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Grapevine : September 2011
room, I asked God to help me to be present. As I sat there, looking into his eyes, I did what Jim had taught me: I paused and asked God what he would have me do. My intuitive thought was that Jim and I had prac- ticed all that we needed to. We had been through the dress rehearsal of what this would look like. There was little more to discuss. I asked Jim if everything was in order, if there was anything I could do or anything he needed. He simply stated there wasn't anything left to do. He was ready to die. Be- fore I left, Jim asked me to get a wet rag and I cleaned off his face. It wasn't embarrassing, for we had shared our thoughts and souls with each other. We had shared living and dying together. After nearly seven years of friendship and weekly meetings, Jim's time to go home finally came. We knew dying was a process, not a singular event, and agreed that he would make me aware of the final days. Because Jim had shown me how to practice letting go and how to practice accepting that which I cannot control, I had already begun the process of letting Jim go. I was meditating one night and Jim came to mind, so I called. He was crying when he answered. "Elliot," he said, simply. "I love you. It's time for me to go home." He shared the profound impact on his life I'd had, that I had taught him so much. I tried with all of my concentration to hear everything he was saying so I could forever re- member it. I repeated much of the same message back to him. It was a short conversation, because we had been practicing for this day. We had said everything we needed to say. We were prepared. Alcoholics Anonymous has al- lowed me to stay sober, marry the most amazing woman in the world, reunite with my family, and give me friends and a life I never thought imaginable. AA introduced me to Jim, taught me to show up for the lessons available and afforded me a life-changing companionship filled with rich experiences. I wish everyone could have a sponsor like mine and a relationship like we had. Alcoholics Anonymous needs more people like Jim, people whose words are as good as gold. Elliot T. Indianapolis, Ind. Everything was about the practice--- the practice of living a spiritual life, of being a good person, of being honest, of having a relationship with God, of being a good husband, etc. aagrapevine.org 19