Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Strong Woman

An elderly woman stopped me as I was leaving my daughter's church in California this weekend and said "Thank you for raising such a wonderful daughter. She's such a blessing to us all."

I smiled and thanked her. But because it was neither the time nor the place – or even necessary – I didn't burden her with the fact that I had little to do with how my daughter turned out.

During her formative years - and into her teens - I was so caught up in my heroin and alcohol addiction that I was usually locked up somewhere. And when I was free, I either showed up and played Santa Claus or else didn't show up much at all.

In my absence she was raised in a very challenging environment of drug dealers and users. But somehow she never succumbed. She told me that she promised herself that once she was an adult she’d never live the way she was raised.

And she hasn't. She's served the Lord for most of her adult life. She never dabbled in drugs and alcohol. She never slept around. For many years she was a single parent of my oldest granddaughter and dedicated her time and energy to raising her until she left home.

Eventually she married my son-in-law and they had two children of their own. She has a side business as an aesthetician, runs a women's ministry, works a full-time job, and nurtures her two youngest children.

While I’d like to take credit for how she turned out, she became who she was only through her own strength of character and the grace of God.

And I’m so proud of her.