Saturday, October 28, 2006

I’m trying to put together something to wear to a Halloween party tonight. I’ve already decided against a costume, but I want to wear something…….you know, “Halloweenish”. Honestly, my only criteria and number one requirement is I don’t want to look ridiculous.

I know, I know : “You shouldn’t feel that way”. “Page 62,” “Self seeking will slip away” Shut up, apparently I’m not there yet when it comes to my appearance.

On days like this I desperately miss my daughter Jolie. She moved up to Everett, WA in May. We’ve always been bonded tightly. Sometimes more like best friends than mother/daughter. There were years where we struggled with everything together. I guess that’s because while she was growing up, I was getting sober and growing up too.

Not having her in my daily life has been a trudge similar to my early sobriety. I just try to get through it one day at a time, dealing with the feelings as they come up. I surrender her to God and her own path every time I feel the ache.

Today I’m thinking about Jolie’s loving eyes. Not how they look, but rather how she sees me with them. Like so many women in recovery, I can’t always see myself clearly. But my little fashion consultant can. She sprawls on my bed while I’m getting dressed, and when I think I’m ready I look to her for the “nod”. If she rolls her eyes at me, I head back to the closet. The thing is, sometimes I try too hard. Jolie loves me just the way I am. And she’s honest and loving enough to say “you look good just the way you are. ” What a concept.

So back to the Halloween party. I need to figure out what to wear. I am in acceptance that Jolie isn’t here to help. So I decide, against my better judgment, to run it by my husband. He’s in the family room when I stroll out and strike a pose. He looks me up and down, and asks “have you seen the big , fat, rubber band I had laying on the counter ?”. God save me from alcoholic men.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

When I was growing up my dad had a zillion expressions to make us kids laugh.

So today…

In honor of my Father who I miss every day

In gratitude to all of you who showed me how to laugh again

And in order to say HAPPY HALLOWEEN


Sunday, October 22, 2006

These are pictures from Patrick's rim to rim Grand Canyon hike two weeks ago.
Evidence of the existence of A Higher Power wouldn't you say?

Today's prayer from Twenty Four Hours A Day:

I pray that I may build a house in my soul for the spirit of God to dwell in. I pray that I may come at last to an unshakeable faith.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"A man was lost in the desert and was near death for lack of water. Soon he came across a pump with a canteen hung on the handle and a note. The note read as follows: "Below you is all the fresh water you could ever need, and the canteen contains exactly enough water to prime the pump." What would you do?

Now that’s a question of Faith. Each of the steps in our program has a principle behind it, and Faith is the principle of the third step. The Step is: We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Turning my life over to the care of God was a no-brainer for me. I believe in a power greater than myself, and it’s comforting to trust in a loving caring God. But turning my will over is a whole other story! That means complete surrender. And that requires Faith.

It’s so hard to surrender my desire to control people places and things. I wake up, say the third step prayer, and give all my problems and concerns to God. By the time I hit the freeway I’ve got most of them swimming around in my head again.

I have a sponsee who is working her third step, so we talk about faith a lot. I tell her what I’ve learned is that we “practice” faith, and that yes, it can be a daily struggle. Fortunately, this is a program of progress, not perfection. Four times in the Big Book is the phrase “faith without works is dead”. So we’ll keep working at it.

Friday, October 06, 2006

When I was 15 my sister Caron pierced my ears with a sewing needle and a potato. We didn’t have permission or any money, but I wanted my ears pierced more than anything in the world. She put an ice cube on my ear lobe first, then jabbed that needle right through the earlobe into a potato (twice naturally, since I have 2 ears). I considered myself very brave at the time. Now, looking back, I realize she was the brave one. I can’t imagine running a sewing needle through someone’s earlobe while they squealed like a piglet, and then doing it again.

I have discovered over the years that there isn’t much my sisters wouldn’t do for me. I have two sisters. My older sister Caron is stoic and accepting of whatever life throws at her. She is content to live in “today”, giving her energy to her plants and animals, and she loves her children with a fierce obsession. She loved me enough in 1991 to make me face my addictions and enter rehab.

My younger sister Nancy is a social worker at Children’s Hospital in Orange. She works with children in pain and families in crises. Nancy has within her a gentle calm and spirituality that radiates. She is loyal and loving and has been there for me in my darkest moments.

I am right in the middle. It’s nice being in the middle. When we walk arm in arm, one of them is on either side. Having a sister is a guarantee that you will always have a part of your childhood. We have shared clothes, hair dryers, bedrooms, secrets, hopes and dreams. There are memories we share that are locked in our hearts forever. It is a powerful bond, thank you Caron and Nancy, I love you.