Monday, April 04, 2005

Take This Cup From Me

Everyone has a cup to drink. A bitter cup. For some it is constant temptation: a battle with greed or lust or revenge. For some it is their health: a naggin pain or cancer that won't go away or a terminal disease. For some it is financial and for others it is faith (or lack of it). Some drink the cup of loneliness and some swallow serious amounts of insecurity. My cup is none of those.

I have an alcoholic father.

My dad has drank 95% of my entire life. He and my mom were married and divorced three times before I was six years old. Each time he would sober up and my mom took him back only to have him drink again. Dad has 4 kids by two different women and has left six wives. By most people's account Dad would be a "bum" or "loser" or "deadbeat." To some he would be the victim of permissive parents or a terrible head injury while in the Korean War. To some he would be a pain or a problem.

But to me he is just Dad.

And for the last five years Dad has been sober! For 1825 days my dad lived without alcohol.

For the past 14 days my Dad has been in Mexico trying to drink himself to death.

That is my cup. It is bitter.

I don't know why I feel lead to share this pain with the readers of my ramblings - but I do.

Here is the email I received from my mom today:

Hi,
Gary's family (children) are trying to find him. Once again he's taken off and all his kids are really worried, when he didn't show up to meet his daughter Terri in Reno. Have you heard from him or do any of you know his whereabouts? If so, please let me or his kids know if he is O.K. and not hurt or out there alone. They want to find him or know where they can locate him before it's too late.
They just want to know he's O.K. You can respond to this email address or call Garron Quile' @916-773-1318.
Thank you,
Pat Fiorentino
(formerly Pat Quile')


Then I received this email from my mom who had heard from my dad later in the day:

From: "Dick"
>To: "Pat Fiorentino"
>Subject: Re: Gary Quile'
>Date: Mon, 04 Apr 2005 22:37:50 +0000
>
>yes, i am still alive. not doing good!! drinking hard and can't wait to die. I'm leaving to go to Yuma to sell my truck, as I need money to buy a place down here. I am sorry I did not tell you are the kids, but I am to ashamed of what I did. It is hard to write as it makes me sad. Give my love to the kids.,,,,... love gary
> please don't send kids down. I'll be O.K.


And finally, here is an email that I sent to my dad tonight:

Dad,
I heard you were in Mexico and drinking. That is ok with me. I love you and forgive and want you to know that I will do ANYTHING to help you. You don't need to be ashamed or regretful. You have taken 1825 steps forward (days sober - 5 yrs) and a week or two backwards. Stop drinking as soon as you read this and call me at 325.864.1879 (cell) or collect. I will drive out to Arizona or California or Mexico and take care of you Dad. We can go to the hospital or if you're not that bad off we can just drive back to Texas. You can live with us until you get back on your feet. Our church has an amazing outreach program and 12 step classes. We could use you Dad. You could come live here and help countless people with their alcohol problems. You can help John and I with our business. You and I can hang out and go fishing. Our whole family agrees that you should come here and we are all praying that you decide to do just that Dad.
Dad, I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't disappointed. But I'd also be lying if I said that I didn't disappoint God and my family all the time. God forgives me and I have already forgiven you.
By the way, I've lost 20 pounds in the past 17 days. I am also making some huge changes in how I handle money. If you came out here then we could make some changes together. I would sure love that Dad.
Please don't let the enemy win this battle Dad. Claim the saving and forgiving blood of Jesus and call me right now. I have faith in you and truly believe that you will make the right decision.
I love you Dad.
Your son,
Joel Gary Quile


This is my cup. I share it not for sympathy but I do ask for prayers for my dad.

What is your cup? How can I pray for you?

8 comments:

DJG said...

I will pray for you and your dad. My "cup" would not properly fit in this comment box. Thanks for sharing you heart.

Sam Middlebrook said...

Wow.

Lauren said...

Joel,

You are most definitely in my prayers. I praise God for giving you the strength and courage to help your dad find Jesus and his grace. May God bless you and your sweet family in this new opportunity. Blessings to you as you minister healing in the name of Jesus.

Kevin said...

joel,

we are praying for Gary and for your family. May God continue to fill your hearts with grace. Thank you for reminding me of love of the father for the prodigal.

Bj said...

Joel,
I know that we do not know each other all that well. Today your words have stuck me deep. I have a huge respect for you and your ministry. I aspire to be a man of your heart and wisdom. I would be honored to pray for your farther, and you.
By his power

Bev Mann said...

Joel,
Somehow I found my way to your blog today.

I am sorry about your Dad...Someday we'll have to get together to talk about our Dads. Your words have brought me to tears because it reminds me of the pain I have felt for as long as I remember. My Dad died a few years back and yet there is a place in my heart that still cries out for a relationship with him. He separated himself from us long before my parents were divorced.
The peace that God has given me reminds me that we are all on a journey. I am really hurting for you right now because my life has been one of unsolved mysteries. Hey, maybe that would be a good title for a class. A class where we learn how to live with these situations where closure does not seem to be part of the equation. I cannot tell you how many letters I wrote...nothing...no response except a fence built with excuses and lies. Sin has a domino affect.One sin can knock down a host of hearts. I pray for your heart today. My days begin knowing that I have a precious Father in heaven who understands and loves me and yes, understands and loves my Dad.

I will pray for you, my brother.

As your sweet wife tells me everytime I call ACU, "Have a blessed day!"

Beaner said...

Praying for you & your family!

Just wanted you to know that I appreciate how you've helped me this week! I am trying VERY hard to think before I speak!

Clarissa said...

Thank you for this post about your dad. And your words to him -- beautiful. The son has become the teacher. I will pray for your family.