Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rose Scented Comfort

Friday night I returned a call to another AA member telling him I wasn't coming into town the next day so no, I wouldn't be able to chair the meeting for him. We chatted about other things for a bit and then he asked if I would be willing to be a speaker at the treatment center this coming week. Every week AA does a speaker meeting at the center where two people share what it was like (when they were drinking), what happened (how they found recovery) and what it's like now (how working the 12 steps has changed their lives). I would have loved to be one of those speakers, this week's meeting being nearly a year since I finished the program there. However, I had to decline due to family obligations that particular evening. I trust another opportunity to share at the center will come my way if it's meant to be.

This phone conversation took place before I found out that my friend Karen had passed away. When that phone call came my first thought was that I needed a meeting. I talked with my sponsor and left it open for us to go together to the meeting the next morning. I went to bed pretty sure I was going to stay home. I slept poorly that night. The next morning I was watching the energizer bunny be her cute self when I remembered Karen's small dog and how it had been her constant companion these past few years. How much joy it had brought her and how much that dog was going to miss her. Tears welled up as I thought all this and I thought to myself yet again that I needed a meeting. I had just looked at the clock to guage how much time I had before I had to decided whether I was going to go when the phone rang. It was my sponsor asking me if I was going to the meeting.

Just over an hour later we were both warming chairs at the meeting. That the doors were open, that someone stepped up to chair the meeting....I was so grateful. I told the chairperson that I'd no idea that between the time I talked to our friend to decline chairing the meeting and this morning that I would be the one who would need a meeting the most.

Yesterday I realized how safe I feel in the rooms of AA, especially my home group. I can cry in front of these friends and feel no shame or embarrassment about it. I could simply be myself without pretense, which included sharing how I glared at someone this past week with a fuck off times ten glare. How strange that recovery depends on letting go of pretense when often letting go of pretense in a faith community will get one ostracized. We have things a bit screwed up there I think. No wonder Philip Yancey talks in his book, Church,Why Bother? about how church should be more like an AA meeting. [Okay - I'm off my soapbox,now.] I looked at the guy who chaired the meeting and thanked him for opening up early, for chairing the meeting when he had other plans for the day.

My sponsor and I spent a few hours together after the meeting, having a leisurely lunch, and getting a few errands done. We sat in her car at the end of our time together and dabbed rose scented cuticle moisturizer on our fingers. That scent always reminds me of our Blessed Mother. Who better knows what grief is all about?

Last night in the dusky moonlight dearest one and I went for a walk.
That is my favourite way to spend time.
It was a comforting day all around.
Thank you for your prayers.


daisymarie said...

I'm with you on that soapbox!

Anonymous said...

Hope, I am so sorry about your friend Karen. I feel the same way about my home group too. Hugs out to you!