12 Step Planet - The Sherlock Family Story
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The Sherlock Story . Stories about addiction and recovery, Clean and Sober life styles
     
                 My name is Monica Sherlock and
              I’m ready to write my family’s story. 

Who knows, it could become a best seller, perhaps one way to pay off my student loans.   During World War 11 my father met my mother at The Red Cross station she was handing out blankets to wounded soldiers in London as a volunteer.  My mother recently won a beauty contest in Leigh Buzzard England, my mother was a real beauty her face looked like a child like she was twenty-one and my father’s eyes were on her. My mother had a nursing certificate during war she help the wounded. My mother looked like someone out of a movie magazine.   My father was a Sergeant in World War 11 fighting against the Nazi; he won a purple heart, and other medals, and ribbons, for bravery. He fought in Belgium in Battle of Bulge where he was wounded. As well as the battle of Normandy in France later called D-Day.  D-Day was one of the bloodiest days in the war. America lost a lot of soldiers. After Normandy, the Allied Forces set their sites on Germany for which my father was honored medals. My dad drove a tank to Berlin. At the Berlin Airport three Officers ask him to surrender, he use his 45 colt revolver to kill all three Nazi officers .The Berlin Airport was taken over by Americans. The American Air force flew him to England and his men. He left his tank in Berlin. In England he met my mother handing out blankets to the soldiers. His uniform was cover with blood after shooting the Nazi soldiers he was all dirty. When he saw my mother Katie she seemed like an angel. She was young and sweet and offered him a blanket a doughnut and some coffee. It was love at first sight. After three and half years the war was over for him. He proposed to my mother and went back to New York City.  My father wrote to my mother at Hotel Regency in London England, where she worked. He wrote to pursuing her to come to USA and be his bride.   I read letters my father sent to my mother during World War 11 to persuaded her come to U.S.A. My father smuggled stockings that were hard to come by because it was made from nylon, during the war nylon was to make parachutes, stockings was a luxury item on the black market. Women in World War 11 with stain their legs with tea and use eyeliner to create a seam down there leg to create an illusion of wearing stockings. My father was a businessman, he promise house in America, and a summer home in Ireland.  My father sent 3 dozen stockings and placed it in newspapers to Ireland. He told her to sell the stockings for 2 pounds each or give them to her sisters. My father told my mother to buy a Fur Coat with the money. This is called a life of luxury for any farm girl in Ireland. Katie was from Longford, Ireland.     

My father sent her a plane ticket from Ireland to New York City. They married shortly after calling them War Brides. That makes me a War baby. We lived in Bronx for a short time and then moved into a big house in Teaneck N.J. My father was an Agent for Irish Sweepstakes which is illegal In U. S. there were no taxes, paid on this money the money went to Ireland. Making it illegal and doing business in the mail is illegal. My Father also worked as a Bus Driver in New York City.              

My father put all three children in Catholic School, which was named St. Anastasia School, in Teaneck, New Jersey, with the Carmelite nuns where they molded me to be a good Catholic. My father booking office was in the basement of our New Jersey home. My mother was a victim of World War 11 she was only survivor of a bombing in London, England. My mother seems fine till after she had three children.  Now this basement was for a hiding place for her and her three small children to escape the bombs. The problem there was no bombs in New Jersey.    My mother had shellshock and now the road to hell was being paved my mother first visit to a State Mental Hospital in Teaneck, New Jersey .This one time beauty Queen was now in a State Mental Hospital. Treatments began. Medicine was giving, visits to the hospital since we were young children five, four and two. An orphanage looks possible our Irish relatives came to rescue and took us in. My mother would come home from the hospital; she was unable to take care of us so we had caretakers. My father was in denial of this situation. He had hopes shed bounce out of this. The Dr said there was no hope. Never tell a Catholic there is no hope. Have you ever heard of going to Mass everyday, saying the rosary, communion, novena, confession, praying for sick, lighting candles, believing for your mother’s recovery. Yes that’s what good Catholics do.   