November 20, 2015 … 11 years



11 years ago tonight, with family and friends present, we exchanged vows and spoke sacred words. Today, we continue to live into those words. Tonight, we had dinner at the fabulous FIRE GRILL, once again.

I have shared before that there are three restos, that are at the top of the budget when it comes to dining out …

  • Fire Grill
  • Rueben’s Smoked Meats
  • Baton Rouge

This short list is a foodies paradise of good eats.

I am grateful that I live in Canada. Due to recent events, in the world, people are at odds, and words are being spoken, that are totally, out of left field. I’m not sure most folks, politicians and leaders alike, know what they are saying.

My tight group of friends are at odds with each other, because of differing views of current events, and what each of them thinks, as to what we should do and how we should do it.

The ties of friendship are being tested. And if a second conversation that needs to take place, because the first one began and ended badly, doesn’t heal the rift, I am afraid that my circle will be broken over non-negotiable statements.

We are Canadian. And we, for the most part, share Canadian values, and for some, that is not good enough. Everybody has a right to their opinions, because of their origins, how they were educated, and how they each decide to live their lives.

No One Person has the definitive answer, because, let’s face it, we don’t. I don’t think a real, tangible, solid, workable answer is possible amid the heat of argument and prejudice.

Let us keep each other in our thoughts …

Notice I did not say “prayers…”

Religion has become a dirty word. People are choosing to incriminate all, due to the actions of “a few.” And that does not bode well, for an entire community of people, world wide.

One day we will see this for what it really is, and we will shake our heads and say to each other …”Was I really that stupid?”

Yes, we really are that stupid.

At least I can unfollow people. And I can turn the channel, and better yet, I can totally turn off my computer when it all gets to be too much of hateful overload.

More to come, stay tuned …


Sunday Sundries – Relationships

tumblr_lx332xnuMf1qajbwho1_500 justathoughtfulmindCourtesy: Just A Thoughtful Mind

It was reported by my sponsor tonight, that when he awoke this morning, up North, at the cottage, that the temps were in the low single digits. We haven’t seen single digits yet, overnight, but little by slowly, the nightly lows have dropped into the mid teens.

We need at least a week of (Tens) for the trees to trigger and begin to turn.

The weekend weather was stellar but will go down hill overnight and well into Tuesday.

We sat a full house tonight, and we got the read and the discussion all the way around the room, and a cake to go with it this evening, ending right on time.

The first section of Experience, Strength and Hope, deals with the stories that were collected and published in the first edition of the Big Book back in the late Thirties.

Those first one hundred sober folks, did not have the Big Book to read, nor Steps to work, nor any of the tools that we have at our disposal today. They had their long suffering wives, their children, and a sparse handful of men, who found the solution.

Within those first 100 sober folks, who counted days and months as something incredible, they only had each other and their story telling ability. It was the spoken word, shared between one alcoholic and another. That is an incredible thought.

A common story, told by an uncommon story teller.

A common theme runs throughout those early stories, that of the:

“Sodden drunk husband, and the long suffering wife with kids in the background.”

It came up in discussion tonight, how many of the wives mentioned in most of the stories, stay. They use all their powers of refusals, denials and threats to get their husbands to quit drinking. Those first stories speak about the wives getting very savvy and find the solution, and then physically driving their husbands to “Town’s Hospital” in New York City for treatment.

They do not mention “A” particular hospital, but we know from other sources that it is indeed Town’s that many a drunk end up in. From historical literature published much later, we learn about this system and how it worked.

Funny, that in the end, for many drunk husbands, it is the wife who figures out what to do.

Back in the day, one did not read, often, of divorce, but separation is common among the stories. Divorce, was a taboo subject, and was not reported often. Which led to the comments about relationships by some of our folks tonight.

Many of our women noticed the long suffering wife, who stayed by her man.

When I was born in the late 1960’s, alcoholism was rampant. We are three generations strong in the drink. I’m not quite sure if my brother perpetuated the drink, into his own kids.

