But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. – Psalm 10:14
When I think of orphans, I think about malnourished children on TV with a sad song in the background. Or the literary versions like Oliver Twist. I remember my young cousins when their mother died of cancer. Saturday, while giving my mother’s eulogy, I realized…I am an orphan.
In January of 2018, my father succumbed to a long fight with a form of muscular dystrophy. His body just wore down and couldn’t continue. Three weeks ago, I had dinner with my mother while she was in town visiting me and my brother. After a rapid illness, this Saturday I had lost both parents within a year. The despair of that realization almost broke me.
The weeks leading up to my mother’s passing were difficult. I spent most of that time at the hospital with her, holding her hand, encouraging her in her weakness, watching her fight slowly ebb. I truly thought she would walk out of that hospital. After a few short days, I was holding her hand by her bed with my siblings, watching her take her last breath, just as I had one year earlier with my father. I didn’t know I had that many tears.
In the grief that ensued, both before and after her death, I was reminded of the total helplessness I felt when I began a life in recovery. Really when I was forced to begin a life in recovery. I had just come to terms with the powerlessness I had over my addiction. Step 2 gave me a glimmer of hope in that sea of turmoil: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Through working the Steps, through living a life of recovery, through His often painful intervention, He did restore me to sanity. That experience, knowing that He alone was the “helper of the fatherless,” sustains me now. I am in a rough place. My relationship with my siblings isn’t great. Restoration to sanity meant truly seeing my family of origin. With that knowledge has also come a need for boundaries, for me and for them.
There isn’t a finish line when working the Steps. The spiritual awakening part means actually revisiting my own flaws and fears daily, admitting when I am wrong, making amends. I know that there is more to this story than now. For now, though, I hold on tight to Psalm 10:14.
by Keith B. NotUnknown.org