A Not So Silent Night


The plan to post the Buffer Zone Survey responses every day or three has turned into every month or three. What are you gonna do? Real life happens.

Anyway, Sherri Matthews, who blogs at www.sherrimatthewsblog.com, the loveliest blogger you could ever meet, leads our return. Not that I have actually met her in person, I just feel as if I have through her honest, yet heartwarming, inspiring posts. A View From My Summerhouse contains posts ranging from the knocks she has encountered in her life to delightful pictures of the English countryside.

The Buffer Zone Survey Question: Without naming names, who is the relative in your family that causes all the drama? And what incident best illustrates their craziness, “personality” or friction they bring to your family?

Sherri’s response: “By the time I was married and given birth to my first child (31 years ago!) my dad’s drinking had rendered him homeless, living in and out of shelters and getting into trouble. Christmas was approaching and I found out out that he was going to be alone in a shelter not too far from us so we agreed as a family to have him over for Christmas Day at my mother’s house where we could all gather and keep an eye on him.
I was young and dumb enough to still believe that my Dad would ‘recover’ from his alcoholism and besides, he had convinced us that he was on a ‘special programme’ whereby he could drink, but just a couple of beers a day. Right!! Well, of course it went completely pear-shaped. Even though we hid all the booze he found a decanter of my mother’s sherry first thing in the morning while he pretended to help with the dishes and by noon he was plastered.
Nobody knew though because he hid it so well (alcoholics do this) but I knew. He got shirty with me about something and I answered him back and that was it. He ended up getting in a punch up with my brother and we had to call the police. Dad disappeared into the night refusing all help and that was that. Sad to say, we never invited my Dad for Christmas again but then we didn’t need to worry because prison took care of that. Families eh? (Dad is 81 now and has been in and out of prison ever since this Christmas episode).”

Families. What are you gonna do? Days like that either break us or endow us, like Sherri, with resilience, grace, and optimism that we can do better. Thank you for sharing a private and personal day, and reminding us, that real life, sometimes funny but often not, happens.