“Daddy, Take Your Shoes Off!”

This is Charlie’s third time at Helping Up Mission and he shared his story in class last week. Thirty-seven years old, he was born into a family of alcoholics and addicts. At age five he was taken from that home and adopted by another family.

While his new family were good people and hardly ever drank, there was alcohol in the cupboards. But, by age twelve, Charlie developed the skill of taking some of the clear liquors and replacing them with water. The darker liquors, Charlie replaced with watered-down Pepsi.

Of course, he drank what he took. Charlie said the day his parents decided to just get rid of all the booze in the house, there was probably very little alcohol left in those bottles!

As an adult, Charlie got married and had a son, but has been unwilling to stop drinking. His wife has stayed with him, but Charlie’s had a hard time staying at home with her and their son.

He’s at the house for a bit, then disappears for a bit. Charlie always comes home – but he’s restless and always leaves again. Recently when he returned to the house, his five year old son said, “Daddy, take your shoes off!” All he wanted was his dad to stay for a while.

Charlie didn’t, but his son’s words haunted him. Upon arriving here again, we weren’t sure it would be any different this time. But it appears he’s had a bit of a theophany, a spiritual awakening, a moment of clarity. Still, we all know how it will go – one day at a time. That’s what Charlie’s son is hoping for!