1/18/1948 – 12/ 31/2018
Good morning, I am Chuck McClain. I am an alcoholic, if I don’t take that first drink I won’t get drunk. I have not taken that first drink or drug since July 18, 1981. If you are reading this, I have moved on to my next realm. I will be resting for a while until my Lord sees fit to move me towards whatever is next.
I passed as the result of the gift I was given, ALS. I say this disease was a gift because it forced me to participate in my growth spiritually and in the reality of my life. I have stayed very focused on the minutes and days that have gone by, I refused to miss a second—the sounds of music, voices, wind, rain, the exposure to unconditional love from my wife and best friend, Linda, my buddy Brooklyn, my daughters Shamika, Kellie and Jennie, my sons Terry and Gary, my sons-in-law Scott, Dallas and Thadd, and my grandkids Malia, Tyler, Jakob, Stephanie and Lola. I also leave behind my sisters Rob, Mik, Melody and my brother Jim, along with nieces, nephews, cousins and many, many friends.
I was blessed to live two different lives, one as a full-on alcoholic that led me down a path of wreckage that I didn’t think I could ever rebuild. The other, after I was able to get clean and sober, that led me in the direction of trying to be of service to my fellow man or woman in their time of need. I made my wish, to be able to help at least one person that I could repay what was so freely given to me at my sobriety. I think I have helped at least one person and the rewards that I received for the rest of my life were unbelievable. Every need that I had has been met, and most wants have been met too.
My biggest needs were Sobriety: I received that with my first sponsor Howard Dodge and my last sponsor and sponsees, along with a consistent pattern of weekly AA meetings. Love: This came from Linda, the love of my life. She was there through thick and thin, the past couple of years were very rough for her. Kellie, taught me how to be a father and how to be unconditional in my love. Shamika, taught me forgiveness and allowed me to continue to be her dad. Spirituality: Initially, this came from AA meetings, then progressed via church through Pastors Dave Bloedel and Steve Hayden at Faith Lutheran Church in Carpinteria, and lastly through Pastor Paul Nelson and JoAnne Kelly at Emanuel Lutheran in Santa Barbara.
The last several months have been pretty amazing. In my daily practice of meditation and prayers, God has seen fit to allow me to change my meditation to a focus of memories of my past—not the negative—all the good stuff. It is just like I was there all over, not to change anything but to experience all that was around me. Two good movies (meditations) a day.
I have had many jobs in the first 33 years of my life that were fun, hazardous and dangerous. The second part of my life was mainly in the “helping profession” as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and finally as the Supervisor of the Sheriffs’ Treatment Program in the Santa Barbara County Jail (15 years). I was always passionate and stubborn in life, and tried to do the best I could with whatever or whomever I was involved with. Thank you all for allowing me to be part of your lives. I am a proud Vietnam Vet, Boatswain Mate 3rd Class via the US Navy 1966–1970. I am proud of my flag.
I came to the end of my life with no usable parts left, as I wanted, but still had red hair (somewhere) and slim as a stick.
Born January 18, 1948 – Died December 31, 2018.
My Memorial Service will be Friday, Jan. 18 (my 71st birthday), at 2 p.m., at Emanuel Lutheran Church, 3721 Modoc Road, Santa Barbara, California.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity. Thank you.