By Laura, Ontario
Reprinted with permission
We moved to the country over a year ago. I drive about 11 kilometers to the closest Al-Anon meeting. The group is very small, but I know it has good program. There is so much caring between members and I feel so good by the time I go home. It is different from the big city where there are many meetings within walking distance every day of the week.
At the beginning of December, we discussed having meetings on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Both fell on our regular meeting night. Members who had been in the program for many years said they had not done it that way before. During the Following week, one member phoned me to ask if there could be a meeting because it is a difficult time of the year. I said surely that would be possible. Our group talked about it the next week and decided to hold the meetings.
The weather can be pretty bad here at this time of year. We have a system for phoning each other to decide if we are going to have a meeting. As the weather was fine on New Year's Eve, three of us were very happy to meet on that special night. We had just started the meeting when a new person walked in. She was not from this area but was spending time with her parents who moved here recently. It was her second Al-Anon meeting, having been to one meeting in her home town about 200 kilometers away.
It turned out to be an evening full of magic--good Al-Anon spirituality. One person was attending her second meeting. A second member had been in the program just over a month. There was another with 14 months and the "old-timer" with 17 years. As it was the last meeting of the last month, the topic was the Twelfth Tradition--but we also discussed Step One, slogans, the three Cs and sponsorship. Even though the newcomer felt lots of pain and was afraid of the future, we also shared lots of smiles and laughter.
It reminded me of how grateful I am to be in this beautiful fellowship. I may have paid a personal price to belong, but I am forever in debt to Al-Anon and AA. What I have today is sobriety in our home for many days at a time and friends from both programs. I am living with a Higher Power so close that I can feel it any time, every time.
I remember my feeling of belonging when I came to my first meeting and the hope that I felt for a better way of life. I wanted what the Al-Anon members were giving away for free. These same feelings and the program's spirituality were evident this past New Year's Eve.