from addict 2 advocate
By: RevKev

Hometown Heroes

We grew up with heroes; from books, to celebrities, to green bulky entities that would save us. But I’m seeing that while they are sometimes good role models, my heroes are closer to home.
 
“So much is asked of parents, and so little is given.” –Virginia Satir
My parents were high-school sweethearts; they were married young and spent their entire adult lives together. Their love never ended. My parents were there for me my whole life and no matter what I needed, they were there for me.  I was very blessed as a younger man to have two loving and understanding parents who were so committed.
My mom passed on five years ago in March, leaving my father to live alone for the first time in over six decades.  Dad has had several surgeries since mom passed, and his health has declined.  He’ll be eighty-six years old in January; he walks with a walker and often uses a wheelchair.

Now, It’s My Turn to Be the Hero

My siblings live far away, too far to visit my dad very often, so he spends a good amount of time alone.  He does have home-health care come in to help him for a few hours every day. I live in the same house; however, I have a separate apartment on the opposite side of the house.  I am also in a wheelchair and have been for almost five years now.  Even though my dad can’t walk very well, up until recently, he was able to walk better than I could.  It has been a cruel fate that we haven’t been able to see each other much and both spent too much time alone.
I made it my priority to spend time with him no matter how much pain I am in.  I have visited him daily for the past three days; what a tremendous blessing it has been for us both!  Just to see my dad smile makes any pain well worth it for me.  I can see that he looks forward to my afternoon and evening visits, and they do lift his spirits.

Heroes Give – Addicts Take

In addiction, all addicts do is take and take from their parents; they cause all kinds of stress as parents wait for the phone to ring; that call that their addicted child is dead, in jail, or in the hospital; it’s a horrible way to live. 
In recovery, trust is built between the son or daughter and the parents again over time. 
One of the greatest gifts of my life in recovery has been making the effort to be a good son again.  I was able to spend all those good years with her before she passed. 
Now being there for dad and spending time with him, supporting him in his time of need.  He’s having his sixth cancer surgery in a few days, and I know it will be high risk at dad’s age.  I have faith that everything will turn out just fine; dad is a tough United-States Air Force Vet.

Heroes are Patient

Most of the time, he’ll just sit quietly in his recliner and watch the television with me.  We talk a bit and he’ll nod off.  I’ll stay a few hours after he falls asleep and an aid will come and help him up to bed.  
He’ll usually ask, “Are you coming over tomorrow?”  You know the answer is yes!  I couldn’t stand to think of dad sitting there alone all afternoon and evening.  I love him too much for that!
I know our time together on this earth is running out.  We both are Christians, so that’s alright with us because of our beliefs.  It’s the little things that bless me most these days and that I appreciate the most:
  
  • Good talks with family or friends
  • Spending time with my dogs
  • Writing, writing, writing
  • The star-lit Pennsylvania sky
  • Good soup
  • A good poem
  • My dog, who’s usually sleeping under the blanket on my legs
  • Fall days
  • Learning
  • Teaching
  • The quiet
  • Music
  • A nice hot shower
  • Life itself

Heros Value Life – Theirs and Others

 

There used to be so many things that I took for granted.  I thought that the world owed me a living that I deserved to be entertained all the time.  I believed that I needed to live life in the fast lane, faster, faster, faster, every day!  I was missing the best things in life, the simple joys. If I could teach young people anything today, I would say,
 
  • Slow down
  • Don’t do drugs
  • Listen to older people, they have lived a long time and have wisdom
  • Life is short, don’t take yourself so seriously
  • Take more risks
  • Take care of your body, it’s the only one you get
  • Be kind to senior citizens; you will be old someday too
  • We are our brother’s and sister’s keepers
  • Love is more powerful than anything else
  • Don’t forget to breathe
  • Don’t forget to look
  • Don’t let anyone take your voice
  • Don’t let anyone hurt you or the people you love
  • Hard work pays off, smart work pays off
  • Be kind to yourself and others
  • Always be a student of life

 

I know that not all people are as blessed as I have been to have such great parents.  I learned some great lessons from my parents; although, they made their share of mistakes over the years, they did the best that they could. 
I couldn’t be prouder of who my mother was and who my father is; they truly are my heroes, the ones who showed me how to live and be a kind and caring person. 
I will forever be in their debt. It’s the little things in recovery that are the greatest blessings! 
© 2015

 

 Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin PhD
Rev. Dr. Coughlin is a Founder and the Director of New Beginning Ministry, Inc.  a grassroots evidence based, twelve-step residential addiction recovery program for adults that is accredited by the A.A.C.T. Most call him RevKev.
RevKev is also a Nationally Certified  Recovery Coach and Anger Management Specialist, a Nationally Certified Family Recovery Coach, a Nationally Certified Christian Recovery Coach and Family Recovery Coach, and a Nationally Certified Gambling Addiction Coach, Nationally Certified Case Manager, Life Coach, an International Master Addictions  Coach, Sexual Addiction Coach, Life Recovery Coach and Trainer.
RevKev is also a Nationally Certified  Recovery Coach and Anger Management Specialist, a Nationally Certified Family Recovery Coach, a Nationally Certified Christian Recovery Coach and Family Recovery Coach, and a Nationally Certified Gambling Addiction Coach, Nationally Certified Case Manager, Life Coach, an International Master Addictions  Coach, Sexual Addiction Coach, Life Recovery Coach and Trainer.
Dr. Coughlin has helped thousands of people to change their lives over the past seventeen plus years.  He is an Addiction Expert, Blogger/Writer at Addicted Minds and Addict2Advocate,VIP Interventions, and a Professional Associate member at Gemini Behavioral Health,  The Addictions Academy, Sober Services, and hundreds of small press magazines and newspapers.   He is a two-time World Champion and nine time National Champion and State and National Record holder power lifter, a gentle giant who has championed many in his career.  His also writes poetry on addiction and Christian subjects, with over 500 published to date. 
RevKev’s accomplishments do not stop here, so connect with RevKev on LinkedIn
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