Richie and Lori
Author Alberta Sequeira’s Life with Husband, Richard Lopes, and daughter, Lori Cahill
Lori Lopes (Cahill) was born July 29, 1967 at Morton Hospital in Taunton, MA. She was my second daughter coming into the world four years after the birth of her sister, Debbie Lopes (Dutra) on May 14, 1963. I had lived in North Dighton, MA for over thirty years. Lori had a personality once she started to walk and discovered the world and the people in it. By two years old, she delighted in any comical gesture of hers to make people laugh. She continued this wonderful habit throughout her life. Our house filled with her friends since Lori seemed to be the leader of the pack. I enjoyed each moment my daughter’s girlfriends, and at times the boys in the gang, come over to our house. I knew where they were and loved all the neighborhood kids. On the outside, Lori made everyone around her think that she was delighted with life and the friends she had, but she hid her pain deep down inside her including away from me, her mother. At the age of seventeen, Lori and Debbie at the age of twenty-one lost their father when he was only forty-five years of age from cirrhosis of the liver. It wasn’t until Lori’s last two years that the family came to realize that she had been following the same path as her father. She had deeper problems that kept her frightened all her life, making her lose confidence in herself, and turned to alcohol abuse, and I think drugs played a part in her silent suffering. How does a parent miss the signs, especailly after losing a husband nineteen years earlier? Easily. Lori never came and told me she was hurting or had been mentally upset with past trumas in her life. It had been the physical and mental health breakdowns that opened the door to her illness, including being bulemic. She had married and had a son, Joe and a daughter, Meagan. Within three years, they divorced. Fourteen years later, she remarried and her marriage fell apart. I blamed her weight loss on the stress she had been under. On November 22, 2006 after three alcoholic rehabilitation stays, Lori died at thirty-nine years of age at the Charlton Memoiral Hospital in Fall River, MA. She was laid to rest with her father at the St. Patrick Cemetery in Somerset, MA.God gave me a loving, happy, beautiful daughter who filled all our lives with joy. She left us her two children, Joe and Meagan. Debbie and her husband, Brian, took Lori’s children to live with them and their children Kerri and Michael. Meagan became the nurse Lori had hoped to be and Joe became a Marine December 18, 2009. I see her each time I look in their eyes. Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism (2010) is the sequel after self-publishing Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis (2009). It’s a very honest, painful and emotional story of losing a child to a demon that became her killer. People say authors write to heal. I haven’t healed. Every parent losing a child in any way, has to go on living. It’s how we live that counts. I turned my life to speaking engagements on “The Effect of Alcoholism on the Whole Famliy.” For a shy girl, who couldn’t talk in public, I’m now reaching out to other substance abusers and their families. God has a way of putting a path in front of us. We have to decide if we want to travel down it. If we open our hearts to Him, the decision is easy. My trust and love in God has me taking this dark journey along with other sufferers hoping to find a light at the end of visiting each location to give a speaking engagement. Like the alcoholics state; “It’s one day at a Time.” But, I know He leads me. If I stumble, I just get up and keep going. Seeing the faces of lost souls controlled by this killer, gives me peace when they hug and kiss me while thanking me for coming to talk to them.
Both memoirs were nominated for the Editor’s Choice Award from Allbook Reviews of Canada.