I went to the 6:30 meeting this morning. It took everything I had when I got home to get into my running gear and get out the door for a run. Oh, I am so glad I did. I ran 3.1 miles on a clear, cool, beautiful-blue-sky, Colorado morning. I meditated a bit on where I fit in the scheme of things. It is good to do that now and then...
I am a "slow" runner. I actually came in last place in a half-marathon in April of this year. There were 800 participants and I was 800/800. I was thrilled to finish. I always had a fear of being last. I found out it was OK. I could blame my age, I am 56, and that is old for a runner, but there is always some octogenarian who finishes ahead of me and ruins that argument! I could say, and I do, that in half-marathons there are probably few people who drank daily for 18 years and smoked 2 1/2 packs of cigarettes a day for 25 years. I won't say none, because there are probably some, and I am one, but there are not many.
But I think of my mother, who at my age was laying in a hospital bed approaching death. She didn't want to die, but death did not heed her wishes. The 40 years of Pall Malls didn't help her. She was 57 and I was 19 when she died.
On the day my daughters were born, I promised them that I would not leave them. And then I continued to smoke and drink. They were only 5 when I got sober. It took another 7 years to quit smoking, but I did. They are now 29 and cannot imagine a mother who drinks. My son has some vague memories of my drunken behavior, he was 7 when I got sober, but he still relies on his mother to be sober and reliable. (If all I got out of my sobriety was that, it would be quite enough, thank you very much.)
I am so grateful to a Loving God who tenderly brought me to the people in Alcoholics Anonymous to save my life. If I worked diligently for the rest of my life to repay this debt, I could not come close to breaking even.