Someone tip off my father’s booking operation in New Jersey and dad almost went to prison. Lucky for him the cop was from Ireland no charges made.  After twelve years in New Jersey my family headed to Fla. My father health was getting bad arthritis, from the war sleeping outdoors in rain.   He packed up his family and left everything behind. Heading to Fla. my mother did not want to go she had her brother and sisters that lived in New Jersey. She had no choice no money, my father was control of the money. The only thing my father didn’t realize that the FBI was on his trail.   We were off to Florida for a new life. Of course my Thorazine mother was with us. Of course were Irish, Catholics till death do us part. Guess what dad bought property on the beach. The Venice of America FL. Florida Real estate is a long way from the Bronx New York. Were living were the high rollers live. Remember my father had a seventh grade education and mother had eight grade educations. We were the Beverly Hillbillies of this neighborhood. The name of our apartments was Del Mar Apartments on Cortez St. on Fort Lauderdale Beach Florida. Two Blocks from the Elbo Room on Los Olas Blvd where they shot the movie “Where The Boys Are.”   One day we had men in suits come knocking at our door in Fort Lauderdale, Florida beachfront apts. Guess who FBI wanted to know how a bus driver could buy two pieces of property a duplex and beach front apartments with cash in one day?  They spoke of mail that they had which was receipts for Irish sweepstake which is illegal in the mail. My father said he didn’t want the mail. They couldn’t charge him Free again. This was the end of the Irish sweepstake.   My father told the FBI that he inherited the money. No more FBI and no      more extra money for the family. My mother was still making her visited To Florida State Mental Hospital. Returning home was difficult for all of us. She lived in the past the days of her youth and she never let us forget that she won a beauty contest. She was a sick women lighting all those candles did not change anything Katie will be needing care for the rest of her life.   The property on the beach is now worth many millions two blocks from Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, Fl.  The previous owner called the apartments  The Hotel California. It’s now a parking lot for huge hotel. We were upper middle class in the days of horse racing, fur coats, and trips to Ireland, with a fragrance of the Beverly Hillbillies but it almost made us orphans.   My father wanted to put in a Catholic Boarding School. I bailed out of that one. I had enough of Catholic Church and lighting candles for the sick. During my trip to Europe my father and I went to Lourdes, France. Here we are at Lourdes Praying for the sick and praying for my mother.  We believed this holy water from Lourdes will cure my mother. People come from all over the world to be healed. You get in these baths and ask Sweet Jesus to heal you. My father went for his arthritis. At the Grotto you saw the blessed Virgin a statue and all these empty crutches and wheelchairs. I also went to San Sebastian, Spain, and London, England. My friends thought it was great that I was able to go to Europe as a young girl. My mother was in a Mental Hospital so she didn’t go with us.   My father’s pursuit for wealth was due to the poverty he lived as a child. He came to this country in 1930, mopping floors for quarter. He was willing to risk prison to have wealth and lost of his family, he already lost his wife.             

I have friends from many social economic groups, even millionaire families. My racial identity is Irish America. My mother really gave me a weak identity due to her illness. My mother had a sweet face but she was left a vegetable when they finish with her electrical shock treatments. She was diagnosing schizophrenia and Bi Polar the treatments fifty years ago were barbaric shock treatments, and overmedication. My mother was a holocaust survival, when German Nazi bomb over England my mother was bomb out of building and was buried alive, Post Traumatic Stress. My mother had a very difficult life she never was abandonment by her family my father put in his will that nothing would be sold till her death. Traditional Catholic marriage in sickness, or in health till death do us part. My father took care of her in the grave. Nothing was sold till her death. Katie was put in a boarding care home in her remaining days. For forty years she talks about Ireland when she was happy as a young girl never in the present. My mother was convinced the CIA had something to do with the tragic situations of Sherlock’s. Remember the FBI tried to stop the Irish Sweep Stakes and put dad in prison for illegal gambling.             

