I rarely drink. I have the occasional cocktail at my daughter’s house on the odd evening we eat over there. We’re invited over there all the time and it’s a great place to be. The grandsons are 14 and 13, delightful company all the time. They’re not at the surly teenage time yet (I doubt they ever will be, they’re genuinely outgoing and easy to be around). So when I found out my mother in law planned to come see us soon, I knew my alcoholic mettle would be put to the test. Not my drinking … hers. She’s a drunk.

Yesterday my mother in law came for an afternoon visit. We were scared to death that she planned on spending the night but we got lucky and she only stayed a few hours. It’s a 3 hour drive from her house to ours.

She drank an entire bottle of wine while she was here. In less than 2 hours. Then she got in her car to drive home and we let her. Can you believe that? I can’t. You wonder how we could be so irresponsible but she’s something else. I’m in shock today. I can’t believe we let her do that. She usually gets shitfaced and spends the night, leaving early the next morning.

She told us her doctor told her she needed to go into rehab. What do you say to a comment like that? I asked her, point blank, “Well, do you need to?” She laughed and said “No” when it’s obvious she does need to go. The last time she tried to go in for a check-up, she was so drunk, the doctor called a cab and sent her home in it. Seriously.

And I am so ashamed because I thought only of myself and my husband — how we wanted her gone from our house. I didn’t think about the danger she was to others, I only thought about the danger she was to my husband. She’s 72. She’s moving from Wilmington NC to Vero Beach FL in two weeks. We couldn’t be more happy for her and for us. No more afternoon visits where she gets drunk and then drives for 3 hours.

I can’t believe I let her drive home. It won’t ever happen again. I’m so relieved she made it back without killing someone. Stupid drunk.

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