story #9 in my “23 stories for a fried chicken sandwich” project.

there was a time when i would have thought it a strange coincidence that i’m writing story #9 right as i celebrate my 9th sobriety birthday, but those days are gone. now i know better. the right things happens at the right time because life is perfect.

i started this post a couple days ago, on my actual 9th sobriety birthday, only to be pulled away with news of my 89-year-old grandpa being taken to the hospital. and so i dropped the perfect post at the perfect time in order to do the next thing that would wind me up amid another helping of life on life’s terms. and although old age can be cruel and things are not good for my grandpa right now, although not as bad as they could be either, i am glad i could show up for him.

it’s scary in the ER late at night. the bright lights, fast pace, bodies broken, minds lost, big words, rules. i touched his white hair, and he acted like everything was okay when it really wasn’t. i will never have the words to describe the look in his eyes, and at some point, he said to me, “you’ve gotten away from me lately,” meaning i haven’t seen him in several weeks, meaning i cried all the way home.

all of this just seems too intensely intimate and soon to talk about. i want to stop. i want to hold it all inside. life. death. love. loss. fear. but then again, i want to share the intensity because the foundation of the intensity is so incredibly real and good.

the circumstances in life are not always perfect, but the part of us that grows and changes inside in response is always perfection in its finest hour.

we are here. i love you. you love me. and nothing else matters in this moment.


  1. Melissa · March 14, 2010

    You said everything when you said “the right things happens at the right time because life is perfect.” Love you…

  2. seamusoconner · March 15, 2010

    You are a brave soul. I am grateful to hear your story and I am so happy that you are sober. I am 14 years sober myself. Thank you for sharing. Your presence with your grandfather at that moment in time is the greatest gift. It is what life is all about.

  3. Phoebe · March 15, 2010

    ah. thanks for showing up for us, too.

  4. lisa s · March 16, 2010

    hey sheri. i hope your grandpa is doing better. i think hospitals are scary at any hour….

  5. Kumba · April 22, 2010

    Oh how I understand this. I understand your crying all the way home, and I would expect nothing less! I hope he is doing better. I remember 25 years ago, his hair was white then. Beautiful and painful to read this, all at the same time!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s