Tonight was my friend Annette's 31st AA Birthday. She asked me to come to the meeting and speak for her. I called earlier tonight and told her I couldn't make it due to horrible weather and terrible driving conditions. Then I thought about it. And I got into my car and drove the 10 or so miles to the meeting. She was happy to see me, and I was sure happy to see her.
The meeting hall was nearly empty. She said from the podium "that's all right, this hall is so full of ghosts, it's just fine." Then we recalled all the guys - they were mostly men - the guys. They would be lined up against the wall, the old guys. The sages. The wonderful old men who would cut you to the quick and you wouldn't even know you had been wounded.
I am so grateful for those old days. I am so grateful for those old guys. I am grateful for wonderful people like Annette. And my sponsor. And Annette's husband. And my sponsor's husband. They are all older than me, but not by much. It is scary to watch them get older.
But how blessed I have been to have had these wonderful people in my life! How blessed I am that they are still in my life. How grateful I am for the memories of the years in Alcoholics Anonymous. It is just miraculous.
To think of me - drunken Raton Mary - now a sober woman with a fabulous hairdo, a nice car in the parking lot, and a nice home waiting for me, talking at an AA meeting, at the behest of a wonderful friend, about my life as a sober woman.
I thought I would write this tonight. I hope to sleep semi-late tomorrow and then hit the 6:30 meeting. I might not have time to write - and once my day is in full gear, I won't be thinking about the wonderful meeting tonight. And I wanted to remember it. A snowy late December night in Denver, Colorado. A meeting at a hall that used to be crowded and smoky, and now is so full of memories, it really is resplendent with ghosts.