I had my belated birthday dinner with my sponsor last night. We met about 20 years ago when I kept seeing her following me to the meetings. We were instant friends and she never gave me too many rules. She was real patient with me and always positive.
She is still the most uplifting person I have ever met. Even though her home life wasn't too uplifting and her husband spent his evenings standing by his pick up truck drinking beer from a cooler. I guess he didn't think she would catch on after a few decades.
I always really liked him he was a large bearded man with a sand paper personality. Very smart but pretty mad at the world. We always got along because I can be pretty scrappy too when I want to be. He never intimidated me with his mean exterior.
In those days they never went anywhere together. He worked and then stood by the truck most nights. I remember for years she cooked him something and left it on the stove and we went to dinner.
With what she learned in the program she started creating a life of joy for herself. She started traveling the world with friends and let him stay where he was for as long as he wanted to be there.
A few years ago something changed. He stopped drinking and started attending mass each week. Six months ago he started a diet and has lost nearly 100 lbs. This week they joined a gym together.
Last night we all went to dinner together. He talked about love and forgiveness and letting go of past resentments. Living in the moment.
Just writing this has brought tears to my eyes. It is a miracle and one that is a mystery to me and her. When he left the table she said that she has no idea what woke him up. She said it certainly wasn't anything she did. She just lived her life and let him live his. Maybe it was something she did. She let him live his own life.
So miracles do happen. People can get sober without us Al-anons pushing them along. Everyone has to find their own way. It is hard when you love someone to just sit and watch while they destroy themselves. This is why the program works. It says you have to take care of yourself and let the other person do the same.
We want to help someone be somewhere before they are ready. I think when you push people they push back. I know I do. The child in me says I don't want to do it if you want me to. I want it to be my idea not yours.
Just sitting across from him last night I thought wow is this really happening? I am still amazed that even when we give up, God's grace is endless.