My big day, my recovery anniversary day, is Monday but we’ve got plans next weekend and things are going to be hectic so we decided to have a gathering last night rather than try to figure something out during the week or wait till next weekend – and this after an awesome 29 cycle-run-cycle brick.
There are those who would throw an absolute fit that we did this early and actually chastise me for inviting some friends to dinner a day and a half earlier than my actual anniversary. Fortunately for my friends and I, sobriety is worn like a track suit, not a straight jacket – we allow ourselves a little flexibility when it comes to life – it doesn’t always fit in a neat little box.
We had a fantastic 3 hour-long dinner at Italia Gardens (Miller Rd, Flint Michigan – the place has some of the best ribs on the planet), more than 140 years of continuous sobriety sitting at the table between seven of us. It was quite neat to look around the table at my friends: My wife and I, married for 18 years. My buddy Dave and his wife, known them for just as long. My running buddies Mark and Dennis, we’ve known them for almost as long – and my buddy Pete and his wife (the only one of the group who doesn’t have a drinking problem to recover from). We’re all so much older now, but we’ve still got it.
A neat little side-story about my buddy Pete… He and I have been tight for more than a decade now and my buddy Grateful Jim likes to tell a story of Pete and I blessed him one day on a run (the emphasis on “him” is because this is a man who has opened his house and fed us every Saturday for decades so sober folks can have a place to gather and run together – how we could so affect him after all of his generosity was hard to fathom at the time). It still tears Jim up telling the story: Pete and I had known each other and run out at Jim’s house for quite a while and we both had new baby girls, though Pete had an older daughter. Pete and I were giving our wives some time off from the babies and brought them with us for a jog. So we’re out running, Pete pushing his daughter, me pushing mine in jogging strollers and we pass Jim up after about two miles. For Pete and I, while it was cool for us to be out pushing our kids around, we were just out for a run… What Jim saw though, was two young men who’d been able to escape the clutches of alcoholism at an early age, out spending time with their little girls and living a happy life that is only possible through sobriety. He saw two young guys making it where most don’t and teaching their babies early on the importance of staying fit.
Back to dinner, we sat and laughed and had a great time – and like most anniversary dinners in our tight-knit little group, the dinner focused little on an anniversary so much as it gave us yet another reason to get together, have a nice dinner, a laugh and a cup of coffee or two. After dinner, Pete and his wife and my wife and I headed out to see a movie before heading home for the night. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a day.
This morning, after sleeping in and with the girls at friends’ houses, Mrs. Bgddy went out for a nice ride to work off the deserts from last night.
It doesn’t get any better than that.