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Grapevine : September 2011
bless America! Much of this senti- ment was tied to the freedom and opportunity we are afforded, but I was also thinking of the prevalence and power of the AA program here. Our family life improved. My wife joined Al-Anon, our friendships increased and we traveled exten- sively. All four of my siblings met my wife and baby. Toward the end of 2009, my wife was due to have our next child. Although we were able to get health insurance for my wife, the insurance did not include maternity benefits, so we decided to deliver the baby in Guyana, where there is free national health insurance. On Christmas Eve of 2009, my wife delivered baby Joy. Unfortunate- ly, Joy's lungs hadn't fully developed so she had to stay in the hospital in an incubator on a lung respirator. My wife visited Joy every day. I vis- ited every other day. At times, she improved. Other times, her condi- tion deteriorated. We prayed for and with her. Despite the efforts of the excel- lent doctors and hospital staff in Guyana, little Joy passed away on February 28, 2010. I was with a spon- see visiting another AA buddy at his home when I received the phone call from the hospital. The three of us went to the hospital to see Joy's body before it was transferred to the morgue. We had lunch, followed by a small business meeting for our home group. My wife was out of town with family, so I elected to wait until she got home to tell her the sad news in person, rather than over a cell phone. This was wise, as I was better able to give her the strength that God had already given me. We had a funeral service for Joy, similar to the one three years earlier for Peter. I did not make any deci- sions at Joy's funeral. I simply did whatever I was asked, and I had no resentments. During these sad losses, I never thought about drinking. Why? Be- cause I'm an alcoholic, who is con- vinced that one drink will end up bringing me to a hell deeper than I've known. I also believe our Big Book, which tells me of God's will: "We are sure God wants us to be hap- py, joyous and free." I'm convinced a drink will bring misery to myself and those around me, and that God never wants to see me drink. My wife, our three--year--old daughter and I have a very active and happy life today. Without AA, I'm convinced I would be locked up or dead. Sometimes, at meetings, I'll end my sharing with an AA jingle that came to me a year or so ago. It's taken from a popular commercial jingle for band aids, and should be sung with spirit and enthusiasm: "I am stuck on AA, 'cause AA's stuck on me!" Jimmy L. Arcadia, Fla. aagrapevine.org 13