He has been set on a path which tells him he is really going somewhere, that life is not a dead end, not something to be endured or mastered.
I went to a different kind of meeting last Sunday, a Big Book study that I go to sometimes. It’s a different crowd and the format of the meeting is different from the other meetings around here. I’m mentioning it here because one of the women, when reading from the book, changed the masculine pronouns for our “man” – “he” – and God to genderless words. They do that at my church, and I appreciate it very much. I remember attending a different church after probably several years of just going to mine, and the masculine pronouns for “God” and “man” hit my senses in a very jarring way. I hoped then, and still do, that when my kids hear those masculine pronouns they are likewise jarred, though neither goes to church. Or AA, for that matter.
So “she” – ME! – I have been set on a path that tells me I’m going somewhere. I don’t go for the destination in the “hereafter,” though I hope and think it would be excellently nice and good beyond anything and everything if the hereafter destination exists. My life I going somewhere, though, if even just to improve myself and my happiness and my usefulness on the road of happy destiny.
I still spend too much time trying to endure and master life. Today I am sweltering, mostly in my bedroom as Carole has taken Erika to look for a place for Erika to live while she goes to school for the next three years, eight hours by car away from me.
I absolutely approach this separation as something to be endured and mastered. My mind works the AA program in many automatic ways to help me go more toward serenity than pain and fear.
I think of the mothers, those I know and those I don’t, who have situations so much more trying than this. I’m humbled and really shamed by thinking of how good I have it in comparison to most. The gratitude about this situation is so huge and so strong and so obvious it exists almost like the very air I breathe.
Next I reach for things to take my mental energy. I write on this blog, I read others, I work on my crocheting and the lawn and make a list of people to call. I mentally note the people I know in real life who have been through this and who can help me with it.
I remember the path I took and the path so far with Erika.
I wanted a daughter more than anything else in life, when I was young, and the dream of that way really my most precious dream for my future. I could not, could not have imagined such a wondrous being as she is. Beyond my wildest dreams in spades and in truth.
All made possible by the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Without that, had Erika existed, it would have been a dangerous and terrible existence for sure.
Part of my strategy for getting through this day had been to concentrate on other things, now my contemplation of one line of Step 12 has veered itself back to Erika, since that’s where my mind and heart keep going. All this plus the knowledge that tomorrow it could all go terribly wrong. It will for lots of mothers and daughters on this earth, and I may be one of them.