At the time, I didn't even know her name. She could see I was drifting. Sober three months. Living in AA limbo. She saw my fear, my hopelessness, my despair.
In June 1974 she simply handed me a brand new 24-Hours-A-Day-Book. She did not bark at me to "Get a sponsor" or "Work the Steps" or "You're gonna get drunk again" or "You'll never make it"... She said only, "Here--read this book". That was thirty-seven years ago (March 18, 2011).
And I'm still sober.
And I still read it.
Mary didn't stay sober.
She died drunk--way too young--several years later.
God bless Mary!
Her death was my first internalization of the power of alcohol, the life-and-death seriousness of our disease--alcoholism.
One more thing:
Funny. Mary had said to me, simply--"read this book"...and I did. EVERY day!
Years later I experienced another one of those AA flashes of light (insights) when a friend said to me, "All one needs to do to begin recovery is contained in the first three words at top of page 112 in the book Alcoholics Anonymous."
Well I looked it up. The first three words (a continuation of a sentence from page 111) are ".... .... ...."! How simple, how complete, how true! Each of these words are in my list of "AA FOUR-LETTER WORDS"....
You'll have to look it up to find out those three words, page 112!
"Twenty-Four Hours A Day" book is published by Hazeldon, Center City, MN