Angels have walked through my life, all my life. They have always been here. However, when I was running ‘Bob’s’ life, I was just too busy to notice; too self-centered to care or hear their quiet, soft messages for me. Today, in periods of quiet meditation, I can see where and when they have visited – and I am now able to hear the messages they had for me…
After a year of sobriety I began to ‘sense’ something ‘mystical’ in my life. In my quiet periods of reflection I began to awaken to subtle messages that were residing unprocessed in my mind. There were certain messages and experiences left by people who have now been out of my life for many years. Some of these folks were very prominent in my life; others just briefly passed through. I treated them all the same however; I was often too afraid, or too ashamed to hear what they had to say. It was always very easy for me to discount their messages as I continued to stumbled aimlessly through life.
As the alcohol slowly began leaving my system, I became more aware of the ‘blessings’ I receive when people come into my life. Recently three of these people certainly were ‘angels.’
The first is Ernie, a man built like a fire hydrant, and full of energy.
I was out on a layover in Tacoma, WA one evening, and not in a ‘good space.’ I was feeling “empty,” alone, scared – and I was ‘hurting.’ So I called (AA’s) Central Office and asked where there was a meeting nearby my hotel. This was totally uncharacteristic of me as I tend to suffer alone – as so many of us do. Anyway, they gave me the number of a church nearby, so I called and Ernie answered. I explained what I was looking for and he said he would be right over.
It wasn’t long before Ernie and a friend showed up. I stuck out my hand and he brushed it aside to give me a hug. What the Hell? But I went along with it, although I was not at all ‘comfortable’ with it. And off tot he meeting we went.
After the meeting Ernie said, “Bob, you look like you would like to talk. I can either take you back to your hotel, or we can go to a coffee shop or I can show you around Tacoma a bit.” I chose ‘Door Number 3,’ and off we went.
As we began driving around Tacoma, Ernie told me that he had 12 years of sobriety. I was completely comfortable with him. As we talked then began asking me how I felt about certain things. I would reply and he would note, “That sounds like if comes directly out of Chapter 5 of ‘As Bob See’s It.'” I felt kind of embarrassed for him – the book we use in AA is “As Bill Sees It,” and I didn’t want to correct him. So, I let it go.
A short while later I commented on something else he brought up, and once again he said, “Yep, that’s in Chapter 7 of ‘As Bob Sees It!'” Now I began to think, “Of all the recovering drunks in Tacoma, I had to find a ‘Space Cadet.'” Then about 5 or 10 minutes later, as I continued to ramble on, he once again said, “Chapter 3 of ‘As Bob Sees It,” – and then I got it! Duhh….
From that point on the conversation began to hold more meaning for me. I began to ‘hear’ him, for what he was actually saying. And then, after 2 1/2 hours of riding around, he took me back to the hotel. He gave me his business card and said goodnight. Then he gave me another hug, which was easier to receive than the one a few hours earlier.
The next morning I tried to call him before we left – to thank him for helping me. The number on his business card was invalid, and there was no listing for him in the Tacoma phone book. When I got home I tried again to get in touch with him, to no avail. So I wrote a letter to him, to the address on his card, and I let it go.
About 18 months later I was telling this story in a noon AA meeting; to illustrate how people walk have walked in and out of my life, and what they had to offer. On the way home I reflected a little more about Ernie, and then said a prayer for him. When I got home, I checked my mail – and there was a letter from Ernie! YGBSM! He just wrote to let me know my “West Coast Sponsor” was doing okay. Go figure?
The next ‘angel’ I want to tell you about came into my life when I had 18 months of sobriety. As I got to know her, I slowly developed a deep trust in her. I began to feel ‘comfortable’ with her. Slowly, ever so slowly, I began to reveal some of the very deep tormenting secrets I carried. Secrets that continually haunted me. Earlier I had tried to share these secrets with my sponsor. “Oh Bob,” he told me, “you can’t possibly feel that way.” and in saying that, he was denying me my feelings… This gal, on the other hand, just sat and listened. She didn’t try to fix me; she didn’t judge me, she just sat and listened. And through the non-verbal communication – a soft, knowing smile, a gentle tough from her hand or a hug when we departed, I began to feel “okay.” Not right away, mind you, but I began to feel okay.
I hardly ever see her today, but she still resides within my spirit. And I haven’t seen or heard from Ernie in years. One might think this ‘sad,’ however these ‘angels’ will be with me forever. Without alcohol I was able to let them touch my soul – to imprint my “Disk of Life.”
The ‘third’ angel I mentioned? Take a moment here and have a look in the mirror. You will see my 3rd angel. If I can stay sober; if I can stay out of my way and remain calm, I will hear you. So I ask this morning – through all my ‘bravado,’ and my ego – please bear with me as I struggle. Please don’t give up on me; I do, so much, want to meet you…