None of the women in my family would have left their suffering husbands because of the drink. It seemed that those pesky wedding vows, kept them beholden to their sodden husbands, for better or worse, and in good time and bad. They accepted their lots in life and dealt with it each in their own ways.

My father had always told my mother, that she could never leave him, because she had no place to go, and would have no money to get there either. My mother was a captive Canadian wife, whom my father assimilated into American life. She would not have had the wherewithal to find a life on her own, even if she thought about leaving him.

Alcoholism was an evil scourge for us. And God forbid, anyone talk about it openly, or complain about the drunks, running amok in our lives. Nobody ever said a word.

I imagine that today’s divorce rates are high due to many things. We see many separated and divorced folks in the room today. It is not like it was decades ago, with women not having a say in their destinies and lives.

Women today have the ability to tell us alcoholics to “Go Fuck Ourselves…”

The other discussion that came up was about guns. In this particular story, our man is drinking with his buddy. And at some point, both are sodden drunk, and are trying to figure out a way to get back into the house and past their wives, and between them come up with a number of salacious stories about how they got so drunk.

One story goes like this … Our man, sodden with the drink, is standing on a bridge, ready to jump and holding a gun to his head, and his buddy comes upon him and saves his life, and is not delivering said man to his long suffering wife… They end up, not at home, where they planned to go, but in the hovel of a space, where the buddy lives. He has a gun, and attempts to shoot himself, but the gun is empty. Which sends our man running for the hills is fear, and he ends up home, where his wife is waiting … with the solution …

Which brings up the story about Angry Larry …

One of my stories that is in the book talks about my friend Larry. He is another AIDS survivor. Back in the day when we were all sick and dying, many of us were trying to get sober as well.

Larry used to bring a loaded gun to the meeting and he would say that he would either get sober or he was going to kill himself. That went on for a long time.

Larry eventually turned it around and became a leader of the community.

Back in the day, when we were dying of AIDS, heterosexual mortuaries, Read: Straight folks, would not touch a body with AIDS. They would not prepare the dead, nor allow anyone who worked for them to have anything to do with an infected body.

People were turned into the streets.

Larry, in his infinite sober wisdom, figured out what to do and did it gladly.

He built a mortuary. He got a license and opened his services to the community.

Larry did what the straights would not. He allowed his friends to die with dignity, gave them a place to be where family and friends could mourn them properly.

Larry broke the stigma and was celebrated as a hero amongst us.

Let no one forget what he did for the least of these.

It was a good night, everybody is well.

We’ll see you all soon.

Friday – “Complete Security?”

pope_francis_quote_graphic_1024x512-1-1024x512“Fear of People and of Economic Insecurity will leave us.”

It was another stellar day today. And it was a Go, Go, Go kind of day.

I had some shopping that I needed to do early on, then I was set to have a meal with Baby Mama, while baby LuLu was napping.

I spent some cash on some new summer clothes, that I was in great need of. One of my friends, is a huge inspiration and has great sense in clothing. And as I was shopping, I was thinking about him. I found a few items that were on sale, and I had never seen the shirts before, so that was a deal.

I returned home and went to buy a meal for our lunch date. Single Motherhood is no walk in the park. And trying to build a home by ones self is a daunting task. Thankfully, she is not alone. We have an entire team of folks on twenty four hour duty for her.

While the baby was sleeping, (thankfully we had two hours of peace and quiet) we ate and spoke of many things. People have been coming and going for the past few days. A crib was delivered last night. Today, another woman brought curtains and more pillows for her bed. She also donated an entire bedroom suite for her bed style. So far, the bedrooms are complete with bedding, curtains and furniture. The last room to be furnished will be the living room. We are seeking a driver to ferry them over without having to pay a small fortune for a mover.

I brought new clothes with me to change into because I needed to hit the Shadows meeting at five, where on of my guys picked up his two month chip. Now he is two months clean and sober from all substances. Next month, on his third month, we will assign him a single date for both, so that he is tracking one timeline instead of two.

We went for pastries after the meeting, then hiked back to his house up the mountain, where we found his fiance home from a day of bridal dress shopping. We invited her to come for the Friday Night meeting. I was very pleased to see a Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on her bedside table, which started one serious discussion of all things “Potter.”

