CLM MONTHLY COLUMN
|Posted on January 11, 2015 at 12:10 AM|
MISSION POSSIBLE – Center for Lay Ministries Column
By Carol Dawson
This is a true story of faith, perseverance, and love.
The man walked to the podium with clenched hands and a look of determination that caused everyone in attendance to quiet down. He was shaking and his face was flush. The man appeared to be in his mid-40s, slight in build, with a ruggedly handsome face that revealed signs of prolonged stress. As he began to speak, his brows were knit tightly and his fingers wrapped around the podium as if it were keeping him vertical.
His voice, although amplified with the microphone, was soft. He began talking about his “little girl.” He told of her beauty and laughter as a child – of enjoying her mischievous mannerisms and love of life. The man spoke of joy, pride, and wonder of the early years and as he did his face softened. It was obvious he treasured these memories. I looked toward his daughter and could see her smiling with her father’s memories.
Then as quickly as he relaxes into the past, the father’s lips tighten and his eyes narrow. He openly discusses the darkness that his daughter was plunged into during her early teen years. He explained how quickly their lives changed and how the family was propelled into desperation along with their little girl. His daughter was no longer smiling.
He spoke of drugs and alcohol, of top grades dropping into failing grades, and of confrontation within the family and within the legal system. He lowered his head and wiped away the tears as he remembered and described the pain and anguish it caused all who knew and loved his daughter. He explained, “We could see that she was crashing and felt helpless to do anything about it. We put her through every program and rehabilitation we could and nothing was working. Our baby girl was slowly dying, right in front of our eyes.” His daughter lowered her head and looked away.
The empathy throughout the room was obvious. If you have ever loved a child, you know this could be your story.
The father keeps his head down for several seconds and finally looks toward the crowd. Tears are dripping from his chin, as he pulls up his arm to wipe them away. His face goes through yet another transformation – into a look of peace. His daughter looks up and knowingly goes there with him.
The man said, “Then we heard about the Bliss House. It was here in our own town yet we had never heard about it before. We heard it was a long term program that was successful in working with women to pull themselves together to get their lives back. We worked hard to convince our daughter to give it a try – then we all worked even harder to get her into the Bliss House program.” His daughter, still somber, nodded in approval.
The father added, “A few years ago, while in that place, our daughter’s life was saved.” The man smiled through the tears and concluded, “The people associated with the Bliss House truly cared about our little girl and they gave her all that she needed to turn her life around and become drug and alcohol free. Life may never be ideal for her, but she came back to us; free from addictions.” The daughter joined him at the podium and they hug one another. He turned to the Bliss House Director and said, “Thank you for saving my daughter’s life.” He then turned to the crowd and said, “Thank you for helping to give her back to us.”
This was a Bliss House resident’s father’s testimonial during a Valentine Bliss fund raiser three years ago. Please consider joining us for this very worthwhile fund raiser to continue the great work of saving the lives of women who are gaining control of their lives over alcohol and drug addictions to become productive citizens of Southern Indiana.
Valentine Bliss - Louisville Slugger Field Hall of Fame
February 7, 2015 – Doors open at 5 PM for Silent Auction and Appetizers - Dinner begins at 6 PM
$60 p/person (Table Sponsors $600)-RSVP: Laura Barkhauer at [email protected] /502-548-3052 -NLT January 30, 2015