Welcoming Swenny home was among the greatest joys of Christmas. But as we worked our way through the weekend festivities and beyond, I began to feel crowded. From his escapes to quieter rooms, justifications for time alone and his seemingly endless tossing and turning at night, I knew he was feeling it, too.
When we embraced Swenny’s return home, we did so knowing that alcoholism crossed the threshold with him. Bringing with it an uneasiness that lingers. Crowding us and leaving little space for the joy that was so abundant just last week. How do we make room for both?
I wondered this two nights ago, when I woke up to an empty bed and Swenny nowhere to be found. Like a habit that is hard to break, I listened for footsteps leading to old hiding spots and for pipes echoing in response to the removal of the bottles they once held. Hearing nothing, I waited in the dark for his return upstairs. When he arrived, I asked him where he had been. “Playing solitaire,” he said.
Seeking solace, I thought. From the uneasiness stirring through the house.