YAY for Harry !!

A few minutes later, we made a fifty one bus to the Friday meeting. I usually take that bus, but coming from the East, traveling West. This bus was an Eastbound route. I quite enjoyed the bus ride because the route is a remarkably touristy ride, past beautiful neighborhoods that I had never seen, with million dollar houses, and tall stone churches with pristine yards. It also goes past Saint Joseph’s Oratory, the most important of churches here on the island.

We all decided, in the near future to spend a day trekking this route together as a day event.

We made it to the meeting with about thirty minutes to spare. And we scored the ever important Front Row sobriety seats at the table. And the topic tonight talked about “money,” which in turn lead to the mention of the PROMISE, noted above…

It was good to hear shares from across the spectrum concerning this topic.

After I had said my piece about how we learned to respect money and how to properly use it, pay bills, buy food and still have ample, if only just enough, I thought of a particular story that I wanted to write about here.

Do you remember back in the day, father’s went to work and made the money, and mom was in charge of spending it, properly. Back in those days, we did not have credit cards, (we’re talking about the seventies) we either had cash, or when necessary, a check.

I remember my mother using the checkbook, with the ledger.

We would go to the grocery store, and wait in line for the manager of the store to sign off on a check, affording my mother the ability to spend a certain amount of money. Over time that amount would rise. In the eighties, when big box grocery stores appeared, the all important check approval routine was still alive.

Alcoholism was alive and well in my family. My father provided everything we ever thought we needed, but we were not spoiled with riches and spoils. When we moved for the last time as a family, my father climbed the financial ladder so well, it afforded us a three bedroom house, with two car garage, a one acre yard, with many fruit bearing trees, and the biggest ticket item, a screened in, in ground pool.

We had arrived.

Among the families we grew up with two were middle class white, and the third, was the richest family we had ever come to know. They had the same lot, same size, same acreage, and pool, but they were “better off” than my father had ever known. My father could not compete, but he damned well tried. One Ups man ship was the call of the day.

By the time I moved out of the house, I knew how to take care of a house. I had had several part time jobs, so I knew the value of the dollar and the ethic of work. But with stars in my eyes, and alcoholism on my back, I set off to find “gay” in the gayest city of Florida, Orlando, the home of the Tragic Queendom and the ever popular “Parliament House, hotel, pool bar and show lounge.”

Sadly, Alcoholism was rampant. I was powerless and my ethic of work for money fell apart.

The money I spent on alcohol over the decade of my twenties, would probably have bought me a home. And the cash my father paid out to get my car back from repossession, took a direct hit on their retirement for sure. One fact my parents never forgot.

Where they managed money and drank, well on both accounts, I failed at miserably.

After I was diagnosed with AIDS, I was shit house poor. Thankfully the money Todd paid me, more than compensated for my financial situation. What I did not know in the beginning, was the price I would later pay for survival. Back then, twenty one years ago, we got second hand medication from dead people to start with because there was nothing new on the horizon.

Two years later, in 1996, I fell, quite unexpectedly, into a treatment program in Miami, where I began to pay the ultimate price. Imagine how much life saving drugs cost, when you have no insurance. And you are living on social assistance, (that’s welfare speak).

Medication ran thousands of dollars a month. THOUSANDS !!!

Thousands that I did not have, even working under the table, until I got so sick, I almost died to get on disability. I literally stopped taking my pills, did not shower for weeks, and ended up in that social assistance office, where I literally coughed on my social worker, and fearing for her own life, she finally signed off on my application, after four rounds at trying.

That was a sub human existence.

I would not wish that ordeal on my worst enemy.

I am sure, had I stayed in the states, I would be long since dead already.

I think about the things we did to stay high and drunk boggles the mind.

And the amount of money we poured into our addictions.

I don’t know how I survived. Maybe my will to live, was alive and just waiting for me to finally stop and get straight. Or something greater than myself had my survival on His mind.

After getting sober this time around, all those years ago, we had a bare apartment, with shoddy furniture, broken appliances but a roof nonetheless.

