Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pomp and Circumstance

My father recently completed coursework to become a counselor for alcoholism and substance abuse. Tonight we went to his graduation ceremony with Aunt Dee and her husband, my Great-Aunt Ellie, and of course, Grandma.

Like most graduations, there were several speakers before the actual presentation of the graduates. Grandma was pretty confused today and didn't know why we were out or what we were doing, despite our repeated explanations. She had been lured out of the house with promises of dinner and she was NOT having all of these delays. By the second speaker Grandma started to mumble "I'm getting hungry! I don't eat this late!" "This late" being not even 7:00pm. I fished a cereal bar out of my bag and was able to appease her for a little bit (and also felt like the mother of a cranky toddler).

The speakers continued to file up to the podium. "Another one? When do we eat?"

The class representative moved to the mike and offered heartfelt advice based on his experience working with alcoholics and their families. "Is he still talking? Shut up, already!"

We tried to shush her and keep her patient. "I don't know what's taking so long!"

Finally, the graduates were called to the front of the room to receive their certificates.

Dinner is getting close. We're in the homestretch. It should be about five more minutes where Grandma needs to be kept calm. And then. As the graduates are being individually presented, the graduates who are now trained to treat alcoholism, in a hospital dedicated to fighting addictions, in a room full of people who have personal connections to alcoholism or are recovering alcoholics themselves, Grandma lets out this little bomb: "I could use a drink! That would pep me up!"

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