life

Killing It

I was there the day my dad shut the door of his vacated apartment for the last time. He had moved from one floor of the Riverside Presbyterian Apartments, Jacksonville Florida, to another.  Before he turned in his key, he wanted to do just a few final chores.

I helped him. He was meticulously clean and tidy so scrubbing out his tub would be a piece of cake. Except, back then, for me, nothing  was a piece of cake. So even though the tub wasn’t dirty,  I scrubbed it as though it was.

As I worked an old toothbrush into every clean crevice, my dad walked past and casually laid down a sentence that felt like a punch in the gut. A casual sentence that made my life a whole lot easier. Eventually.

“Don’t get all alcoholic about it.”

What?  My thoughts reeled, I’m not all alcoholic.

I backed off on my scrubbing and gave the tub a rinse.

It took a few years, but those 6 expertly placed wounding words cured me of my perfectionism.

Before those words I took pride in perfection.

But my brilliant dad paired my perfectionism with his disease.

Perfectionism suddenly became imperfection.

And I certainly did not want to be lumped with imperfection.

Like I said, it took some years.

I still have the occasional relapse, and when I do, I see my young self bent over that bathtub scrubbing alcoholically and I hear those wounding, healing words.

“Don’t get all alcoholic about it.”

Thanks, dad, for killing it.

#perfection

For more about my dad and his disease: Concerning Hope

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Killing It

  1. I have a way of being a perfectionist too. Sometimes it is paralyzing. My father was an alcoholic and he taught me so much in spite of it too. When he died I had to clean his bathroom too. I was such a perfectionist when it came to the bathroom, but the tile that he wouldn’t let me clean miraculously was effortlessly made white. I think God was showing me a lesson. I gave him such a hard time over that tile during his life but God in His amazing grace was able to wipe it off and make it like new! I love this story because I think you’ll be the only one who will get it❤️ love your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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