It only took thirteen years for us to learn about money and how to use it properly. We learned what it was like to have nothing, together, to having a little, and sometimes barely enough. But over time, we learned how to respect money and we learned about what “enough” was.

Today we have enough.

I’ve never been so grateful in my life for health, life and love.

Instead of spending THOUSANDS of dollars a month for medication in the U.S.A. For all of my medication, ALL OF IT, I pay no more than Eighty dollars a month.

You think the decision to move North was wise ???

I do. Certainly.

More to come, stay tuned …

Friday – The After Party

Do you believe in Love

“… Then too, damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness, very deep, sometimes quite forgotten. Therefore, we should try hard to recall and review those past events which originally induced these conflicts and which continue to give our emotions violent twists, thus discoloring our personalities and altering our lives for the worse.”

This passage, from tonight’s A.B.S.I. is taken from the Twelve and Twelve, and it speaks towards Step Eight … Making that list you are going to use for Step Nine … The Amends.

The first step to make, in this effort, in my belief, is to forgive ones self. After probable years of self hatred, self abuse, self loathing, and beating ones self up with the drink, or drugs, we have come to the point, if we are IN our steps, that we have decided to get clean and sober.

But with that decision, comes a second decision we must make, in order to get better. And that is to take ourselves to task for what we have done, what others have done to us, and how we feel about those two factors.

I was talking to my friends after the meeting about these decisions. If we take these steps and we are moving towards completing our steps, we must be prepared for whatever emotions come up, whenever they come up and deal with them, (however we are able, at whatever stage of sobriety we are, at that point) This is not the easier softer way for most of us.

Dealing with the wreckage of our pasts, for some, as it was said tonight, creates for many, a state of P.T.S.D. about our addiction as it played out. Now we decided to get sober.

The deal is, that we don’t run back to the bottle or the drugs when things get tough. I want so badly for some of my friends to walk forwards and just DO IT.

That means the rest of us have to step up, get off our asses and DO SOMETHING.

If people, men or women, don’t have proper support, 24 / 7 then what good are we to our fellows? I did what I had to do to get better. And God provided me with opportunities to be present, and I take that responsibility very seriously.

It went as it was going to go. This reading brings up specific feelings about the past and many of us spoke to this issue. I was not the only human being in the room tonight, who has heartache and may not be able to properly complete my (read: our) steps a full 100%.

In the end I spoke my piece, not to seek pity or a love fest, but there are very few topics in my life today that spike me into un-sober behavior. This reading speaks, also, to emotional sobriety, which was also brought up tonight.

There are days and holidays which I work very hard to get through, and not loose my composure and I teeter on the edge of a cliff of un-sober thinking, acting and speaking. Steps Eight and Nine, for me, are sore subjects, because I will never get the resolution I am looking for because I have learned and come to accept that I am powerless over people, places and things.

At the end of the meeting, I was standing outside with friends, and the meeting matriarch came out and stood in front of me and looked me in the eyes as she hugged me, saying that I was a wonderful human being. I was almost driven to tears, because I knew what she was trying to tell me and show me, one human to another.

I love my friends. They make all of this possible. My friends have my back and I have theirs. I’ve said before that where else could one go to be loved so much and someone there for you when ever you need them to be?

We are totally blessed.

I am 47 years old and today the United States made history. Gay marriage is legal across the United States. So many Republicans and Preachers have the sadz …

The evangelic base is stirring like hornets. And the battle lines have been drawn. Obama Care and Gay Marriage are the wedge issues that are going to fire up those hell bent voters who disagree with both decisions, as the White House celebrate their winning streak.

Those wily homosexuals got their win today. And you can take that to the bank.

In the end LOVE WON.

All we want is to be recognized legally. And like a friend said earlier today, now everybody can be as happy or as miserable as the rest of those who have marriage rights. Divorce happens on both sides of the fence. Now the gays can do the same.

But I know, most gay folks put straight folks to shame when it comes to marriage.

