A celebration like no other

A celebration like no other

This is no auditorium.
There are no endless rows of padded seats.

No one is standing at the door handing out programs, and no one will scurry to add chairs for a standing-room-only crowd.

Instead, at the front of this church hall stands a small table. There are no flags or potted ferns.

And certainly, no caps or gowns

Men and women in all manner of dress – from button-down shirts to tattered jeans – fill the thin lines of folding chairs. They clasp paper cups of coffee. Cell phones rest on their knees. The chatter is palpable.

These are people who know one another as surely as any college class or fraternity.

At the top of the hour, conversation stops. Eyes look forward.
The meeting begins.

No names will be called.

What does get called are blocks of time.
Who has one day of sobriety?  30?  90? 6 months? 9?

Until the months become years…

And suddenly, one day – some 12 years later – you are invited by the boy who got you into all this to stand by his side and give him the medallion he’s earned.

In front of those still yearning for their own moment, you proclaim your feelings.

How touched you are that your son invited you. How you had no idea what to expect when you sent him to South Florida more than a dozen years ago for treatment. How you could neither control nor cure his illness.

But somehow, by the grace of this program, he found a “cure” here…within this fellowship, in this place, breathing this sainted air.

And you say how grateful you are for AA  because it has given him what you could not.

It has given your son back to you – and restored him to the man he was born to be.