Look at that smile! This is my beautiful daughter, heading for a party on her 23rd birthday.
She's on the top-10 list of reasons why my life is so blessed. She has a good job, and a fine man, hopes in her heart, and gifts she has only begun to explore. She has her hurts, but she has her faith, too.
Milo is her name, and she was raised in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
She knows all the slogans by heart, and her intuition is strong.
She came by the house last night to share a song that made her think of me. I was sitting with my husband and an old-timer AA woman who were both helping me make arrangements to go for psychiatric help.
God sometimes sends us out to be the Big Book in some needy person's life. Last night, Milo was my Big Book, reminding me to be honest, trust God, and wait patiently for His help. She cried a little, hugged me a lot, and practiced the principles of courage, faith, and tenderness with those who are hurting.
I have tried all the years of her life to be the mother whose love is abiding, forgiving, encouraging, and strong. I have tried all these years to be the mother I didn't have. She says I have succeeded. And while she is afraid of my mental illness, she believes in my sobriety, and she knows recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous will pull us through, no matter what we face.
No matter what we face, we don't have to give up, give in to the compulsion, and be the failures we used to be. The 12 Steps change us. They give us an all-powerful God who can carry us easily in His arms when we're too weak to take another step.
Sometimes that God makes us an instrument of peace in another person's life, if we're willing to be used. He makes music in us, no matter how decrepit we might be, that sings hope into another's heart.
I have to go pack a bag and drive to Santa Barbara for help with my medical condition. But if she should read this post today, I want to leave her with a message: The future awaits us, one day at a time. It is good. We are loved. We can make a difference in someone else's life, if we just reach out a hand in a time of need.