We don't get a "because" for every "why?" we ask-scream-cry-beg-demand of the world.
They told me when I first got sober that one definition of serenity is to live somewhat peacefully with unanswered questions. Sometimes it's not easy to do that. You lose your cool -- either dramatically or quietly, outwardly or inwardly -- and you have to find your way back to center. It's a straight line out but the path back can meander and double back some, I fear.
Especially in the face of tragedy.
Guy I used to sponsor took his life just the other day.
I found out this morning.
A terrible waste of a shining spirit.
But another guy I sponsor is going to be turning four years sober before the week is out. He's a real alcoholic, and his sobriety has been marked by a true spiritual awakening -- he has changed profoundly in his time sober.
Tragedies and miracles, tragedies and miracles -- the bittersweet AA gavotte.
We don't own that, I know. Hell, this time of year is happy and hard by turns for just about everybody -- and any given day, regardless of the season, can bring party favors or land mines for anybody.
But alcoholics do seem prone to unkind or untimely ends.
All day I've thought about that guy as I knew him. Helluva hard worker, earnest in his sobriety, a terrible wheezy cartoon of a laugh (like someone playing an accordion backwards), a heart full of love despite some rough times and a tough bottom.
I'm as guilty as anyone of throwing the word "miracle" around -- sometimes I fear I sound phony or insincere. As I type this, though, I've never been more earnest in my whole damn life when I say the following:
If you are an addict of any sort, and you are in recovery today, the word 'miracle' doesn't do that justice.
You're beating long odds against you with every single 24 hours clean and sober.
Doesn't give us license to play the martyr (even though there is much sweet mileage we can wring from that game).
But a sober life free from addiction is, indeed, miraculous.
seek a spiritual connection.
Tell your secrets to trustworthy folks.
Embrace what AA has to offer.
Try to help other people.
I mourn the untimely end of one alcoholic while I celebrate the life and sober anniversary of another.
And so it goes.
Tragedies and miracles.
Tragedies and miracles.
Some days it's like a whole damn life full of tragedies and miracles.