Never surrender

11:18 AM Elizabeth Seckman 42 Comments

Young Adult writer, Elana Johnson, is celebrating the debut of her book SURRENDER, just released from Simon and Schuster.


The Never Surrender Blogfest is supposed to be about a time when I never surrendered. A time when I succeeded against all odds.


Hmmm...folks, I know people who battle. My mom buried a son and a husband and didn't roll over. I know a little lady who battled breast cancer while her baby boy fought his own battle with cancer (you can read their story HERE). And right now, as I type, a sixteen-year-old boy is whipping the pants off of leukemia (more of his story HERE).


So, little old me asks herself this morning...what did you overcome?


And the response is a quick, "Girl, you can't even beat chocolate!"


True. That's totally true.


But I once knew a guy who beat an addiction much greater than mine.


He was my brother-in-law. His name was Nick. He was always a big giver, big helper, and unfortunately, a big drinker.


I first met Nick when I was in the third grade. And I loved him from the start. He was the kind of guy who asked a quiet little girl if she wanted a candy bar and when she shook her head no, he got her the candy and then some. He was the kind of guy you call at 3:00 AM for a favor and not only would he do it...he'd probably pay the costs involved.


The drinking was never really a problem. He was a social drinker. A play hard ex-airman who enjoyed a party.


But then life happened. A slowing economy pushed workers out of jobs and Nick was one of them. Never one to lounge on assistance, he went right out after more work. Problem was, the jobs were scarce and the pays were lower.


His drinking went from sometimes to all times. He was scaring the people who loved him and losing friends with his erratic behavior. It was hard NOT to get mad at him because you wanted him to put the bottle down and BE the man we loved.


Now if anyone knows anything about the disease of alcoholism and the grip it sets on the user, this next part is the stunner.


Nick said enough. He signed HIMSELF into rehab. While his wife suggested AA and outpatient treatment he said no. He had to beat this. And this was the only way.


While in treatment, his birthday came. My sister called and asked if she could bring gifts and cake. No. Not in the first stages of treatment. But that was all right, Nick said. There was yellow cake with chocolate icing for dinner. That was his favorite anyhow and God made sure he got it.


He finished his treatment and got hired for a good job the day he left the facility. Life looked good.


Then on his way to work, his heart stopped, and he died.


Why?


I have four boys. And a wood stove. In the winter, every Monday evening, the kids stock the wood pile. It takes a stack about four feet high and five feet wide to last the whole week.


Most of my boys carry each load two sticks at a time. My oldest son carries a load so big he can barely see over the top of it. Three loads in, my husband will say to Caleb, you're done...go on into the house and get warm. The others still have work to do.


Some men carry big burdens and they deserve to rest.


RIP Nick Loy. Enjoy your rest. Hope the fishing's good.















42 comments:

  1. This was beautiful, Elizabeth and what a great tribute to a very inspiring person.

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  2. I love that Nick was able to overcome his addiction. Sounds like he was a very inspiring man!

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    1. I'm glad for it too. I know it took personal strength, but the real strength was that he loved his family. He knew he had to do it for them. That is a rare gift.

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  3. So sad. But at least he got to a place in his life on his own terms, and not with the alcohol.

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    1. Words cannot express how proud I am of him. As a social worker, I've seen this disease up close and personal. The day he signed himself into treatment I was in such awe. I tell my sister all the time...you have NO idea how rare that is. He is a hero.

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  4. What a poignant post. Nick sounds like an incredible person. I can feel how much you miss him.

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  5. He really was a good guy, and yes, I miss him a lot.

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  6. This is a very well written post.

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  7. Both of my parents are/were alcoholics, and as a result, I spent the last year in Alanon meetings trying to heal the wounds I've received from them. I'm glad he was brave enough to check himself in, and get help. I'm glad you knew such a strong man.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that Lynn. I hope you find the healing you seek. Love, prayers, and hugs to you. You're in a tough place.

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  8. He sounds like he was an amazing man. The world is a sadder place for having lost him!

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    1. It most certainly is. And since he was our go to fixer of all things electronic and mechanical, it's a more broken place too.

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  9. Beautiful post, thanks for sharing!

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  10. Hey Elizabeth,

    I can't explain the why, but at least you and the family *know* Nick was *back* on the right path.

    I reckon there's tons of other family that could only wish that on their own lost, loved ones...

    PS... On a silly, not related, unimportant subject, when you're in the mood, see my post dated June 13.

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  11. Trying to understand "Why" is the hardest thing to deal with when you lose a loved one. I have learned how important it is to live and love daily. Don't waste a minute. Nick taught me this is life and death. Thank you little sister. I love you.

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    1. Love you too. <3
      And yes, life is too precious to waste. But one thing we can say for Nick. He lived every minute of it to the fullest!

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  12. *sob*
    This really gets to me because I have someone close to me who has struggled with addiction. It's such a long hard road, and to lose him after success is heart breaking. But I love the quote at the end. Love that. It really makes the point. :) HUGS.

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    1. I've always thought of addiction as a demon. It stalks and destroys and it is so hard to beat. I hope your situation has a happy ending.

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  13. This was beautiful, Elzabeth. Sad, but sweet. I believe who we are when we die is who we will be after we die. Nick was working on changing his life, so that's who he is on the other side.

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    1. Thank you Emily. I believe you're right.

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  14. Thank you aunt grit,i learned a couple of new things about my father.I also think it is wonderful thay you let others know the heart breaking struggle of having a loved one with addictions like alchohalism

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    1. I love ya Jay. You're father was a great man. Always remember, when you stash away memories, separate the man from the addiction. I've witnessed your dad on more than one occasion stop and help a stranger with a car repair and when he didn't they could afford the parts, he'd buy them himself. He was honest and giving. And his love for his family made him do what few others ever do...admit he had a problem and seek help.

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  15. Stopping by from the blogfest...What a beautiful tribute to your brother-in-law. Addiction is a nasty beast - what a feat for him to tackle it head on. He seemed like a remarkable person. Thank you for sharing his story.

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    1. He deserves a tribute and then some. Thanks for stopping by.

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  16. Wow, that's a moving tribute to what sounds like a man that was an overcomer. Life really doesn't make sense sometimes. Thanks for telling us about him.

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  17. What an amazing post. I'm continually awed by the amazing attitudes of people -- you and Nick included. Thanks for participating!

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    1. Thanks for hosting and best of luck with your launch!

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  18. You managed to turn what could have been a sad tale...and brought a smile to my face at the end! Thank you for that! :)

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    1. I'm glad I could give a smile. Life's short and should be enjoyed. :)

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  19. Thanks for sharing--heartbreaking, beautiful, real

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  20. This is very powerful. I find a great deal of happiness that Nick beat his demons before he passed. What an incredible example.

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    1. I do too. I hated to lose him when he was feeling so strong, but I was comforted in knowing he was happy. And that he proved to his family that he would do anything for them to make their lives peaceful and whole.

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  21. Beautifully written - you made me tear up.

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    1. I would apologize, but I'm okay with that. Thanks for stopping.

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