This week’s HTYH is the end of Tim’s story: My wife has many letters after her name including a PhD. People in the program ask me if I’m intimidated because of my wife’s higher level of education. My answer is no because I’m so proud of what she has accomplished. When my wife came through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous, she didn’t have any letters or titles after her name. All of her titles including her PhD are a direct result of her relationship with God and that relationship was formed by A.A. meetings, working all 12 steps with a sponsor, service work, sponsoring others and working very hard one-day-at-a-time. My wife’s sponsor convinced her that she could become anything she wanted to be if she was willing to work for it. My wife believed in A.A. and her sponsor and after 10 years of dedication, persistence and perseverance she accomplished something that she never in her wildest dreams believed she could do.
At our wedding we began the ceremony with the Serenity Prayer and ended it with the Lord’s Prayer and in between passages were read from the book, 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. During the ceremony while the readings were read my mind drifted back to one of the times I was in prison. The guards said, “You can make any phone call you want, but it must be a collect call.” I could not think of one single person who would accept a collect call from me; not one. Because of A.A. and the miracle it performed in our lives our wedding had more than three hundred friends and guests in attendance. A.A. made the difference, that’s the difference between now and then.
About 7 years ago I was able to start taking care of my stepfather who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and I became his caregiver. It took more than nine years before I could drive in the State of Ohio and I was sober 16 years before my parents allowed me back in their house. Miracles happen and so if you’re new to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous please don’t leave before they do; stick around until the miracles happen. I can guarantee you that they will happen.
We finally put my stepfather in a nursing home in Sandusky, OH and then a big part of my life became taking care of my mother. When friends called and wanted to play golf on weekends, I declined. I said no because my mother had no other way of getting around. They said, “You have to be with your mother?” “No,” I said, “I don’t have to be with her, I want to be with her” and that’s the difference between my former self-centeredness and today’s altruistic way of living. In the end, the only things we can take with us are the things we gave away. After a long vigil my mother passed away while I knelt by her bed and prayed. Because of what I learned in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous I was able to let go and have faith and trust God one more time that everything is, has and always will be OK. We have some purposes in A.A.; we have a primary purpose to stay sober and carry the message to those who still suffer, a singleness of purpose; alcoholism, and a main purpose. My main purpose is to be of maximum service to God and my fellow human beings, not just in A.A., but everywhere. I want to say one last thing and it’s perhaps the most important thing I say: What we do between the Serenity Prayer (start of a meeting) and the Lord’s Prayer (end of a meeting), is not as important, as what we say, do and think between the end of one meeting and the beginning of the next one. The End.