Tag Archives: drunk

Dad’s tumble down the stairs

Decades before Dad developed dementia and started suffering from falls, he had a tumble down the stairs that I remember fairly clearly. In this case, another “d” word was responsible for Dad’s unsteadiness: drink.

Dad always enjoyed a couple of beers to unwind after his swing shift. There was a period when I was a small child that Dad overindulged. But after that, it was a couple of beers and that was it. I never saw him drunk as I got older, except for this one occasion that led to the fall down the stairs. I was probably a pre-teen at the time. I never did find out what caused the overindulgence that night. Did he have a bad day on the job? Did he get into a fight with Mom?

All I remember was hearing a loud crash and bolting out of bed. Turning on the lights to illuminate the stairwell, I saw Dad’s crumpled form at the bottom, trying to get up and steady himself. Mom came rushing out of their bedroom, and the two of us helped him up the stairs.

At the time, I was mildly disgusted and annoyed at being awaken in the middle of the night because my dad was inebriated. I never remember another incident like this happening.

Not until the dementia happened. Then Mom and I were once again by Dad’s side, supporting him when his body and mind could no longer support him.

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What Dad needed for his pig’s feet

When I was a baby until I was a young girl, Dad would sometimes drink too much. A combination of his Irish upbringing with a mid-life crisis and the stress of having an infant at home most likely drove Dad to the bottle. Dad was never violent when he drank, and he never missed work because of it. So it could have been far worse, but the stress of it was the last thing that Mom needed in her life at that moment.

Of course, time lets one put these things into perspective, and to occasionally find humor in them. Such is the case with the pig’s feet incident.

Dad would go have a couple (or more) beers at the local bar after work. He would come home a bit tipsy, but usually in a friendly and talkative mood. Mom had been stuck at home with a baby all day and was tired. She just wanted to serve Dad his dinner and go to bed.

Dad came home this one night with a paper bag. He pulled out a jar with something floating inside. Mom scrunched up her nose and asked what it was. Dad said it was pig’s feet. He proceeded to open the jar and start noshing. Mom was disgusted and went to get ready for bed.

A few minutes later, Dad called out loudly to Mom. Angrily, she stormed back into the living room and told him to quiet down, or he would wake me up.

“What do you want,” Mom asked tersely, at the end of her rope.

“Foot powder,” my Dad responded innocently.

“Foot powder? What do you want foot powder for,” my mom inquired inpatiently.

“To put on my pig’s feet.” Dad responded, as if it was the most natural request in the world.

Mom was furious at the moment but the story makes her laugh now.

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