Friday, December 21, 2007

Ghosts

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.

5 comments:

Kathy Lynne said...

I seem to gravitate to the sages in AA thankfully and I do get told not to drink no matter what. There's one guy who sits next to me and everytime a relapser comes back in the halls he whispers in my ear, do you want to be like that? You don't have to be. Stay in your seat.

On the same token most of the people I am getting sober with, are people who have been in and out of AA. I'm the only virgin. So I find it hard to understand why they've failed and they don't get why I'm doing so "well" at 6 months. Sometimes implying that I wasn't "as bad" of an alcoholic as they were. For me its simple, not easy, but simple. I'm just following directions.

Pam said...

You are so brave and loyal to make that trip!
There was an old guy in the program who was always "bothering" me when I came into the program. Asking me about what meetings I was going to, reminding me that part of the sober count included weekends, pointing out old behaviors to me when I acted stupid, always saying "keep coming back".
When I went to the podium to collect my 1 year sober chip, I wanted to look him in the eye at the back of the room and give him a smirk...like "I DID IT, you old turd, now I'll bet you're sorry for bugging me"
Only....he was clapping harder than anyone else in the room. I don't know why I thought he did not like me. I so appreciate that he took the time to be honest with me in those beginning months of sobriety...he never worried about my "feelings"...he always worried about my sobriety.
Wishing you a great Christmas little ginger snap.

dAAve said...

Boo!

Banana Girl said...

The spirit world is never far from us. We call on them and they give us memories which gives us strength. They give us the courage to pass it forward, to love others until they are ready to believe they are loveable. Thanks MC for the reminders of ghosts and for going to any length. You are my inspiration. Keep blogging baby!

Scott W said...

We owe an incredible amount to those that went before us. Now we get to be there for newcomers. That is quite the honor.