A book you love
This book I love is not just a book. It was a gift from a very dear friend. It was a gift not only of a book, but of a chance to live. It came with love, it came with acceptance, it came with a guiding hand from a man that couldn’t have given more.
He gave his time, he gave the benefit of his experience, strength and hope. He gave me an opportunity and lifted me up to reach for it. Then, as he stood by and watched as I turned away and fell from grace, he waited patiently for me to reach out for that book.
This man waited 13 years for my call to say, “I have two weeks time.” When I did, I was afraid of what he would say. His words to me were, “Good for you kid.”
I picked up that book he had given to me and as I began to read, I remembered his words. I saw the writing in the margins of the pages, what he had told me to note there because he wanted me to see the importance.
I remembered him saying to me “What are you willing to do?” and I finally had the right answer. “Anything.” And so I gave heart and soul to this one thing, like nothing else in my life.
With this gift he gave me, he had given me new life, as surely as if he were my own father.
He was to all appearances a grouchy old man. His son calls him the Dragon. It is fitting.
He was a marine, served in the Korean war. He was tough on the outside, soft on the inside. He had a heart of gold. I carry him with me as surely as I carry this book. Third Edition, Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
In the fall of 2012, I called him one last time. We talked for over two hours. I am so grateful that we did. He shared with me and I shared with him. And then I asked him…
“Remember when you were my sponsor?”
He answered, “I will always be your sponsor.”
A month later, he passed over with 42 years of continuous sobriety and having left this place better for his being here. I am so very grateful for having had the chance to experience him and for the gift of this book that he gave to me. The bond we forged transcends all.
In loving memory of Tommy G.