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Grapevine : August 2010
a message of hope and recovery, and hasn’t had to drink since. My broth- er came to AA when he was 17—27 years ago—and hasn’t had to drink since. i am 23 years sober. My wife is 22 years sober. My other brother is 22 years sober. My brother–in-law is 18 years sober. My uncle is 17 years sober. My sister-in-law is 14 years sober. And my beautiful daughter is four years sober. That’s 178 years around my dinner table. Not all of my family has made it to our rooms. My aunt died from the dev- astation of her stomach and esopha- gus caused by her drinking. i buried my 42-year-old cousin on the night of my 17 th anniversary. his death was due to liver failure. Both had known of AA and had also watched what it could do for someone. it just wasn’t enough for them to surrender. i don’t know what it is that has brought so many of my family to our Fellowship. i don’t believe that God’s grace extended to me and not to my cousin. i don’t believe that all the people i have witnessed in AA who have died from this disease were any more or less capable of be- ing honest with themselves. We are all broken. The key to accepting a spiritual way of life came from that brokenness in me. Without surren- der i don’t stand a chance. i am always aware that people are watching to see if this AA thing really changes someone’s life, or if we just white-knuckle it. i tell them that i grow more in love with my wife every day. We are beyond just being satisfied. i have keys to all my families’ houses and we get together as often as we can. We are a loud bunch who love to sing and dance and laugh together. We never end a conversation without saying “i love you.” We have more friends than we can readily spend time with. i am liv- ing a life far beyond anything i ever dreamed possible. Alan D. Pascoag, R.I. Discussion topic T he author of “A family affair” comes into AA after his father and brother get sober. Then other family members, in- cluding his daughter, get sober using the program. “I don’t know what it is that has brought so many of my family to our Fellow- ship,” he writes. “Suffice it to say we all belong.” What has been your experience with family members you suspect are alcoholics? Why does one person surrender but not another? You may use this topic at a discussion meeting, or share your experience on the i-Say bulletin board, www. aagrapevine.org. Grapevine 21 GRAPE_16-21.indd 21 7/2/10 12:06:28 PM