Friday, March 14, 2008

Cash & Prizes

I started to get sober 10 years ago, a week ago last Saturday. That's a lot of sober time. It also represents a period spent mending a lot of fences (and erecting a few new ones, too).

I got an e-mail this morning from a guy I've known since October of 1971. I think we probably liked each other a lot back then. I remember thinking, in those days, how nice he was and how I wished I could be a part of his inner circle of friends. But my disease took me elsewhere and even though we'd maintained a very loose contact with each other over the years, I never had that close friendship I would've liked to have had.

That all changed after I started getting sober. And that e-mail he sent me detailed, in a very short paragraph, how much I've come to mean to him in the last 10 years.

It made me so happy that I started to cry.

When I wrote back I tried to find the right words to let him know how grateful I am that by getting sober I've been able to finally get something I've wanted for years. To be his friend.

For the last several years he and his life partner, and another friend of ours, have vacationed together for a week or two just about every summer. My emailing friend and I tend to be early risers and I love spending a quiet hour or so with him every morning, sitting out on the screened porch, or on the deck, or somewhere overlooking the beach or water, just drinking coffee and yapping about nothing, something, everything.

The best gifts I've gotten in sobriety are the gifts of love and friendship. Anything else is just "stuff."

For an alkie like me, it takes a long time to come to appreciate the really important things in life. I'm grateful that I "got it" before it was too late.

Have a great weekend, everyone!