unexpected honor?

Today as I was walking downtown with my little family, I received a phone call. I didn’t recognize the number so I didn’t take it. Later in the day, for whatever reason, I called the number back. Something I usually do not do, especially when no voice message is left from an unknown caller. But I was compelled. The woman who answered didn’t sound at all familiar. In fact, I told her she had the wrong number. I asked one more time, “Who is this?” She told me her name. Nothing. Than, she revealed we had met in that great equalizer of demographic, “in rehab.’ Oh. It hit me. I recalled her long hair, her worn face. Her watery speech of the long-suffering alcoholic. Yes I remember you. Susan. “You are only the strongest person I’ve ever met.” Me? Really? “Thank you.”
She spoke to her pets, “Oh those are my dogs, just a minute.” Background sounds. Shuffling. “How are you?” I was actually great. Am doing so much better. “I’m good. How are you? Did you graduate the program?” She had not. Something I suspected when I met her during her first week. “Oh no I left. I just didn’t …” something about a counselor and paperwork. And she asked me if I’d like to be her sponsor. “Uh I don’t know. I will have to think about,” my two young children dragging me by the hands. I told her I still go to meetings usually once a week, would she like to join me? “Uh all the way out there?” Yes all the way out there. Me, “We could talk about sponsorship?” She didn’t want it bad enough. I already knew. But why call and ask for a sponsor? Why call me? “And if you don’t like that meeting there’s another I sometimes go to, you could come with me.” But she didn’t want it. I suppose she wanted to hear a familiar voice as she drank her cocktail on the front porch during the afternoon heat. I don’t know what she wanted. I sent a couple of texts inviting her again. I went to my meeting anyway. I don’t feel disappointment, because I knew the outcome in advance. Most of the group that went thru treatment with me, either relapsed or didn’t finish the program. I hope one or two, like me, are clean today. But that’s a shot in the dark night of using and abusing. I prayed last night for my sobriety. Well more a thank-you. Each day, at some point, I offer up my gratitude. And seek a moment of contact with the Higher Power that is in me, all around me, and in everything …to say my sincere thanks for this life on life’s terms. It ain’t easy and change is so hard. But when the student is ready the teacher appears. Not the other way around. Many addicts or alcoholics haven’t figured out that part of the equation just yet.

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