“I have these moments
     All steady and strong
     I’m feeling so holy and humble
     The next thing I know
     I’m all worried and weak
     And I feel myself
     Starting to crumble.”

When I got sober they told me “Get a sponsor, shut up and listen. Your life,” they said, “will improve.” Thirteen years later I honor the process that, one day at a time, has made each year, including this, better than the previous. There are no bad times—just bad moments.

John is middle-aged, married and Manhattan-savvy. Me? I’m…(ouch), 61, a divorced Clevelander and seek Zen watching Seinfeld. Still, on the last day of December, 2009, I sat at his dining room table.

“Would you sponsor me?” (I’d wondered if he saw it coming. Did he know David moved? How would he? What’s the difference? Why is asking someone to sponsor you so much like asking a girl out on a first date?)

Sans animation, (is it wisdom or just maturity?), he assented.
“Call me every day.”
“OK,” I said thinking “Gee, I didn’t do that with David.”
Twelve months later, like so much in hindsight, it was the greatest of blessings.

The last day of April—a Friday, like when they shot JFK. I was smiling long-distance into the phone, marveling at the imminent birth of my granddaughter. There, without warning, swiftly, emphatically and inexplicably…the bat was taken out of my hands.

     ”The meanings get lost
     And the teachings get tossed
     And you don’t know what you’re
     Going to do next.”

The greatest promise achieved through recovery has been my ability to look the world in the eye. I can. Still, I knew on that day, in that moment of infamy, that my first call was to John. It wasn’t about drinking—hell no.
The easiest thing I do each day is not drink. My concern, though, was my thinking…my actions. I get a daily reprieve based on spiritual condition.
John, I knew, would point my in that direction. And he did.

We talk most days, John and I—but not all. IT comes up here and there, usually not. I share the phone calls, tell of pictures and he knows well that I’ve asked and asked, but stand rejected. His counsel, though, from Day One, has been constant:

“Your job is make sure she knows you love her.”
“I do,” I tell him. “She does.”
“Then you’re doing what you’re supposed to.”

     “You wait for the sun
     But it never quite comes
     Some kind of message comes
     Through to you.
     Some kind of message comes through.”

Some times I cope better than others. Fact is, five—maybe six days a week I don’t think of it. I’m fine. Still, with all the joy that is Max…knowing but ten miles away crawls another jewel, Haley…

“Fly Rabbi Skoff to New York!” shries Helen bi-weekly. “Keep doing what you’re doing, ” says John.

Let’s see…whom should I listen to?

In a crisp shirt and blue jeans I sit at the office: Monday in an ever-quiet last two weeks of the year. Snow falls outside and by mid-week the airlines will post weekend specials. I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go.

And smiling.

     “Love when you can
     Cry when you have to…
     Be who you must
     That’s a part of the plan
     Await your arrival
     With simple survival
     And one day we’ll all understand...”

                                 D. Fogelberg

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