I was at a summer party recently. There were a couple dozen women and men, most of them somewhere around 25 years old. A young man swam up to me while I was floating in the pool. He had longer hair, like I did in the 70’s, and he just floated up next to me as I watched the young people play, laugh, and chat. He said, “You don’t know me, but I read your book.”
He replied, “My college roommate, who got it from your younger son.”
I said, “So what did you think?”
He went on to tell me that he was once an addict. He finally went into rehab and that helped him get his life together. He said, “I was hurt that my father didn’t call me after rehab and congratulate me, so I never called him. I hadn’t talked to him in the years since. Our relationship was essentially over.”
Reading my book, he said, helped him understand how selfish he had been, always calling his Dad to bail him out and send him money. “After I read your book, it hit me as to all the bad I had done and that it was not up to my dad to reach out to me with congratulations for being sober but it was up to me to call him and make amends with my family for how badly I had hurt them and for all the stress I must have caused to my family.”
He thanked me for writing the book with such honesty, allowing him to see how tough his addiction was on his dad. “I called my father,” he said, “and we are talking again, and I know I have a lot to do to make things right between me and my family, but we are communicating and that is a great start.”
I have had a lot of conversations with people of all ages and different scenarios but this one really hit me. I realized that my story moved this 24 year old young man to realize something about himself and to reunite himself with his family. I don’t think it gets much better than that!