I have a collection of World War 11 pictures of my mother and father. Happy and young they were full of hope for better life in USA. Ireland had a much slower life my father older brother lived twenty years longer in Ireland. My question is social status and class so important?  What kind price does social status play in our health? How far will we go for money? Lost of family, friends, health, imprisonment or death, or working with seventh grade education. My father left New Jersey with a suitcase fill of one hundred dollar bills. He bought Apartments and a duplex with cash in one day. These were foreclosing properties.   The Beverly Hillbillies moved off the beach to the Coral Ridge duplex. We were sent to public school and know more nuns. That meant no more uniforms, No more Mass everyday, confession, freedom. While I was in Catholic school the nun call me in front of the class I was in seventh grade she ripped the hem of my dress and said this is were you hem should be. She proceeds to say I was unworthy to receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ. That was day my rebellion, and angry to Catholic Church started I was in seventh grade one more year and no more nuns. I use to go to communion everyday that stopped. Sister Veronica came up to me and asks me why I stopped going to communion? Remember I am unworthy to receive Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. I don’t play games with God. This negative statement was now paving me to a life of Alcoholism, Drug use, and destruction. If God doesn’t want me and he thinks so little of me I’ll reject him.   All those Christian teaching went out the window now I’m in public school, and my friends are party animals. I live in the Venice of America meaning my friends have money for alcoholic, drugs and cigarettes. When I was young my friends invited me on boating trips and family outings. The difference was there parents had money good jobs and education, and wasn’t running from FBI. I enjoy those weekends away from my family .When my friends came over I had to explain why my mother acted strange.  My father was not going to leave his beautiful wife at Florida State Hospital. Remember were Irish, Alcoholic, Catholic, spelling CIA.   Identity if any one believes there an Alcoholic stand up. Irish and sober I don’t think so. Five members of my family drank. When my mother got sick my father hides the bottle because she was on medication. My friends were my only hope to get away from the Katie and my uneducated father. They knew how to read and write they were not like are neighbors with fancy clothes and jobs. Remember just let the neighbors know I inherited the money and not that I was Agent for Irish Sweepstakes. Irish Sweepstakes proceeds paid for socialize medicine in hospitals it was a good because it helped the Irish People. Some say it helped the IRA to buy Guns to get the English out of Ireland. Now I don’t know if that’s true. The Irish Republican Army is known as a terrorize group to free Ireland. A war that’s been going on for 900 years, England owes part of Ireland. The IRA wants them out. Ireland is not all about shamrocks, and leprechauns. One holiday we celebrated is Saint Patrick Day as a child I learned the Irish dance and the Accordion to play Irish Melodies. All the extended family would come to our house to go down to basement to drink and dance in our big house in Teaneck, New Jersey. Ireland must go on and Owen’ has a big job as an Adgent for Irish Sweepstakes let’s drink to that. Our extend family all live in New Jersey my dad brought the extend family on both sides to USA by boat or plane to New York City. Remember my dad is Ad gent for Irish Sweepstakes our loyalty is to Ireland .He sponsor my extended families getting jobs and got them housing. To come to USA it wasn’t like crossing the border or escapes from Cuba and landed on land in USA. You had to have papers standing you were of good character. No illegal from Ireland. Most of my extend family live in Ireland and England. My mothers side of the family where Quinn’s and O’Neil’s who are very wealthy people in Ireland. My Cousins are carrying the Irish traditions with there children Irish dance, music, and education a must. My extend family who lived in Ireland I met when I went to Ireland, with my mother and two brothers. When I was five we flew Air Lingus it was an Irish Airlines we landed in Shannon Ireland to those beautiful green hills. My mother was wearing her fur coat she was here to visit her mother and father in Longford. This was before she got sick. We were treaty like Royalty we were Americans. I returned to Ireland at sixteen my father was thinking of sending me to the nuns. Watch the movie the “Magdalene Sisters” that’s how those nuns were in sixty’s.  Remember I’m Unworthy to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. I’m not going to a Catholic Boarding School   I’m now sixteen at Fort Lauderdale High School with a car my dad bought me and a surfboard that I paid for working in a donut shop. Party times my road to Alcoholism begun. I had one friend, everyone said we looked alike. She was an only child and a family gave her everything so we started partying. She was older so she got the liquor. Now I found liquor, the road to hell begins drinking, and driving I totally my car. My license was suspended. This is before Mothers against Drunk Drivers. This unworthy person called me total her car and I had to change schools, so I can walk to school. Identity crises all my friends went to Lauderdale. A had to change schools in my senior year.   I have one friend Karen the one with alcoholic and now the drugs. Karen was very popular and lots of druggie friends first we started smoking pot, then hash. So here I’m in my senior year drinking, and smoking pot. I wish I had some extended family to straight me out. I guess this is the way to deal with my mother’s illness. The white elephant in the living room is my mother.   