Seemed overcrowded with alki(s). As I looked over the crowd I thought, “ damn there are a lot of old guys and gals here; a hundred of us. What a diverse and strange group. We all looked anonymous, couldn’t pick us out in a crowd unless you were one of us.”
Wish I could have taken pictures. People, standing around hugging, laughing, talking while juggling and eating off paper plates with a plastic fork in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. If you’re counting it would appear that they needed three hands. That’s what was so weird about it. It came off without any major food spills. Guess that happens when the love in the room overcome gravity.
Asked to speak (oldest) I threw away what I planned on saying and attempted to make out a list of all the wonderful loving mentors God had placed in my life over the fifty years (I had an up and down year prior to my sobriety date.) The list went on and on until I stopped, remembering the chairperson had asked me to keep it short.
Looking out over the audience as I took the podium I remember David C. and David G.. The bond between us was formed in sharing our strength and love with each other in our grief at “losing sons” the same year (2005). Since we worked together (I’m sure God had arranged it and really strange circumstances brought us together) we were a daily support to each other and we needed it. I paid tribute to a lot of my sponsors, finished the talk in the appointed time without mentioning either David and left the podium.
The next day I answered my cell. It was David C. on the line. He was in Charlotte NC, alone, attending a conference but was bubbling over. He had been reading my book “Joyous & Free In Spite of Myself.” He was beside himself with identifying with my story, the issues and the voices. He had also met a young man, new to the program, at the AA meeting the night before. He said, “you were there with us. We were one, the three of us. It was truly a “bonus” meeting.”
However what he was excited about was what he called the most amazing part of the evening and the frosting on the cake. Later and alone after his “bonus meeting” he checked his phone. Much to his surprise he heard my voice, apparently I was at the podium and he was hearing my “talk”. Evidently as I walked up to the stage I had mistakenly hit a redial or something instead of the silence button.