Akron continued

A room in the ……. I’m drawing a blank! This is the house next door to Dr. Bob’s house, which is also dedicated to AA history. At the left of the picture are some artifacts from Dr. Bob’s medical practice. Within the room are many many books, some photographs and other things.

This is me looking at some of the pictures of some of the first hundred members. Most of the books within these cases are not AA books, but rather are books that the early members used to study and actually develop the steps.

More of the first one hundred, as well as letters and other documents that were saved and preserved.

It amazes me when I think for minute what recovery must have been like for those early few. I struggled so, even with the vast network of people and meetings and books that were and are available to me. I owe an awesome debt to those people and their courage.

A painting of Bill and Bob.

The Mayflower Hotel, now a personal care home. It is where Bill’s business deal fell through, and where the bar and the pay phone both beckoned him. He called a random pastor, asking for a drunk to help, and from there was lead to Dr. Bob.

From there the series of coincidences is amazing, and goose bump producing. The personal care home allows AA visitors to enter the lobby where Bill made that phone call. There is a replica phone and phone list, and we sat for some time in that space. This time, with five of us on the trip, I really couldn’t think about it as much as I did seven years ago, when there were only two of us. I suppose it is a form of meditation to sit there and imagine the scene, and try to imagine myself in such a position, and to imagine all that needed to transpire in order for me personally to recover from alcoholism through the program of AA.

I have more pictures and I’ll continue with these next time. Now, though, something presents itself to me that I want to write down. It happens to me almost daily that coincidences occur that make me wonder if this is a higher power’s earthly influence. Surely the coincidences that occurred to result in the meeting of Bill and Bob seem to be just too handy to be real. It truly does seem as if there was a benevolent, guiding hand in all of it, making it happen.

OK fine. Let’s say that’s true. I just can’t wrap my mind around the pitiful drunks who died the day before this miracle. Why didn’t the higher power make this happen much, much sooner in human history? Why?

I understand this is a perennial question of human existence, and that I will not know the answer in my lifetime. And I do so appreciate the depth of what went on before me, and the fact that I benefit from it every single day. Even in the midst of my cynicism and doubt, I do get goose bumps at times. My emotional reaction is so strong, it causes my body to react.

I feel bad, in a way, putting these thoughts down together with pictures of that incredible, miraculous history. But I am, after all, trying to work the program in the 25th year of my recovery, in some new and deeper way. If nothing else, I hope this is at least honest.

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