The Gift of Giving: A Small Tribute to My Sponsor

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. – Ernest Hemingway

Normally I would write about the lessons that come from my Monday morning meeting.  While the meeting was as awesome as always, the topic of today’s meeting was Step 4, and since I am committed to writing about the steps each week for the next 12 weeks, I will save this topic for a future post.

Instead, I want to write about an experience I had yesterday.  I mentioned numerous times in the past how instrumental my sponsor has been in helping my recovery.  She spent many hours with me, one-on-one, taking me through the steps in the most in-depth way, more so than most people I encounter in the Fellowship of AA.  She is always available when I need her for ongoing support.  Most recently, she is a tremendous source of guidance as I stumble my way through the early stages of sponsoring other women.  In short, she is a gift from God.

The one challenge my sponsor and I encounter is our geographical distance, because we live about 45 minutes from each other.  Because of this distance, Anne and I do not run into each other in meetings, and our sober support networks are very different.  There is some overlap, but not much.  There happens to be one woman who attends the same Friday morning meeting I attend, and we are both lucky enough to be Anne’s sponsees.  This woman mentioned to me, in passing, that she was planning a surprise luncheon to celebrate Anne’s AA anniversary, and that I was welcome to attend.  I got the date, time and venue from her, and told her I would be there, but that is all I really knew about the celebration.

I arrived, yesterday, at the restaurant, thinking that it would be myself, Anne, and maybe one or two others that I probably wouldn’t know.  What actually happened was this:  we had our own room within the restaurant, and we needed our own room because there were 22 women all coming to celebrate the anniversary of the woman who had helped each of us get our lives back from the disease of addiction.  22 women!

I wish I had a picture of Anne’s face as she turned the corner into the room of women waiting for her.  You know that play of emotions… first confusion, then shock, and then the tears start flowing?  It was all there… she truly had no idea she was coming to a celebration just for her.

For me, the experience was just overwhelming… to see that much love, and that much joy, in one room, was awe-inspiring.  These are 22 women who would not know each other in “normal” life… in fact, I thought I was the only “odd man out,” since I had come the furthest distance, but as it turned out, many of the women did not know one another.  We had two things in common:  we are all alcoholics, and we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the woman we were honoring that day.

I know, for myself, that I have thanked Anne numerous times, and felt I could never repay her all the time and attention she lavished upon me.  Every time I attempted to verbalize these thoughts, she always told me that she was getting so much more out of the experience than I knew, and that someday I would understand how much she enjoyed teaching me the 12-step program.    Spending time with all the women Anne has helped through the years, and seeing all the lives she has touched, I know one thing for sure:  I am so blessed to have met this very special woman!

Today’s Miracle:

I wrote last week that I had a goal of getting to as many different meetings as I could in an attempt to market my own Monday meeting.  Today’s miracle is that, as a result of my “marketing campaign,” I had 3 new attendees at today’s meeting!

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Posted on April 15, 2013, in Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. How wonderful! What an amazing gift to her. I can’t imagine how much it meant to her to see all of you there, together. Like you said, one of the most amazing things about AA is the opportunity we are given to meet people who we would never normally know (or even hang out with!). Thanks for sharing!

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  2. As I read this, I have tears of gratitude. Thank you, Josie! I am overwhelmed & so grateful to have you in my life! I love you, my friend & sister in recovery!

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  3. Utterly beautiful. The power of one alcoholic helping another and carrying the message, personified in this wonderful celebration not only of Anne and you lovely ladies, but of AA as a whole. We are people who would not normally mix. And yet, there we are, there YOU were with all of the women that Anne helped in one room, celebrating sobriety and recovery. What a beautiful thing. And you are seeing the benefits of sponsoring yourself. You are seeing why it is that Anne, or any other sponsor, tells their proteges that they are getting helped as much as they are helping. We are here to save each other’s lives. Simple as that.

    What a testament to this program. And to you. And those around you in your support and recovery life. You are as blessed to have Anne as she is blessed to have you. Your enthusiasm and dedication to this program is an inspiration. Wonderful.

    Blessings,
    Paul

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  4. This is so wonderful! Thanks for the much needed smile today! ~ Christy

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