The year 1976 was a difficult time for myself, my wife, and our two children. I had just read in a "spiritual-type" book, that the next step to holiness was to pray for bad things to happen to myself. It is TRUE what they say--you'll usually get what you pray for, but maybe that was my lesson. I did learn the extent of the Power of Prayer (Ouch!). Everything bad which could happen, happened to me that year.
I moved our small family lock, stock, and barrel from Naples FL to Kirksville MO, to a university which had advertised for a Graduate Assistant who could play the violin. Hey, that was ME! (I found out during those 18 months that when they say, ..."earned a Master's Degree"...they really meant EARNED. No sissy achievement, that.)
One week after moving to Kirksville, I became VERY ill, and a teaching osteopathic hospital there took me in, tested me all over for ten days, could never find my problem. They (all the med students) seemed baffled. However, the POINT of the story: The Music School Dean came to visit me in the hospital, thinking that a fellow whose home was 1,700 miles away might be lonely. When he arrived, my room was FULL of people--we were having an AA meeting! The dean couldn't believe that I had only moved there four days earlier, and already had 2 dozen fast friends with flowers!
Only two years sober at the time, I learned that "we" in the Steps, means "WE"! And I learned early, that AA is the same everywhere. Though we may have a few differing openings and closings of meetings, the "down-and-dirty" part is one alcoholic talking with, and helping another to stay sober. Amen! I love it, and even love those memories of my early daze.