Alcoholic, Drugs and Sex, was to be my way out of this Irish family.   Karen now had LSD she said try this, and I did Karen was a follower of Dr. Timothy Leary. His philosophy was to Turn on, Turn In, and drop out. The trips that nearly kill me had stricken poison which paved the way to manic depression. My father wasn’t too happy he filed a policed report and got Karen and her friends arrest on a kilo of Marijuana in sixties. She had a heroin addiction which she OD and was taking to emergency room were they performed Automateral  External Defibrillator (AED) Karen survived.  “CHASING THE DRAGON” causes beautiful girls to forget there looks.   Karen needed money and she began selling drugs which nearly killed her.  At nineteen she ended up in prison. Her families’ money got her out and a good Lawyer. Karen started going to AA meetings in prison. Karen has thirty-six years sober. She has Bachelor Degree as a counselor for people with addiction. She has help many Alcoholics and Drug Addicted get sober.   I decide to leave Fl. my boyfriend who was seventeen and I was eighteen with no money we hitch to Ca. We took a bus to Chicago some one gave us bus money. Remember I’m leaving The Venice of America, and my Irish family. Pour me a drink. Six days on the road people fed us and gave us money. We finally made our destiny California. We were hungry, cold, and homeless. We met people and they let us sleep on the floor. Every day we would go out and panhandle to get food.  Telling people you ran out of gas was a good line it gave you more class. I got tired of hearing people say get a job. We were in Ca. for six weeks and my boyfriend was seventeen he got arrested for being a minor and was sent back to Fl. Leaving me on the curb. Guess who I call dad to send me a plane ticket back to Fl. He did not trust me with money so he bought the ticket at the airlines. In the mean time I accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. No Alcoholic, Drugs, sex or Catholic Church. I’m a new creature all things have changed.    Frank went to Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. Frank graduated as Ocean Engineer and worked for Texas Instruments and travels the world as engineer. Frank escapes the white elephant by books. He was the first member in our family to go to college and graduate. I didn’t know that Frank develop a drug problem in college.  Remember “CHASING THE DRAGON” causes schoolboys to forget there books. Before Hawaii my brother went to Cape St. Francis where the movie “Endless Summer” was film. Frank was an International Surfer.  My brother had a few weeks off  he  went to Hawaii to surf and then his plans were to go to Australian on a oil expedition for Texas Instruments the Company he was working for.  He detours on a trip to Bangkok, Thailand by himself one night in Bangkok he smoked heroin in marijuana also called China White or the Dragon which is HERION. Frank was in a coma for six weeks. We all prayed for a miracle. I had my Christian friends come together for prayer.  Frank comes out of comma and off his death bed. A Dr. from his company flies with him to U.S. Frank arrives the night of my father’s funeral. My 225lb. brother weighs 125 lbs. Due to  his Chasing the Dragon. I arranged for a Catholic Burial Tradition for my father. My father’s funeral was the night my brother arrived from Thailand. Despite the fact he sold the Irish sweepstakes, he went to mass everyday to pray for his family.   Frank had a long road to recovery he went to Spain Rehabilitation Hospital in Birmingham Alabama, to learn how to walk. Frank spent one year in a wheelchair. Family support and good insurance, and lots of prayer helped my brother on his road to recovery he has twenty-six years sobriety in AA and NA.   My brother lives at Lamb of God Recovery Center in Okeechobee, Fl. he works as a volunteer with newly sober men and men out of prison. Frank is now a born again Christian, studying the Bible and fully involved with the Lamb of God Ministries. Frank is helping people to stay sober one day at a time.   On September 12, 2009 in Bicentennial Park in Miami Fl. InTheRooms.com the day begins with a 5Kwalk, to be followed with all day festival and concert, featuring Richie Supa of Aerosmith fame, and Rock “n” Roll Hall of Fame Legend Eric Burdon and the Animals.   Frank who was in a wheelchair in 1976, Frank was one of the thousands in hot Fl. Sun walking the 5K walk for ALCOHOLISM ADDICTION. This was a walk to counter the stigma of alcoholism and addiction. This day was a Celebration for Recovery.   Frank just found an old film that was fifty-five years old in a family tin showing us as children in Ireland with our mother visiting her parents. It was great seeing our mother young and healthy, and with her children. What a bury treasure. We got to see ourselves from five to twenty-five. The boating pictures in Fort Lauderdale, on my Hanson surf board, being pull by a rope behind our boat. Kevin graduated from High School and Frank with long hair. Seeing me at twenty-two with long hair and weighting one hundred and twenty-five pounds.  On film I saw my mother’s sister visiting us in Fort Lauderdale, from London for the first time. What a treasure an old film made into a DVD.   My father was all for my brothers getting an education this was during the Vietnam War he didn’t want them to go to war. The Vietnam War was called the Drug war. Body Bags wear flown back to USA filled with Heroin.  Heroin is very profitable business for any businessmen. Next stop is Vietnam. My question was it for Drugs, or the War against Drugs?   My father got my brothers an apartment in Coca Beach and helped them thru school. My father thought it was a waste of time for me, because I was a poor student when I was young. He never encourages me to be educated. Men were the one to have all benefits, old school.   