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Grapevine : August 2010
a room in the hospital, we let her know that she would not be coming home until she went through rehab. She refused and said she wanted to be released early so that she could make some important parties that her friends were putting on. But she did finally make it to the rehab wing of the hospital. She stayed there for several weeks be- fore we could visit her without be- ing verbally abused. When my wife and I picked her up when she was released, she ven- omously asserted that somebody had to take her to an AA meeting. I waited for my wife to volunteer, but the air grew so thick that I could hardly breathe, and I heard myself fumbling around with a very weak offer to take her. We made it through the first day, and then we both got into my car to go to her first AA meeting that night. She was on crutches, so I pulled into a handicapped spot and helped her out. I walked her over to the meeting door, opened it for her and let it close behind her. She pushed it back open with her crutch and asked me, incredulously, why I wasn't coming in, too. I begrudgingly followed her in, and we chose a spot at a table with some very questionable charac- ters crowded around the perim- eter. I remember each one of them even though it was years ago. We went around the table as they in- troduced themselves as alcoholics and proceeded to explain what it was like, what happened and what it is like now. When it was my turn, I fumbled for a moment but then found my voice and introduced myself as Dan, an alcoholic. It was an absolute un- mistakable miracle, and I have nev- er looked back except to speak of it as part of my story. Ihavelivedmylifeadayata time since then, and my daughter and I have forged a relationship built on the solid foundation of the Twelve Steps and Traditions. My sponsor walked me through the Steps of the program the way Bill W. and Dr. Bob intended. I've slowly evolved into the father that I should have been. My daughter and I have exchanged our amends. Words do not exist that would ad- equately describe how proud I am of her. She has moved from being an annoying blemish on my image to the center of my heart. She is amazing! My wife and I recently celebrated 28 years of marriage and our out- look is as optimistic as it has ever been. We can be this positive be- cause I am finally handling life on life's own terms and I have a tool kit for living. I am one of the most fortunate people on this earth. Dan H. Arlington Heights, Ill. Grapevine 15