Stortellers - Leslie
Leslie's Story about Making Peace in the Family

Leslie and her husband, Ralph, are sitting in the yard talking

Ralph: So, how are you feeling today?

Leslie: I have made some decisions. I think it is time for me to learn my death song and get ready.

Ralph (alarmed): Are you in pain? What can I do?

Leslie: Oh, I am okay. I know that no one wanted me to know that the cancer is bad, but of course I asked the doctor. I still will do all that I can to keep the cancer under control and I'm still thinking about doing a clinical trial. But I also have to be prepared.

Ralph: I need you with me. I would be lost without you.

Leslie: Yes, and I would be lost without you too. I think we both need to be prepared. I would like to call the traditional healer and have him come over to help us both get ready.

Ralph: What about the children and grandchildren?

Leslie: First, I think this is something you and I need to do. Later we will talk with the children.

Ralph: What are your thoughts?

Leslie: I need to make peace with Michael and his family.

Ralph: You can't fix Michael. He is a violent alcoholic. The problem is his and his family. I just don't know why his wife doesn't take the children and leave him. You've already given them the Shelter information and they will protect them so that he won't know how to find them until he gets some help. I am so ashamed of his behavior.

Leslie: You and I have nothing to be ashamed of. You never showed any violence to me or any of the children. He is this way because of his drinking. I need your help.

Ralph: What can I do? I cannot stop him from drinking. Only he can do that. And he doesn't seem to care enough about himself or his family to quit.

Leslie: No, I agree with you. He is the only one who can make this change. But I need your help to find him when he is sober so that I can talk with him. I must make peace or at least try one more time.

Ralph: I guess I can call his wife to see if she can tell me when he gets up in the morning or when is the best time to find him when he is sober.

Leslie: Thank you, dear.

Ralph: May I be there when you talk with him? I don't trust him alone with you. He could hurt you.

Leslie: Oh, I doubt that he'd hurt me. He is the one in pain. I think it's fine if you are with us, as long as you don't lose your temper. I need to talk with him quietly and calmly.

Ralph: Okay. I will keep my mouth closed. I'll sit over on the side so that I don't have to look straight at him. Then I'll avoid glaring at him. Ohhhh. He makes me so disappointed. I am so frustrated with him.

Leslie: Yes, I understand that. But we no longer see him, even when he is around us. We only deal with the drug and what it has done to him. He is sick. We all know he needs help and that is why we fought. But it has been a long time now. If I suddenly get worse, I don't want to be too weak to say the things to him that I think he needs to hear.

Ralph: But you're not going to get worse. You're doing better now that the chemo is done. Don't say things like that.

Leslie: I am just being realistic. We don't know what the cancer will do. I do feel so much stronger now that the chemo is done. I plan to live many more years. I still want to go on the Alaska cruise with you! (smiles) But, you never know. The Creator may decide he wants me with him. So, I need to prepare. Making or trying to make peace with Michael will help me feel more balanced and healthy.

Ralph: Okay. I will do whatever you want me to do. What is it you want to say to him?

Leslie: I want him to know that I love him and I always have and I always will. He will always be in my prayers. I want him to know that I understand his battle with alcohol is his to take on, but that the family will help him when he is ready. I want him to know that I love his wife and our grandchildren.

Ralph: Well, okay. You are stronger and more forgiving than I am. But you're right, as usual. He does need to know these things. And even though I am so angry with him, I do love him and his family. You're right. I'll call Josephina today.

To read more stories about Leslie, click on her leaf above or click Here

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