feel that way a lot. I need someone to vent to so the heavy guilt of what I didn’t do or did wrong will become lighter, even if I did the best to help at the time. We all have no answers or the knowledge to tell another that this will make them feel good again.

When will the count from the dying go down around the world from alcohol and drug abuse? How did we get to the point that drug dealers were not stopped in the beginning, people had the means to market the drugs, drinks given to the minors, allowing wild home parties, college kids thinking this is cool, and the list can go on. We can’t watch our kids every moment and we believe where they say they are going or with whom.

I have heard people say, “What kind of parents did they have?” Good ones! What our kids do, does not mean we were bad parents. Once they go out the door, we trust them. I had to bring my two daughters up by myself while living with an alcoholic husband and after his death. I did the best I could with three jobs to support the house for them to stay in a familiar place. I didn’t want them to suffer from their parent’s mistakes. I have to live looking back at my opportunities that I feel I missed at certain times to talk more often to Lori. Not knowing until she was thirty-seven that she was an alcoholic and fighting bulimia, let a lot of her years go by with her drinking and getting deeper into the problem. Two years of three alcoholic stays in rehabs did nothing for her, and we watched her die taking her off life-support. What pain for a family.

A useless death. A child that had love, a home, marriage, two kids, and she grew up with hanging out with the kids thinking drinking was fun. Her one remark to me was, “Mom, you may think I am crazy, but the best time of my life was during my drinking days.” I believe to her it was, but Lori didn’t realize, even after she had watched her dad die in a hospital bed from his teenage years of drinking, that she was on the same road. She feared dying like him and did without fighting for life.

We do the best we can. This is such a different world than the one I was brought up in with my growing years. Years where school was fun going to, having friends and getting a good education. So many kids go to school and party while the pockets of parents become empty trying to help them. It’s a world of drink, drugs, parties and going crazy!

Growing up, we had a mother that greeted us coming home from school. Today, both have to work and the kids have no guidance. I am not blaming them. To survive in this world financially, you need two jobs. Parents back then had respect from their kids. They knew how far they could and couldn’t go. Kids saw authority in police, teachers or anyone they came in contact with, even relatives. Aunts, uncles and parents are now called by their first names. Nothing seems to scare our kids. Why? because to me the law changed with telling parents how to discipline their kids. It’s good when actual beatings occur, but the normal way of bringing kids up today stopped. Children have the run and control of the parents. Schools stopped having prayer because of “one” person, they have stopped handle kids that are out-of-hand, because the parents might get upset. Back in my days, we feared the teacher telling our parents more than the punishment.

We have violent and angry people showing it by committing so much crime. Tearing a town apart with any reason that upsets them, and they get away with it. We give too much to our kids. Instead of wanting, desiring and concentrating on doing something with their lives, they want the parents to give and give. Kids get out of school and sit in front of a television set, play games, or whatever entertains them, and expect to live at home and have parents support them the rest of their lives. I feel for parents who have kids with no motivation.

I have no answers to this. You fear knowing your child is going down this path and panic when you see nothing is opening their eyes to where they are heading. Very few go into substance abuse recovery programs and get out of denial to get better. I believe doctors and counselors should study more why they are using more than the disease. Things from the past may have turned their lives upside down and they bury the pain and abuse deep within them and act out by drinking to drown their past.

I believe we need to start at the early age in grammar school. You think not? Read What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict and learn how five and seven year old kids started with their drinking. It is a book for family (with advice on enabling) doctors, counselor, society and other addicts to learn what 34 alcoholic and drug addicts from all walks of life and the US and Canada believe is and hasn’t worked in recovery.

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A Spiritual Renewal written for a reason
OCTOBER 10, 2014
Spiritual Renwal

My first book is A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey To Medjugorje, is a memoir about love, faith and miracles. This book is a heart-felt story of my life with my father, Brigadier General, Albert L. Gramm, who had been one of the commanding officers of the 26th Yankee Division during WWII fighting in some of the famous battles like Metz, Lorraine and The Battle of the Bulge.

In 1990, I started to realize while he was dying of cancer that I never took the time to know this great man. I watched him struggling to say his rosaries everyday, but he couldn’t concentrate. Our family took over for him and I came to learn he had promised Our Lady that if he had come home safely to his family, he would say them everyday; a promised that had never been broken. That had been my first time learning that blessed prayer and still continue to this day.

He had wanted to go to Medjugorje, a tiny, remote village in Bosnia where The Blessed Mother has been appearing to six visionaries every day since 1981, starting when they were ten to sixteen years old. He was hoping for a miracle, but was too sick.

The visionaries are receiving ten secrets from Our Lady, and when they receive all of them a priest, who they have chosen, will slowly announce them. There are two visionaries with only one more secret to receive.

Witnessing my father’s faith with the rosary and having had three miracles that had happened to me, brought me to this holy town that changed my life. I call Medjugorje “A Sampler of Heaven.” I brought God back into my life. That ten day pilgrimage directed me down the path to share this story and my other books on my life living with an alcoholic husband. 

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