An Homage to Sponsors

An Homage to Sponsors

They serve almost without anyone knowing.
They save thousands of lives every day.

These are the men and women who serve as “sponsors” – those who have achieved recovery from addiction – and seek to help others achieve the same.

Sponsorship is just one feature that makes  AA and Al-Anon so extraordinary.

Sponsorship is free. It comes without financial demand.
What it does demand is an earnest attempt to follow the steps towards personal recovery, and a belief that it is possible.

Throughout Jacob’s early years in recovery I was fortunate enough to meet the men who were his sponsors.

How can a mother ever fully express her gratitude for someone who steps in, freely, to offer unconditional love and guidance to a son who seemed so lost?

First was an older man, small and lean, whom Jacob met soon after starting treatment in South Florida. I remember clinging to every word of hope this kind man shared.

But Jacob wasn’t quite ready to accept all he offered. At least, not then.

It took another sponsor, younger and closer to Jacob’s age, to become the person who would steer him through a recovery that’s now grown to more than nine years.

For him, too, I lack words to express my gratitude.

There is a third and current sponsor. He is the consummate professional with a respected job, a wife and child, whom Jacob admires and whose quiet counsel steadies my son in his adulthood.

This week, as we watch Jacob begin a new phase of his life, I think about these men. I wonder if they ever will know how much a mother appreciates their bringing her family to this moment.

Though not physically present, they will be with us as Jacob walks down the aisle towards a stunning bride – and a life filled with promise and hope.

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