I despise when people call an alcoholic a drunk. To me, it invokes visions of a fool, stumbling along with a bottle carelessly disguised in a brown paper bag. That’s not my alcoholic. Someday you will hear from Swenny, but since today is not that day, let me tell you a little about him.
Swenny graduated from a great university, with a triple major in economics, political science and international relations. He was a gifted athlete who loved coaching our kids’ teams, accepting that they didn’t have his level of ability, celebrating their effort instead. He was once surrounded by friends who appreciated his humor and kindness. He’s interesting, well-read and thoughtful in his opinions. He is handsome. Once upon a time, he put his family first.
A few days ago, I could not find him. Phone calls and texts went unanswered. The longer it took to reach him, the worse the scenario I formed about where he was became. Certain he was drinking, I sent a final text: “Where are you?!”
His response: “Helping a cancer patient move her mattress.” Apparently, a stranger with no family nearby, desperate for a good night’s sleep, randomly called his office to see if anyone could help her put her mattress on the bed frame so she could sleep there instead of on the couch. He went right over. Therein lies the essence of Swenny. He is thoughtful and considerate beyond anyone I have ever known. And why he deserves to overcome his addiction and live a full and happy life.