The Road Not Taken
By Marc M.
Life is filled with choices. Some choices we make ourselves,
while others are selected by certain people for our benefit.
The person one becomes all centers around the choices
he or she makes while on the road to life. This road may
appear to be straight and never waving, but there are many
paths and side-roads along the way, which take us to different
destinations. Sometimes, we are guided or forced onto a
path that we think is not in our best interests, and we complain
or worry about where our lives are going. As a young
man easing my way into the “real world,” I have had many
choices made for me by my parents. But what happens when
one my parents cannot make the right choices for herself?
Five years ago, my mother decided to take her drinking to the
extreme, and become an alcoholic. When she made this
switch, she chose a path in life which she could never go back
and try again. My mother made a decision five years ago
which not only chose the direction she was headed, but also
the direction our family was headed. Strange as it may sound,
however, if I could reverse the hands of time, I would go down
that same path one more time.
Usually when a choice is presented to a person, there are
pros and cons of each; something which makes it hard for
one to decide which way to go.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
In this section of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not
Taken,” he describes choices in life, in which both options
look appealing. But at such a young age, such as 18-years old,
how do I (or anyone else) know what is in my best interests
ten years from now? Who is to tell me I should not get married
before I start college? I do not want to get married for a
long time, but the point I am making is that nobody can predict
the future, telling us what is good for us. The path which
looked so green and luscious to Robert Frost may actually be
the token which says, “Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not
pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars.” Things are not
always as great as they appear at the entrance.
The sign at the entrance of the
road to alcoholism
is not that impressive, however. It is this yellow, crooked board with
an arrow at the bottom of it. The sign, which says “addiction
free,” has blinking lights and smiley faces all over it. For some
strange reason, my mother chose the path with the sign reading
“addiction this way.” We could have left her at the entrance
and bid her farewell, but I wanted my mother back
someday. Therefore, we all stuck out our hands and let her
drag us onto the road. Had we just left my mother on her own without
there is little doubt in my mind my mom would not
have made it. So, we all tagged along with her down the dark
and dusty path. For three years, my mother gave up drinking
off and on. For three years, my family had to put up with
living with an addict. She
went through alcohol rehab
three times, the third one taking around 9 months before she came home
again. Three years on this path and I was beat. Every day,
from my eighth grade year in middle school, until my sophomore
year in high school, I thought, “Why did she pick this
It is now my senior year in high
school. I am almost as proud as my
mom to say she has been alcohol free
for two whole years. In a couple of
weeks, I will get to have my mom with
me to celebrate and cry at my graduation.
Next year, she will get the opportunity
to see my sister receive a journalism
degree from college. My parents
have been married for nearly 24-years,
and if they can get through a three-year
slump, I think they are pretty well set
for life. When my mom made the
choice she was done drinking and really
stuck to her
alcohol rehab plan,
her road to recovery
was pretty amazing. This time the road
she chose was not so dark and dusty at
all, but rather a path filled with new life.
During the low points of her alcohol addiction,
my sister and I became as close as we
have ever been. My father and I lived
alone with each other for a good portion
of those three-years, and our relationship
gained even more strength than
it had before. Words cannot express how
much better our family is in general. My
mother is now a more confident person.
I look up to her as one of, if not the strongest
person I have ever met.
God works in mysterious ways. Just
when one thinks the road they have chosen
is the wrong one, there always seems
to be that light shining at the end of the
tunnel. That light, for me, happened to
mean getting my mom back, and having
a tighter family than I did in the beginning.
The beautiful thing about life is a
person cannot go back and take “The
Road Not Taken.” But even if I could, I
would probably stick my hand out one
more time and say, “Lead the way, Mom.”
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