We do marriage right, we do planning right, we get the flowers right, and we get the music right. Many old timer couples have been together much longer than their straight counterparts. NOW it is legal for their unions to be recognized by the constitution.

We will see who wins this argument in the coming years.

Heterosexual divorce is up there in numbers. I encourage my gay and lesbian friends to put those straight people to shame. We will show you just how good we do marriage.

Well Done Supreme Court.

It was Great day and a great night.

More to come, stay tuned …

Sunday Sundries … Fired Again (read: Self Sabotage)

tumblr_mny6xdcYk61qmbg8bo1_500They warned us that it would pour down rain today … We are still waiting on that.

It was a beautiful day, albeit a little steamy. Everyone was prepared for rain, that has not materialized yet tonight. Today is the first day of Summer, and it is also the longest DAY of the year.

I had a long discussion before the meeting with one of my friends about family, dogma, resentments and anger. And we both agreed that it takes a pretty good amount of energy to live with these issues in our everyday lives.

I wonder what it takes to tap that kind of negative energy and from what well it comes from and how some people can live that way and be fruitful and productive.

I don’t have that kind of spare energy to devote to those kinds of things. I need all the energy I can get just to live my life as freely as I do today.

**** **** ****

We sat a full house. Our men and women are engaged in step work, which is a very good thing for them and for us.

Today we read “Fired Again.” This particular story happens in the early teens and twenties, well before the conception of the fellowship. And one thinks, how did these people get better when help was still a ways away.

So the story, as it happened, fell before Dr. Bob and Bill were introduced, yet this story comes from the First Edition, which means, that our man, in this story, was introduced to the good doctor at some point in his life, and finds the solution.

Family alcoholism is not a new concept. This problem, for me, can be traced back, three generations. By the time I came along, and my brother as well, alcohol was a major food group.

It was part and parcel of everyday living. My father always said that he would rather have his children drink at home, then going out to get it. And that was the line we were fed early on, when getting beer from a 7/11 was the routine.

Alcohol, for our writer was the constant, around which he tried to build a life, get a job, find a wife, get married and have children.

You could say this story wreaks of “All About Me.”

From a very young age, driven by the disease of alcoholism, he would get work, want to be the best and make the most money, and if he found out that someone was making more than he was, he would quit said job and go somewhere else.

This routine repeated over and over again. Later he would end up fired from several jobs in succession.

This is All About Me, You aren’t paying me enough, turning to, I can’t get by, I need to make money, I want a life, a wife and money, but I am hampered by unrealistic expectations, and the desire to drink is stronger than the desire to get along with my life.

Unsatisfied with the mere gratitude and satisfaction of just having a job during that period of time, and making some money, where ever he went, alcohol followed.

We read shades of self importance, arrogance, self centeredness, and resentful attitudes.

There was no pleasing this guy, given the times he was living in. You might say that some one barely getting by, living from hand to mouth, would be satisfied with just having enough.

Just enough wouldn’t fly for him, he had to have MORE.

The disease of MORE was alive and well, even during those days.

Not only MORE, but MORE on his terms, or no terms at all.

You play the game my way, with my rules, or I am taking my ball and going home.

It is apparent that for many years, our alcoholic man, was living in his insanity, expectations that were well outside his ability to reach, and a drive that ended in the hole, monetarily, personally, physically, morally and spiritually.

Throughout the story, our guy realizes at certain points, that the drink, might be the problem. So he moderates and for a bit, even stops drinking, on his terms, by himself.

Well, we know how that routine usually works out.

The next step is sanitariums and institutions. Which he does several trips through. He attempts the Three Day Cure, once, twice, three times, and a longer stint in detox.

But he fails and drinks again.

In the end, facing a very distraught wife, sullen children, severe debts, and nothing to show for his efforts at working, due to his superior expectations, comes full circle. Finally, his wife, hears about the good doctor, in turn she turns her husband on to him as well.

Our man has a moment of clarity when he writes … “If these men can get sober and live within the means of The Solution, then I can get sober as well.”

He could not do it on his own. Alcoholics, left to their own devices, don’t have snowballs chance in hell of staying sober, without help.

