One of the interesting and most cherished things about my sobriety is the people who I\’ve known for 35 years. My life has moved around the country, but I have now settled in the place where I got sober and these people are still here. We are now all old. This story is about one of them.
As a 26 year old female, I entered the halls. I was single, pretty new to the mid-west, having come from California. Angry. Hateful. Shattered.
In the hall, I found people older than me, but much wiser. Every meeting was a discussion of wisdom I didn\’t have. I was new to it all. I admired these wise elders. By elder, I mean people in their thirties and forties seemed much wiser than me.
One of these people was a man named Milt. Milt had about 3 years in the program ahead of me. He was an engineer. About 50. He had a wonderful wife who was also in the program and very wise. Both of them had meaningful things to say. Their marriage and love was a thing I was jealous of, and dissed myself because I didn\’t have such a thing.
Milt had a habit of handing out hugs. He also always said, \”Has anyone told you they loved you today?\” And he, upon my no answer, would say that he loved me. That used to make me mad. I thought he was just saying it and didn\’t mean it. He had real love with his wife. I had nothing. No love for myself or anyone else.
Decades go by. Sometimes I attend that AA hall. Sometimes I\’m living somewhere else.
When I moved back to town 2 years ago, I started attending a meeting where Milt always goes. Now I am 61 and he is 89. His wife passed away several years ago and he is a cancer survivor. He still drives himself around and lives alone. Since the virus lock down, he hasn\’t been out much. Last night was the first time he has been back to that meeting. It is a small meeting and every body there is old. Everybody has decades of sobriety.
Last night, as I came in and sat down, Milt came over. He had an angel coin that he wanted me to have and he said he loved me. The meeting went on. Milt sat there behind his mask, looking around the room. He shared on the Daily Reflections. We closed the meeting and left.
This morning, I noticed the angel coin sitting on my counter. I thought about Milt and this long history of saying he loved me. And I thought about the fact that Milt won\’t be around much longer, and he knows it. I realized that I believe Milt loves me. That Milt loves everyone and all of life. That love is really Love, it is everywhere and true for everyone.
So stick around AA. Keep improving your emotional sobriety. You too will come to know Love.