When I saw a map of Manhattan in the newspaper earlier this week - pointing out where a plane had crashed into a building- I was reminded of this map. It has been kept safely in my big book since 1989, because it is a momento of a powerful experience I had.
I was sober 5 years, was going through a terrible time, and had gone to stay at my sister's house in the Hamptons for the summer. I found a morning meeting there and night meetings there, and after a month or so, got to know some fellow sober alcoholics out there.
At the end of the summer, it was time for me to come back to Denver. I stayed a day or two at my sister's apartment in the city first. On my last day there, my niece (she is now 10 years sober, but was just 18 at the time) and I took the subway to do some shopping. After we were done, I realized that she was not going back to the apartment with me. I absolutely panicked! Holy Cow! How was I going to get around New York City all by myself? None of it made any sense to me, and it was so fast paced and frightening to me! My niece drew me the above map and told me which bus to get on and where to get off, etc. After she left, I stood for a long time at the wrong bus stop, and finally realized it and went to another bus stop. By the time the right bus got there, I was really panic stricken.
I got on the bus, and heard someone say "Hi Mary". I looked around and it was someone I knew from AA in East Hampton. Oh my Goodness! What on earth were the odds that I would run into someone I knew on a bus in Manhattan? I went and sat with him, and he not only showed me where to get off the bus, but got off with me, and walked me to my sister's building.
I don't know when I have ever been so profoundly grateful for the Grace of a loving God and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous! I considered that a miracle that day, and I still do today. All of my needs are always met. I just need to always remember that.
Of course, I could go on and on with story, after story, after story... but I would sound like a boring old woman, so I will stop. Thanks for listening to this one.
"Some day we hope that every alcoholic who journeys will find a Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous at his destination." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 162