I’ll never forget putting on my little black suit and racing down the stairs only to have my sister grab my arm and softly whisper, “Don’t wake up Daddy.” You see, it was Sunday and we were all going to church except Daddy, but of course it wasn’t just on Sunday. It was every day that he was drunk and missed out on family time. Are those the memories you’d like to leave your loved ones?
Gone are the Sunday meals. The family gathering around for family time or just the love and happiness we all felt during the good days. Replacing those are the memories of my mother broken and beaten on the floor and my father staggering out the door for the last time in my life. Are those the memories you want your loved ones to have of you and their life at home?
You see, we’ve got alcohol in our stores, our restaurants, our homes, and even in the cars that drive our streets. So you see, we have plenty of beer throughout the city to let you stock up for the weekend.
My letter is not to make drinking people think I’m trampling on whatever rights they have to drink, but it is a letter from a man with a lost child in his heart who grew up without a father and learned himself that drinking hid pain. It took years for me to realize that it was destroying my life as well as my family’s.
Sundays should be more than “just another day,” as many people say. When I was that child it was a day of going to church. A day to spend with family and friends. Now after an almost-50-year battle with my feelings, I’m proud to say at I am one of the many filling the pews at Lighthouse Church listening to the words of Pastor Fred Sanatana. Once again, there is singing in my heart where before there was the pain and emptiness of the destruction alcohol caused.
Please, we need to fill our churches and hold our loved ones close. We need to have more family time. We need to visit our loved ones int he nursing homes or hospitals; we need to visit the grave sites and forgive the ones who may have caused us pain.
You see, this has nothing to do with trampling on anyone’s rights, or stopping someone from doing what they want. This isn’t about making a law that Sunday is special; this is about family values and spending your time with your loved ones that will give them a life and give thanks for many things we have. And to pray for the many who suffer and don’t have.
If I have reached one person, I pray it’s to the deciding voter who stops the sale of alcohol on Sundays. God bless each and every one of you. May your drink on Sunday be of God filling your glass with the spirit of the Lord.
Richard Egeland, Fort Oglethorpe