I imagined that we’d have a full house, well, as full a house as we have had, but that was not the case tonight.
I have friendships that started when my friends came in and got sober. I am blessed to have these people in my life. A number of years back, I met a particular woman, she’s got a few years now, I’ve watched her grow up into the woman she has become. And I am so proud of her.
Just because we get sober, does not mean that life is going to get any easier. Sometimes it gets a whole lot worse, before it gets better.
Some time ago, we were talking and she told me her father was very sick, with cancer.
Then she said something that totally took me by surprise.
She told me that her father contracted (K.S.) for those of you who do not know what that means, Kaposi Sarcoma, is a gay related cancer that was the bane of our existence when I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994. It killed scores of people all over the world from the beginning of the Gay Cancer/AIDS era. It killed most of my friends who contracted AIDS, and with that, developed K.S. lesions all over their body, that finally killed them.
When was the last time you ever heard a heterosexual man, dying from an AIDS related Cancer ??
It seems that he was transfused with a tainted blood supply a number of years ago.
My work, deals directly with those in Recovery, Palliative Care for the dying, AIDS and HIV work, and Spiritual Counseling for those who desire words.
For the last year, my friends father has been in and out of the hospital, finally ending up in palliative care for the last few months.
Not Long Ago, she asked me about where she should devote her time, and what was the most important thing she needed to do? With her parents being older, and her father in palliative care, she and her sisters had to step up and do what they needed to do for their family, and if that meant missing a meeting here or there to do that, was that the right decision ??
Family is the most important part of our lives. So in no uncertain terms I told her that she needed to be with her family and to take care of her father and her mother, to the best of her abilities.
This afternoon, she stood by her father’s bedside, along with the entire family, when he took his last breath in this world.
His name was Francisco.
I got a text as I was leaving the building this evening. I wept …
I made my transit, not knowing what was going to happen.
The weather has gotten very cold. Quite bitter.
I got the coffee on, and set up the room. My sponsor and I spoke yesterday and he was due to call the meeting from Florida, where he is on vacation, to wish everybody a Happy New Year.
Quarter to Six, I was still sitting alone in the bell tower. My phone rang, it was my sponsor.
Last night he got very sick and ended up in a Miami hospital and was released this afternoon. Thank God for travelers insurance. I joked with him, asking what he had to pay out of pocket, and he replied, that he really did not want to know, he got good speedy care, the price for that care, was a non issue.
As we were talking someone came in the door downstairs.
My lady friend came to the meeting. She got to talk to my sponsor a bit, then we called St. John’s New Foundland, to talk to another friend, meanwhile another friend showed up.
We had an intimate meeting for her with three people.
She wasn’t sure if she was going to make it, so I prepared a reading and in the end, that is the reading we stayed with, from A.B.S.I. #303, Loving Adviser …
“Many of my dearest A.A. friends have stood with me in exactly the same relation. Oftentimes they could help where others could not, simply because they were A.A.’s.”
You can only sit in your chair for so long, before you either harden your heart, against your fellows or you engage and invest in their lives.
We always hear about people bringing meetings to those who need them, today, we brought a meeting to a woman we care about deeply. It was a most blessed evening.
If you are the praying type, offer your prayer for a man named Francisco.
Eternal Rest grant him and may Perpetual Light shine upon him.