Some, in today’s day and age, would beg to differ, and argue that one can, using one of many techniques today’s world can offer.

It came down to the one tried and true route …

One alcoholic talking to another.

By the end of the story, our man is introduced to no less than twenty men who found the solution, by common identification, and got sober. These first men would be the integral, core founders, of the fellowship.

Alcoholism is rampant way back. And the more dire the situations, the stronger the desire to drink. The whole mystery of alcohol is alive and well, and the attainment of alcohol was the most important task of those early alcoholics.

These first stories run on that common theme. One alcoholic talking to another. That’s all they had, each other. Can you imagine what that must have been like? It was by grace that these folks got and stayed sober. If not for them, we would not be here.

Everything we have and everything we are, comes because of those first 100 men and women.

We are lost, if we forget the contributions of the first founders.

More to come, stay tuned …

Tuesday – Life Update & Working with Others

BabyL2It’s a baby …

It has been a very exciting couple of days.

Monday early on, my lady friend and I set out for the airport, via the express shuttle from our local Metro Hub. Arriving at the airport, Baby Mama’s flight was due in twenty minutes early, which only gave us a few minutes heads up to get flowers for mama and a balloon for LuLu.

In the arrivals area, there is a barrier that one is not supposed to cross, into the baggage claim area proper. People were crossing the barrier in front of us.

Across the arrivals hall we spied baby mama and LuLu coming. I crossed the barrier and went and greeted her and gathered her luggage and stroller/car seat contraption.

It was a cathartic moment, the day we all worked so hard for, for the last year.

There were tears and lots of hugs. Then the realization that mama was here and that it really happened.

We gathered the bundles and ourselves and took a taxi to her condo where she is staying. It is right down the hill from where she will be living come July 1st.

I have to say that AIR BNB have some really nice properties. And kind folks running them.

The condo is a basement suite with washer/dryer, (read: Fully furnished to high spec) Full kitchen/dining room, Full size bed/room, Fully stocked bath. Security system and A.C. and Heating. The living room is handsomely furnished with a flat screen HD tv and surround sound stereo system.

While we unpacked, the reality was starting to hit.

My lady friend took mama and baby grocery shopping, my old sponsor picked me up and we headed home to get the boxes and furniture that has arrived here for the baby. We drove back to the condo and unpacked and I put together the furniture and un-boxed the rest of the goodies baby mama had ordered.

We were all famished and exhausted, it seemed neither of us got very much sleep Sunday night, we ordered some Chalet Barbeque and shared a simple meal. Miss LuLu was a handful and was beginning to realize she was some place new, a new home and lots of new faces.

I think it was all a little too much for LuLu.

We took our leave around seven, when the second string ladies came to visit with mama and baby, so she was not alone. By the time I got home, I was pooped. I crashed.

This evening I met mama and we walked up to the meeting, stopping to show her where she would be living next month. Everything is local. The daycare is just down the road next to the new hospital complex, adjacent to the Vendome Metro station.

The new apartment is up the hill just a few minutes walk, and is equidistant between Villa Maria and Vendome Metro’s. The Tuesday meeting is just across the street from home.

The folks at the meeting tonight were warm and welcoming. The issue of the baby did not come up, it was wise that people kept that opinion to themselves, because by the end of the meeting Mama was in tears of gratitude that she was so warmly welcomed.

All part and parcel of who we really are. Warm and welcoming.

We finished Joe and Charlie. 35 weeks of Big Book lectures.

And the angels sang, Hallelujah !!!

If there is one thing this group has proven in the last year, is that we will go to any length to help our friends. Inside or outside the room. It took a village to make this event yesterday come together. Finding a home, seeing it and securing the address, going to the daycare and arranging baby care, (that was no small task). Then taking care of arrival and getting into her home, away from home.

This is departure week for my guys. Summer Camp starts next week, so people are traveling to get settled in early. Summer Camp is home away from home, it gives our folks another perspective so that they can devote their other skill sets to the task at hand.

Bittersweet because they will be gone until late August.

We are all very grateful and we could not be happier to have baby mama and miss LULU home with us. Their new chapter of life is now open.

