20 years ago, Shirley decided to change her life. She decided she’d had enough of drugs and alcohol and she determined within her heart that she wanted to join the world of responsible adults. She walked into her first AA meeting in Springdale, Arkansas and made the choice to kick her addictions to the curb once and for all.
She didn’t know it at the time, but she was about to face the beast in all his evilness. Her life was going to effectively fall apart around her before it would get better. Within the first year of her sobriety, she was going to fight for her life and the life of her young son as she battled through a horrific divorce from her abusive and violent husband. She would lose nearly everything in it – friends, family, money, possessions; and yet it would be the right thing to do.
Within the first five yeas of her sobriety she would watch her sweet mother pass away of cancer. A woman who was always supportive of her; always willing to lend a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. The only woman who truly loved her despite her many life failings.
During her sobriety, she would celebrate many highs and many lows. She would find the “love of her life”, she would watch her son become a teenager, she would buy her own business, she would rekindle long dead relationships with her other children, and she would witness the rebuilding of bridges with old friends and even family members.
It is true that sobriety brings clarity to the patchwork of our lives. And just like a quilt, some of the patches are new and shiny and some are old and faded. Some patches remind us of good times and still others bring tears and pain. Every patch has a story; a memory; a lesson to be learned. Each patch is woven together with bright threads and skewed stitches – nothing is perfect in a patchwork quilt. Just as our life is a mesh of beautiful randomness.