"I know for sure that everything in life happens to help us live."
Oprah Winfrey

Monday, February 27

Bottle of wine, fruit of the vine...

After my parents passed away, my siblings and I were cleaning out their apartment. I had decided to tackle a small bedroom in the back of the apartment.

There was a small closet in the room, with a built-in drawer under the door. In the course of cleaning it out, I came across several empty wine bottles. Not an altogether unusual occurrence - I had come across empty wine bottles in their previous apartment too.

I probably should interject here that my father was overly fond of the fermented nectar of the grape... he was a wino. I guess he thought he was getting away with something and really putting one over on my mom by hiding the empty bottles, but you know how that stuff pickles the brain and inhibits the rational thought process of an otherwise intelligent being. Why the man didn't just throw the damn things away, I haven't a clue. Maybe they were trophies or something, I dunno.

So anyway, I rolled my eyes, shook my head, and mumbled "crazy ol' man" under my breath as I pitched the empties in the trash. Then I sat down on the floor and pulled open the drawer to see what was in there. As I rummaged about, waaaay in the back of the drawer, my fingers closed around the neck of another bottle... and I pulled out a brand new, completely full, unopened one!

Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, I did both. I laughed at the supreme irony of the situation because I know he squirreled that thing away so my mother wouldn't find it and then forgot where he hid it!! heh, heh, heh. There's no way he would have left a full bottle of wine laying around unless he forgot where it was. I cried because I had visions of him desperately searching all over for a bottle he couldn't find... and it was so sad knowing he had reduced himself to that level.

I wiped away the tears, and with a smile and an odd sense of benevolence, tucked the bottle back in the drawer and left it for the next tenant. I hope whoever found it partied hearty, but I just didn't have the heart to throw away my father's last bottle of wine. It was too late anyway - it had already killed him.


At 2/27/2006 3:00 PM, Anonymous Lew said...

I never had the privilege of meeting him, but I have heard the story. Hon, it is amazing how touching it becomes when you put the words down to be read. LyaL

At 2/28/2006 2:15 PM, Blogger debi said...

Just stumbled across your blog through 2peas. This is the first time I've had the privilege of reading it. It won't be the last time I tune in. Your story brought tears to my eyes. You have an incredible way with words!

At 3/07/2006 3:42 PM, Blogger kajira said...

Marianne, what a touching entry to your blog on that Monday, Feb 27. My dad was an alcholic, too. He started with bourbon and changed to vodka thinking no one could smell it on him. I really disliked him almost all of my life. In that last few years, he actually went in for treatment and come out sober 'til the day he died. He was actually quite a charming guy. Died of liver cancer. That alcohol is pernicious.

Touching, she said again. Just tender and sweet. How kewl that Lew left you a comment, too!

At 3/08/2006 4:50 PM, Blogger me said...

Kajira - I wasn't too crazy about my father either - unfortunately, he was a mean drunk, far from charming. He died of cirrhosis/hepatic failure. Pernicious indeed.

Glad you had some quality time with yours before you lost him.

Ya, he usually comments at home - my Lew's a keeper, he is. :)


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