Last night, I was invited to attend the most inspirational awards ceremony. I went in support of a friend who’s hard work and commitment, of almost a decade, was being acknowledged.
He was one of many.
I felt humbled to be in the presence of such incredible people who, with great courage, had overcome massive hurdles and created such positive change.
Every seat was taken and people lined the walls.
Last night, I had tears in my eyes as I watched the women and men, girls and boys, walk down the isle when their number was called, 24 hours, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 1 year...
…and on up to 30.
The first ones were nervous, apprehensive, and exhausted.
But each subsequent group shined brighter and even more proud, as they walked towards the stage, accompanied by the enthusiastic applause and cheers of their friends and family.
High-fives, hugs, kisses and flowers. The mother in me wanted to squeeze every one of them and tell them how I proud I was!!!
I wished that the world could witness the beauty in that room.
Last night, I sat on a cold, folding metal chair under the bright fluorescent lighting of church rec room, and tried to stay warm while listening to the words of a survivor captivate several hundred people. His incredible story of immeasurable loss, strength and perseverance inspired us all.
What wonderful lessons for living, I thought.
And then I spotted an old, familiar face across the room and my heart just ached for the suffering he must have endured before bringing himself there. I went to say hello and to offer a hug.
He looked beaten down and broken, but with a half smile he remarked in wonder,
"Everyone here seems so happy. I’m excited.”
Last night, I went to an AA chip meeting.