Thursday, December 09, 2004

Pity Pot - Part One

The pity pot was a friend of mine for most of yesterday. My friend Ron used to tell me to enjoy being on the pity pot while I could, cause it wasn't going to last forever. I wanted to laugh and hit him at the same time. Now I just want to hit him. But that's part two of the story. Ron had an impish grin. His laughter would echo around a room and by the time it got back to him it was even funnier. He got the greatest kick out of playing a trick on someone - especially someone who he cared about. Ron was my self appointed sponsor in AA years ago. He appointed himself as my sponsor. I never asked him. So while I never went to him for advice he gave it to me all the time. My first response to it was usually 'f - you' - not that I said it outloud but he could see it in my eyes and that was a source of humour for him. It was like he was egging me on to say outloud what I thought and I never would give him the satisfaction. We were two stubborn drunks.

It wouldn't have been so bad if his advice had been way off the mark. But normally it was bang on. Was something I needed to hear even if I never could admit that outloud to him. Ron was the first one I saw after my initial step 4 and 5 in AA. It was the best conversation we ever had. My defenses were gone and I had nothing left to hide. It was a meeting of sweet grace between us. We never put it into words that day - we didn't need to - but we both sensed it. He knew the freedom and release of letting the skeletons out of the closet.

I used to have a strong dislike and fear about winter driving. I have Ron to thank for this fear being in the past. Oh, I wanted to sit on the pity pot for the duration but Ron wouldn't let me. He knew if I planned on living in this part of the woods, where winter sometimes squatted for over 6 months of the year, a pity pot wasn't going to do me much good. I wanted him to feel sorry for me. He refused. I wanted to hit him. I nearly killed him instead.

One winter my husband was working out of town for weeks at a time. I had 3 little kids at home when the hot water tank went on the fritz. Where we lived there wasn't the convenience of going next door for a shower. Our nearest neighbours were a quarter mile down the road. The one after that a mile away. I phoned Ron to see if he could fix the water heater. He came over and took a look at the tank. He yelled up from the basement that I needed a new element for it and as soon as I went to town to get a new one he would gladly fix the hot water tank for me. Boy was I steamed at him. He knew I hated winter driving. He knew the roads were icy and snow covered. He knew I needed to learn to get over it. He taught me that self imposed obstacles are just that - self imposed. I just wish he could have taken his own advice.

I had more than a few 'f - you ' thoughts towards him on the way to town. I took an icy back road so that I could drive slow. The fact that I am here now proves I did it. It came as no surprise to Ron. Darn him anyway.

He cheerfully came over to put in the new element. He stayed in the basement working on it while I manned the electrical box upstairs. He would yell up when to flick the switch on and off and I would do it. Except one time I switched when he said not to. Not on purpose. It's just up the stairs and around the corner is a far way to hear instructions. I still don't know how far he flew when I flipped the switch but we both lived to tell about it. He told me later that as he was coming up the stairs he knew he wasn't supposed to get mad at me for it. I could've killed him. We both knew that. I only delayed his death by a year or two and that's what I still want to hit him for today.

1 comment:

bobbie said...

i'm so sorry for your loss. he sounds like my kinda people. thanks for telling us about him.