I am grateful to have lived another year sober. I am grateful to have shared many sober moments with my daughter. I am grateful for sober friends who have inspired me. I am particularly grateful for sober friends who have challenged me.
One sober friend said something in October that rocked me and made me realize that I was being wrong-headed and stubborn. Thanks to that conversation, I was able to apologize to an old friend and we have reestablished a relationship that had ended 5 years ago. She wrote me an e-mail at Christmas telling me that one of the greatest gifts she received in 2009 was my friendship back. It just doesn't get any better than that. I have known her since I got sober, and her friendship is a treasure to me. Thank God.
Another sober friend invited me to join her and a group of folks who are running a 5K race tonight for New Years Eve. It should be fun. And for me, infinitely superior to trying to go out with "the gang" and have a good time - I am just not good at that. Of course, it is going to be so cold tonight that I HAD to go out and purchase a new outfit to wear so that I can keep warm. I never thought I would be able to do this at my age, I can't begin to express my gratitude for that. And I already have a head lamp so that I can actually see the path!
Yesterday was the end of the geriatric unit at the hospital. They bundled up the last patient and got her into a vehicle and out of there. Then they opened the doors to the unit wide. One of my friends called and literally said "come over and cry with us." And, you have to know that I did. When I walked into the building and saw the doors - which have always been locked and closely watched - wide open, and the hallway stretching out with no little people with walkers and wheelchairs littered about - well, I just cried. It is a terrible thing to see. No little assaultive delusional demented geriatric patients. Out of all the patients, I think they were my favorites. So many of them had good lives before the mental illness really debilitated them. No more. No more children, adolescents, or geriatric patients at my hospital. Just adults. All the closures (at least for now) are now complete. It should be a clean slate on Monday. Please God these last 4 months of crying on a daily basis are over.
This morning I went to the meeting and then out for breakfast. It was nice.
I am grateful for many things. Also sad about a lot which I am sure any reasonably astute reader can sense.
I am looking forward to 2010. I know it will be different. I know that different can be good. I have some goals for the next year. But for now, I am going to finish out this year on a high note. With a wonderful race, at a beautiful park (albeit in the dark), with some sober friends, with some warm and pretty clothes, in good health and reasonable happiness.
God has blessed us so abundantly.
Let's stay sober and safe out there, OK?