Walking The Dry Road: My Life With a True Hero
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By Jennifer Lebo
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I watch him every morning.


Always drinking his coffee.  Always reading the news online, checking the scores of whatever sport is in season.  Depending on the time of year, sometimes I’ll find him grading quizzes. But it’s always coffee.  Always reading. Always preparing for some type of workout.


A long tempo run.  A grueling track workout.  A recovery swim. Or race day.


Coffee, reading, and running.  Such simplicity. To look at him, you’d almost think he was a bit boring, a bit “vanilla”.  You’d never know he was the strongest person you might ever meet.


You’d never know he was my hero.

This is my husband.  Twenty years ago today, he nursed his last hangover and got himself sober.  Twenty years ago, he tackled the greatest challenge of his life, and came out on top.


This is my husband.  My hero.


I never knew Scott, the partying alcoholic, but boy, have I heard the stories.  He got sober the year before we met and fell in love. The only Scott I’ve ever known is the disciplined, sober one.  The one who exchanged one addiction for another, and became the most insane runner we’ve all ever known. The one who keeps life “vanilla”.  Gosh, I love this man.


But falling in love with him came with its own cost.  He was honest and up front with me from the very start, as he was newly sober.  He couldn’t be around alcohol, nor could he be around anyone who drank. It was a deal breaker.


I was completely smitten with him, and so it was a no brainer for me.  I knew immediately that I’d never need a drink the way I would need his company.  I’d never find a party more fun than our “party of two” (or now five). He was worth walking away from alcohol for life.  He still is.


I know this isn’t my typical blog post.  I’m used to writing about girl stuff, mom stuff, photography stuff.  But every year, on July 2, a few of us stop to celebrate our hero.


I know his parents do.  Twenty years later, and still every year on July 2 a card comes in the mail from Scott’s mom and dad.  They celebrate him. They love him. They are so so so proud of him. They knew the Scott I never knew. I think the contemplation and the celebration go deep for them.


I know Scott stops on this day, too.  I think he sometimes thinks about the life he could have had, had he not climbed that mountain twenty years ago.  I notice him looking at our kids, at me. I think he knows what a gift he’s been given in the second chance. The way he treats our family, I know he is thankful for it.  


And today I stop.  I look at the man I’ve always known, and I am so grateful.  I look at the children we are raising together, and I’m just overwhelmed that they have such a strong, courageous, vulnerable father.  Our kids know Scott’s story. They know what a hero their dad is.


So today I break from the typical mom blog post.  Today I celebrate the greatest person I have ever known in my entire life.  Obviously, we don’t clink champagne glasses over this one. In fact, I’ll never ever clink a champagne glass with my husband.  We’ll never get tipsy together, never enjoy a “buzz” together.


But that’s ok.  Because of his strength, we’ll get to enjoy much more more.


Happy 20 years, Hero of mine.


You are absolutely the best.


If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, you can get help at SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).


Leave a comment:
Jennifer Lebo - Laurie, thank you for your words of support and encouragement (always). It's so much easier to be transparent knowing how much support and love is out there. Missing you all!
laurie Shirey - This is beautifully written, a beautiful testimony to your super husband! I never knew this about Scott because I, too, only know him as a sober person. What an awesome testimony! Congratulations to Scott and thank you to God for the blessing you share with all of us and being transparent!
Jennifer Lebo - Charli, that is SO AWESOME! Congratulations. Thank you for sharing this with me- I can't wait to share with Scott. He's lucky to have you walking with him. It's not easy, but it's worth it to walk it together. THIS is why I shared this blog post. To hopefully inspire others who are on the same journey. I'm so grateful you shared. Keep on going. And Charli, you know where to find us- Scott and I are always here if you guys need encouragement or support! We got this!
Charli - So inspiring guys. I was never very close with teachers or adults at school- and I have hidden regrets about that. But since getting to know you and your fam a little through Facebook I have begun to learn how much I could have learned from you- and how much I CAN learn. This year in August will be my husbands 1st full year of sobriety and there are few people who are open about sharing their experiences. It brings a social swerve to your life that you never knew would be as great as you thought. September 1st will be his 1st anniversary. What a humble and sinsere way to show off the noble move to ditching such a self-defeating habit. Drinking is so glamorfied within our culture! Now...if I can only find a way to lead my man to his sneakers! Cheers, minus the glass, Charli
Jennifer Lebo - Thanks Kristin! It's so great to hear from you. Thank you for your kind words. Miss you all!
Kristin Schardt - Beautiful- what an inspiring and loving tribute.
Jennifer Lebo - Mimi. <3
You're so kind. Thank you for your words. Miss you!
Jennifer Lebo - Ellen! How lovely to hear from you! Remember that day? Feels like yesterday. Hope you and Dick are doing great! Send our love to all! We miss you!
Jennifer Lebo - Debbie, thank you for such kind words. He is a tremendous example to our kids. <3 Hugs to you!
Marilyn Weeden - Dear Jen - such a loving tribute to your hero! I'm so glad your kids know his story too. It's an amazing thing he did 20 years ago and each and every day since then. Kudos to Scott! with love <3
Ellen Turner - Jen, What a lovely tribute to Scott! We celebrate the teacher, husband and father he has become!!! Your blog offering is also a tribute to the life the two of you have built together. Dick and I have fond memories of your joyous wedding. It was an incredibly beautiful albeit hot day in Pottstown. May you and your family have continued peace and joy one day at a time. With affection, Ellen
Debbie Turner - Dear Scott, life is about choices and because of your courageous choice you have a beautiful wife and family. You are a wonderful example for your children. Congratulations on #20 with a lifetime of many more to come. Hugs, Debbie Turner
Jennifer Lebo - Thanks, Mom! I'll share this with him. Love you all.
Mary Jane Sparacio - Scott, I’ve told you many times I’m so proud of you for many reasons. This yearly celebration is so special to me. The choice you made twenty years ago not only effects your life but everyone you love and respect. You are a man of integrity, a wonderful son, husband and father. You are a champion! We love and are proud of you. Love, Mom and Dad