First Father’s Day Sober

Today is Father’s Day. I am sober.

Although I stopped counting a while ago, the app on my phone tells me it’s been 270 days since I first went 24 hours without a drink. I celebrate my sobriety date based on that rather than the day of my last drink — somehow it seems more correct.

I woke up today thinking that I was in a strange bed and wondering which room my father and mother were in. The sense of being in a strange room was probably a remnant of being on vacation and also of sleeping so soundly that I was disoriented upon waking.

It was a strange thought to have at 43, in my own house, in my own bed, with my wife by my side and my son across the hall in his room.

I miss my father.

He was taken from us way to early. I was 29. I hadn’t met Mrs. TKD yet. Mr. Grey was just a hope and a dream. There are many things that I wish he was here to enjoy. One more corned beef sandwich at Attman’s Deli in Baltimore. A few more oysters shucked by Lester Jones (RIP) at the City Dock in Annapolis. Breaking clays with me at Pintail Point. Perhaps, getting the line of a fly rod wet and hooking up with a few trout. He’d have loved to see his grandchildren. He’d have loved to take Mr. Grey fishing. He’d have loved to see me get sober.

Fortunately, he never saw me at my worst, but he knew that I drank more than I should in my 20s. He never said much about it, but I know he worried about me. That’s what fathers do. We worry about our sons and daughters.

Today, I’m going to honor my father’s memory by being the best dad I can be for Mr. Grey. I don’t know exactly what that means today — exactly what I’ll do to achieve that goal — but I suspect that if I do the right things, hold my temper in check, and just be with him in whatever way he needs today, I’ll achieve that goal.

And I can do that today, because I won’t pick up a drink.