More to come, stay tuned …

Sunday Sundries … Window of Opportunity

tumblr_l8yig0qgFp1qbsveko1_500 billypazionisCourtesy: Billy Pazionis Flickr

It was a beautiful day today. Absolutely stunning.

It was a usual Sunday afternoon. I took the long way to the church to enjoy the sun, and arrived with plenty of time to set up. Our early crew arrived shortly after. Numbers are up, as season kicks into gear, the Sunday meeting is a very popular stop on the city sober tour.

The sober train is in full motion, with the Round Up coming next weekend. The area is hosting open houses in the East End, opposite the West Island event over the weekend, next.

We sat a fair crowd and read “My Wife and I,” from Experience, Strength and Hope. The stories from the First Edition were collected from amongst the first 100 men and women who got sober, when the fellowship was in its infancy.

The time period we are talking about it just prior to the Great Depression, during and the years that followed. Some of our writers were young, in their twenties, when the drink began to take them. These stories parallel the lives of our young people, as well as the rest of us, the timeline is the same, but the circumstances and social conditions were a bit different.

Our story opens with a young couple, low on funds, have high aspirations as to how they want to live their lives. It was a good match that our man found a wife who was smart, astute and a very good thinker, because he was going to need that, later on.

What ever one had prior to the great depression, was laid wasted when it fell.

Everybody suffered.

Alcohol is a relentless foe. And little by slowly, it took our man to the depths of despair.

Trying to manage a business, family (read: children), a wife, and the drink, during probably the most difficult period is U.S. history, was challenging.

All the while, as our man was sinking, his wife was reminding him, sometimes more forcefully than at other times, what he stood to lose, what they had lost and what they had in meager terms. He ignored these words, and kept drinking.

However, his wife was steadfast and in the end, it was she who contacted Doctor Bob to come help her husband.

During the read, the wife speaks to one lady doctor who introduces her to another doctor, who we assume, if the reading is correct, is Doctor Bob. She asks him for his help.

The conversation goes like this …

“Does you husband want to stop drinking, or is he merely temporarily uncomfortable? Has he come to the end of the road, (Dr. Bob) asks his wife.

There is discussion between them.

Dr. Bob visits our folks at home.

Our man knew, in the beginning, that he did not want to become one of those “rummies!” But the drink had other plans for him, he not only drank, and drank hard, he became that which he tried so valiantly to avoid.

Dr. Bob greets our man saying … “I hear you’re another ‘rummy,’ he said as he smiled and sat down beside me. I let him talk. Gradually, he drew me out until what I did tell him gave him a picture of my experience. And then he put it to me plainly. “If you are perfectly sure that you want to quit drinking for good, if you are serious about it, if you don’t merely wish to get well so that you can take up drinking again at some future date, you can be relieved,” he said.

I told him that I had never wanted anything as much in my life as to be able to quit using liquor, and I meant every word of it.

“The first thing to do with your husband,” he said, turning to my wife, “is to get him to a hospital and have him defogged.” I’ll make the necessary arrangements.

It was Doctor Bob who finally got our man into recovery.

I heard a young person share tonight about the “window of opportunity.”

For our writer, the window of opportunity opened, at just the right time, and our man was “ready and willing” to hear the message. As we have talked recently, that very particular window of opportunity opens at the oddest of times.

It opens and either we hear the words, or a human being appears at just the right time, carrying the message, which we either hear and understand and we make a move, or we ignore that message or human being, opting for further descent into the pit of alcoholism.

Those windows, don’t stay open for very long, but they appear when we might least expect them to open, and as experience has shown us, alcoholics are the last persons to “get the message” because we are insane and hard headed.

But as it has turned out, those of us who are “in the fellowship” were afforded windows of opportunities, and we are sober today, by the grace of God.

Oprah says that “When God speaks to us, it is in a whisper, and if we don’t pick it up the first time, He whispers again, if we don’t pick it up the second time, He hits us in the back of the head with a two by four, if we ignore that hit, then He drops a Brick Wall on us.

More to come, stay tuned …