Did My Husband’s Death Save Six Children?

I was sitting in Dave’s chair, getting my hair done. I’ve been with Dave for 20 years, through his two marriages and six kids, and he with me through my marriage, widowhood and dating.

“I’m going bowling Sunday night with the salon, first time in a while since I stopped drinking,” Dave said, and went on to remind me that it had been three years since he interrupted his nightly vodka habit with sobriety.

“You remember what Robert died of?”  I asked looking at his reflection in the mirrored wall in front of me, as he stood behind me.

He stopped what he was doing and looked back at me in the mirror. “Paula, hearing your voice in my head, your story of a 50-year old guy dying from alcoholism helped me to stop drinking.”

I stared back. “Last week was the third anniversary of Robert’s death.”  I could almost hear a click in my head as I said it.  “That’s why you stopped?  I never knew that was the reason!”

“I didn’t want that for my kids. When you told me what happened to Robert, it scared the shit out of me.”

Fear is the greatest motivator.  Did Robert’s death inadvertently improve the life of six children and a marriage?


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