Since my mother was mental ill I couldn’t expect anything from her, even some dating advice. I pick people when I dated who was Alcoholic and from troubled homes. My class status changed over years living on the beach to duplex. In there last days my parents lived on social security. I live in Santa Barbara in a hotel room with a shared kitchen for thirty people. It’s a little different then The Venice of America. The fun part the FBI does knock at my door.   Katie left her mark on all of us. My brothers and I are all Bi Polar Kevin my youngest brother is now living at McMillan Ranch.  AA meetings come to them. AA visits hospitals, institutions, and prisons bringing the message to McMillan Ranch, which houses ten mental ill people in Santa Maria. Second chances are giving to people at McMillan Ranch. They come from all walks of life. Kevin is also Bi Polar.   He graduated from the University of Florida in Forestry. He March at Washington with 20,000 students protested about the War in Vietnam.  He was beaten with clubs and arrested.  Kevin had his head beaten with clubs and had stitches and was taking to jail. My mother asks the parish priest to write a letter that Kevin was an altar boy, and a good Catholic. The judge drops the charges and said he was one of the flower children throwing flowers. This was the largest arrest in US history 14,000 to 20,000 protesters where put in a baseball stadium. No jail could fit them my brother Frank, and colleague where also arrested that day.  They released the students in one day from the baseball stadium.    Kevin taught school teaching high school students horticulture, in Pensacola Florida.  Remember “COCAINE” causes school teachers to forget their books. He worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Okeechobee, Fl. Working on Seminole Indian Reservation. Cutting trees he had a crew of men working under him. Kevin was married at nineteen to a millionaire daughter. A orange grove owner and a member of KKK it lasted one year her father came with a sheriff and told him to divorce his daughter class distinction.    Kevin and Frank went to Woodstock wear 500,000 young people experience the largest Rock concert in history in Catskills Mountains in New York. The Hog Farmers feed people and helicopters drop blankets for people who overdoses on drugs. The main complaint there was not enough food and water and it rained.       Kevin’s biggest problem he was an Alcoholic and could not control his drinking and his temper. The University graduate ends in prison for eight years. Kevin illness gets worse. Kevin now lives in a board and care home since he got out of prison. Kevin lives at McMillian Ranch with Ten Mental Ill People. AA comes to the Ranch. A second chance comes to Kevin, an X-Con gets to live a sober life in Santa Maria. My brother is a Register Sex Offender who did his time. He committed his crime under the influence of drugs and alcoholic. Not everyone gets a second chance. At McMillan ranch there is a second chances.   The story of Mennis in our text they were Jewish immigrants from World War 11 who lived in Bronx and never took risks. What a difference from the Sherlock out of the Bronx, to the Venice of America. Did my father take risks to move from the ghetto? I’ll say so! He was a gambler whereever the dice landed that’s where we landed. Both the Mennis and my family had no education. Mennis daughter used her education to change her class status.  My brothers did the same till Alcoholic and drugs change there life. Is education the ticket to wealth, good jobs, and social status? Are there unemployed PHD?  My father was uneducated he knew how to read and write. His decision to gain wealthy could of lead him to prison. What risks are you willing to take with your life? Drinking and Drugging can destroy your life even with education make wise decisions.   My decision to change my life was accepting Jesus Christ as my savior. The Lord has supply all my needs. In 1993, I had to face a radical surgery. I had a fast growing tumor on my uterus. It grew from the size of a lime to an eggplant in one month. I had a hysterectomy one of the best surgery in Santa Barbara performed the successful surgery. Dr. Green was a missionary when he was young. He knew my situation and didn’t charge me. Praise the Lord! As you read my story you can see the hand of God working.    I and my brothers inherited Katie land. Our tenant reported our property to the city. This land is not up to code. She was from Cuba and her eyes were on my land. A wonderful Christian Brother made a generous loan to my family that allowed me to bring the land up to Code. We were able to sell the land for $300,000 another miracle.   Yes I lost my mother at a young age, my father to a broken heart. I nearly lost my two brothers to Drug and Alcoholic. I nearly lost my own life to Drugs and alcoholic.  I still believe in Jesus. I don’t play games with God. I will be sixty years old in July.  I’m back in school. Life is a learning experience. Some of these lessons could have been easier. If I would have followed my teachers’ advice, including Sister Veronica teaching, there was no talking during the mass.   Drugs and Alcoholic or the life of crime doesn’t pay; money earned by hard work is good for the soul. Through all these trials, I’ve learned to cast all my cares on Jesus. I buried my father in 1976 and in 2004 I buried my mother in a Catholic Cemetery Queen of Heaven in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  They are both buried in the same plot - "until death do us part". We will meet you in heaven in the sweet bye-and-bye.  The Class distinction there is if you’re saved or not.   For all you people who remember the flower lady, also known as the Rose Lady this is my story. Santa Barbara is a long way from the Bronx. Give your burdens to the Lord. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Monica