Gratitude in Illness
by Bentley J. on Monday, 23 November 2009 at 21:37
Saturday night I read How It Works t the AA meeting. It’s a section of the fifth chapter of our basic text, read aloud at the beginning of each meeting, and usually takes about four minutes. It took me a lot longer, because I was stopping every few sentences to breathe. I realized I could have passed it to one of the people beside me, but I decided I wanted to get through it myself. Shortly before the meeting (it was topic/discussion) ended, the chairman asked me to share. I said, “I never realized how long How It Works is before tonight.” A few people chuckled; they all know me. Then I said, “I think that was my last time,” and I started to cry.
I cried when I went to The Open Line to get my turkey. It turned out to be a whole Thanksgiving dinner, potatoes and pie crusts and disposable roaster pan and all.
Tonight, Monday, November 23, 2009, I chaired the meeting. It was a good meeting. We read from a book directed at newcomers, and there was a lot of sharing on “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten” and “Stay out of slippery places” and “When adversity happens, practice gratitude” — of course, the personal stories shared were more than proverbs, they were strength of experience, wrapped in syllables.
After closing, while the lady I give rides to was helping clean up, I went into the sanctuary. It’s an addition, less than ten years old (I remember before it was there), and the acoustics inside are remarkable. I have gone in there half a dozen times to sing, by the light of the windows, after the meeting. Tonight I had a strong feeling it would be the last time I heard my voice in a Great Space. I sang with a long pause after each line, “God grant that the light of Unity . . . May envelope the whole Earth . . . and that the seal, The Kingdom is God’s . . . will be stamped upon the brow of all its Peoples.” I sang it twice. I sang as loud as I could. Then I sang part of the Ave Maria. I didn’t cry at the end, just listened to the vibrations of my voice fade into silence. Then I said Thank you.
Maybe I am finished crying about this.