The night my father died I wanted answers.

I wasn’t looking for comfort. I wasn’t looking for help with funeral expenses (although I needed that too). I was just looking for answers. That’s all.

For years—no, for my entire life—I’ve wanted answers. How could such a wonderful, strong man not be strong enough to fight and defeat the one thing that was going to be the very death of him?

Ever since I can remember, my father had two sides to him—the strong sober dad and the mopey depressive drunk. One taught me to be a man; the other made me afraid that I could never be one. One showed me how to be a good husband; the other taught me that it was okay to make excuses.

One thing my father’s sober side had in common with his drunken one was a promise—a promise that things would get better. Yet neither could keep that promise. Eventually, my drunk dad drove his sometimes sober side away for good—and we, his family, were left picking up the pieces of our broken lives. Jobs never lasted, we moved from one home to the next, which was always worse than the previous. Our dinners grew smaller until there was none. Soon the few and sporadic happy times slipped into faraway fuzzy memories—and worst of all, my mother who grew wearier by the day.

We all prayed. We all hoped. And yes, we all continued to love him. But nothing seemed to come of it.

And here’s the worst of it all—my dad didn’t just die that night. He killed himself.

Why? Wasn’t our love wasn’t enough for him? Why didn’t our prayers bring back the sober dad we loved? Why? These were my questions that night.

And I needed answers. Right there, right then. So I called Hope Channel.

Melanie answered. She listened as I struggled to put my feelings into words. And the more we talked, the more I opened up to her like I’d never opened up to anyone before. I shared with her so much more than I had intended.

Yes, I had questions that arose from my father’s alcoholism and suicide. But more relevant to my own life, I had doubts about myself. I had been without a job for almost a year. And during that time I was plagued with the thought that my desperation may also lead me to alcohol. So the night he died, I realized I’ve always been overshadowed by a fear of becoming my father— not the strong sober one I sometimes saw growing up, but the sad drunk that snuffed out joy from our life.

Melanie saw through me and knew that I needed more than a prayer over the phone. She asked me if she could arrange for a local pastor to visit me. I couldn’t believe a stranger could care enough to go the extra mile.

Hope Channel sent someone knocking on my door—and not just to pray, but to help me find answers.

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