Jun 29, 2016

Robert and Ruth L.

I first attended an AA group in Fayetteville, Tennessee, in 1982.  It would be over a year before I would find sobriety.  Nonetheless, I attended meetings at the Fayetteville Group off and on for the next several months.  They met on Tuesday and Friday each week at St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church on Washington Street. (At a later date, the meetings changed to Mondays and Thursdays when a couple of members had sons who were playing high school football.  Those games were on Friday nights.)

From the very first time I attended a meeting of this AA group, there were two people who always could be found there.  In the AA meeting, Robert L. was always present, and in the Alanon meeting, which took place at the same time in a different room, you could always find Robert's wife, Ruth.  Not long after I started attending, someone shared with me that Robert had over 33 years of sobriety.  He had gotten sober in 1949.

I simply didn't believe it.  Nobody could possibly call themselves an alcoholic and go 33 years without a drink!  I figured that Robert L. was some kind of a plant or fraud used to lure newcomers into AA by giving them false hope.  I couldn't even imagine the idea of years of sobriety.  It just didn't seem possible.

A few days ago, I looked at a calendar and noticed that I'm only a few weeks from my 33rd AA birthday.  I have a whole different view of the late Robert L.  I believe he had over 40 years' sobriety when he passed away.  He and his beautiful wife kept the flame of love and hope burning for many years in the little AA group in Fayetteville.  God bless them both.

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