As humans, we like to characterize people by using a few key characteristics. It’s mentally easier when we classify a person. She was a “mother,” “daughter,” “wife,” “athlete,” “doctor,” “ADDICT.”
Yet, by putting someone in a box we lose the complexities of what makes a person unique and ultimately what makes them human.
When he passed away on May 3rd 2014, my greatest fear was that people would distill him down to that one word, ADDICT.
My father owned the fact that he was an addict. He openly talked about it, he wasn’t afraid to discuss his mental health issues, he read every self help book, he went to therapy and AA meetings like they were his religion, and he ultimately knew that his disease would come to get him in the end. [[Read- Dear Disease: A Love Letter to his Disease]]
I’m not here to talk about what it was like growing up with an alcoholic/addict parent.
Instead, I’m here to tell you that despite his trials and tribulations, my dad reminded me every day that the greatest gift a person can pass down is endless love.
From day one, I was told I was special and that I was loved. Unlike my father’s parents, who never spoke the words, “I love you”, my dad sought to be the opposite. If he had one purpose in life, it was to ensure that I never questioned his love and that our bond remained strong even with all the hurdles.
Despite a rocky divorce, my parents did a great job in securing my place in this world and this is why I believe, I’ve always been more than “OK.”
I became strong in knowing that I could get through anything, but also in knowing that life is hard and that the greatest joys don’t always come from the most obvious person, place, or thing.
They feel like I can’t handle it or that he was a bad parent and we therefore must have had a bad relationship. Neither is the case.
My dad was my best friend. We spent every holiday together. I lived with him solely all through high school. He was my confidant when things got tough. He treated me with respect, dignity, and he asked me the real questions, which shaped me into the woman I am today.
Ultimately, I’d like for you to know a little more about John Stover because he had so many amazing qualities outside of being an addict.
Here are a few:
“He was a(n)…”
And most of all “he was a…”
I definitely got his best side, but I also understood his real side. We spoke honestly about the challenges he faced and I knew that none of his issues were my fault.
My dad taught me to love mankind, go deeper to really understand a person, live life to the fullest, read, write, listen to music, go on trips, and work every day to make the world a better place.
For that, I am eternally grateful.
When I first heard of Eterneva, I was immediately drawn in. A company that not only helped people process grief, but celebrated remarkable humans for who they are. I knew that by joining this company, I would not only better process my own grief, but also help others see the light in their suffering.
As the new Head of Channel, I am so thankful that I get to interact with such incredible humans and that I get to hear stories about love, triumph, and incredible people every single day. One month in and I am so enamored by the power of this community.
Thank you Eterneva for letting me join your family!
For more information on my father, check out:
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