Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas Blessing

There area days when a meeting changes everything for me. Yesterday was that kind of day.

I walked into an Al-Anon meeting last night (Christmas Eve). We had had family members visiting us for several days and I hadn't been to a meeting, one a very active 4-year-old. Yesterday, they were supposed to leave, but their plane was canceled and we are blessed to have them stay with us for two more days. As much as I love them, I admit the 4-year-old was beginning to wear on me and I went to a meeting for back up.

There are usually 30 or 40 people at this meeting, which is set up podium style. Last night, there were only 8 or 10 people sitting in a small circle. The die-hard members and the people in need. My sponsor, who is both, was there. She didn't make eye contact with me when I arrived. She looked sad and talked quietly with the person sitting next to her. Someone else came over and hugged her. It didn't take me long to get filled in. Her husband's cousin, Josh, had overdosed.His brother had done the same two years before. Josh's kids were staying with them. When it was her turn, my sponsor shared very movingly.

My day had been occupied with grocery shopping, trips to the airport, taking my granddaughter to the bookstore, fighting traffic. My biggest problem was adjusting to having a 4-year-old under foot. Here was a reality check. I got instant perspective.

This is a deadly disease. People die from it every day. Addicts, alcoholics, Al-Anons, too.

My sponsor shared once that she used to resent her mother because her mother attended Al-Anon. She had the tools of recovery available to her, but refused to use them. She prayed about it for years. Worked the steps. Couldn't get rid of her resentment.

Then, one day, a program friend said, "What if she wasn't supposed to."

It stopped my sponsor cold. That was the trigger. She realized that some people had to succumb to this disease so that others could be saved. Maybe her mother was sacrificed so that she could find recovery. It gave her a whole different perspective. She was filled with compassion for her mother, and remains so to this day.

Yesterday, I got a call from my alcoholic, my daughter, to wish me a Merry Christmas. She was alive. She was calling me to wish me a Merry Christmas. I can't remember the last time she did that.

Sitting in that room last night, I thought I am so blessed.

Merry Christmas, everyone.


  1. Perspective comes as a gift in the strangest forms. I am sorry for the loss of Josh.