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Grapevine : August 2010
and its devastating a ere ects, just one in a long string of relapses, but itwastheoneI needed to earn a one-way ticket to my home group and enjoy these many years of wondrous sobriety. I must have passed my home group's meeting place a million times on my way to the beer store and just chosen not to notice it. My first day back was a humiliating one. I walked into the newcomers' meeting, feeling worse than I'd felt in a long time. If pain is the touch- stone of spiritual progress, I was hurting enough to progress by leaps and bounds. I'd touched that stove one too many times and came away with what felt like third- degree burns. I was ready to surrender and, just to make sure, I pigeonholed two temporary spon- sors right a er the meeting. One of them eventually became my per- manent sponsor, and still is. I made 90 meetings in 90 days, worked the Steps like never before, got into some serious ser- vice work and did what my sponsors said. ree weeks into the program, Richard and Aunt Iris's son also has gotten sober and they have had recov- ery in their home for many years. Everyone had started to clear out from the Christmas gathering and my parents, my husband and I were scheduled to get back on the road shortly. But as I stood there in my uncle's house looking around at all his things, I knew he would not be coming back home. I heard God's voice urging me to go to him and say goodbye. I began to cry, and my parents, my husband and I all went to the hospital to see him. WhenIsawhiminhisbedI knew that he was not long for this world. All we could do was pray, so we held hands and prayed for him. My aunt and cousin showed up as we were praying and they joined in. My Uncle Richard passed the next morn- ing, with almost 27 years sober. I was ready to surrender, and I pigeon- holed two temporary sponsors right a er the meeting. One became my permanent sponsor. He told me, “When you think that the people at your meetings stink, it means that you really are the one who stinks.” Grapevine 31