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Many Years Later

After nearly 30 years in AA, she finally could understand the message from her mother

In 1980, my mother died from cirrhosis of the liver on her 58th birthday. I was 24 years old at the time, drinking alcoholically, and angry my mom died "this way." My three sisters and I were at my mother's bedside in the hospital where she spent the last three weeks of her life in a coma. The alarm went off that she had expired. The intensive care nurse rushed in and shut off the deafening noise. We all looked at each other, as if to say, "what do we do now?"

The next step was to leave the hospital in a daze and get some rest so the following day, we could all go to pick out a headstone. Back to my sister's house we went, grabbing some food, talking into the wee hours of the night about our mother, highlighting our mom's big character and talent. As the sun came up, my three sisters emerged from different bedrooms in their pajamas, only to find their baby sister sitting on the couch in the living room with an empty fifth of vodka, stone sober. I had reached the point in my drinking career where I couldn't get drunk no matter how much I drank. I had lost my best resource to medicate emotional pain. It simply didn't work any more the way it used to.

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