One Special Tuesday

And how it brought a father and his daughter closer

By Jim B.

I got sober on a Tuesday.

I remember this because my oldest daughter, home from her first year away at college, walked into our home and said, “you’re a drunk and need to get to an AA meeting.”

She said some other sober and sobering things which got my attention. I attended a meeting that night.

I remember that Tuesday, in part, because as a librarian of the reference variety, I have a knack for numbers and dates. I am known, far and wide, for having answers. But I do, however, have a mild resentment toward Google, the competition. I am working on it.

I also remember that fateful Tuesday because after my second AA meeting that Wednesday I made a visit to Half Price Books on Ford Parkway to see if I could find a satisfactory copy of the Big Book. I found at least six hard-bound copies. I picked up the first one and began paging through it. No index! All the highlighting! The marginal notes! What kind of a manual for living doesn’t have an index?

When I picked up the last copy I was surprised to see, scrawled across the two blank pages of the inside cover, this inscription, “Welcome Jim.”

I immediately put it back on the shelf and promptly left the store. I was rattled. It seemed as if AA had been patiently waiting for my arrival.

Later on I shared with a sober brother that I had been to an AA meeting. He made several suggestions: attend 90 meetings in 90 days, get a sponsor and, lastly, buy a Big Book!

So that Friday, after attending four consecutive AA meetings, I returned to Half Price Books. I knew right where to go. But, much to my surprise, all the hardcover copies were gone! But, on a display standing right in front of me was a blue soft cover copy. I picked it up with some hesitation, and there on the inside cover, written in the most beautiful longhand was this little note: “To my good friend Jim. May your recovery stay as fresh as it is today! Your friend, Brother Gerry.” That book is with me still today.

Indeed, my sobriety has remained fresh because I have learned to surrender, acknowledge my powerlessness and accept things as they are. I pray and make quiet time for myself. I consciously practice gratitude and the AA principles.

Today, I have over 34 months of sobriety. I did do 90 in 90 and still get to as many meetings as a I can. I have a sponsor, carry our message to the best of my ability and know I don’t have all the answers.

And most especially, that first ‘Tuesday” has come full circle: Last week my middle daughter spontaneously hugged me in the kitchen and said, “thank you for taking care of me. I like you sober.”

I kissed the top of her head and said, “I like me sober too.”

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