Keith L. – AA Speaker – "Turning it over to God in recovery from alcoholism"

Thank You Katherine my name is Keith Lewis I’m an alcoholic I bring you greetings from the Midtown group of Alcoholics Anonymous we meet on Monday and Thursday evenings at seven o’clock in Wilmington North Carolina if you were ever there come by I promise you that you’ll be made to feel welcome just as I have here and I I really want to thank the committee for not only asking me but staying with me they asked me for last year and because of some physical problems I wasn’t able to make it but they were kind enough to invite me back this year I guess they already had paid for the plane ticket so I thought that you know and and I’d like to thank my lovely wife Julia for coming with me and I want to thank the committee for including her because many weekends I have to leave and go off by myself and you can just take one look at her and know how difficult that must be I I want to thank Catherine and Jack and Shirley and and just everybody who’s been so kind my my friend cliff and Pat who have hosted us they drove clear to the desert Wednesday and picked us up and brought us back to and let us stay in their lovely home and and it had just been wonderful I cliff had called me earlier and said that there had been a drawing and they lost I want to thank I especially want to talk you know being a member of Alcoholics Anonymous there are moments there just throw filled I mean I don’t know another way to say it one of those moments happen for me Wednesday when Pat and cliff picked us up and they drove over the mountains and Pat was driving and and Pat was doing 1015 at times 20 miles over the speed limit and she had this tremendous ability to drive through these mountain roads while pointing out points of interest and looking at me in the backseat it was an amazing thing to her tremendously and I really want to thank John for this beautiful Club that that he gave me he told me at the it’s an honest program and he said it that the worst golfer was going to get that Club and I was surprised to see him give it to me I really was he was putting with it he was on my team and I think that’s what went wrong you know I want to thank the other speakers too I like my cup is already running over my friend Vince last night was was just fantastic and the family thing this morning was just wonderful I I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed anything as much and you know in my friend Craig I played golf with Craig and Craig is really the kindest man on the golf court the most gracious man I’ve ever played golf with and I really mean at me whatever you did he no matter how wrong it was he’d say something nice and I was I was over on the ninth tee and as a the par-3 and and I walked a 6-iron over in this ditch and Craig watched it and you know 40 yards of course in a ditch and he said it was the right distance and I said but it’s in a ditch Craig I you’re in for a treat tomorrow morning with Marcy she’s from from Georgia and I’ve had occasion to be with her and I hope she’ll tell you about her lovely sponsor she has a sponsor named Maggie who is probably single-handedly responsible for more sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous and anybody I personally know and I was privileged to lead a retreat in Coleman Alabama for for Maggie and and I got to thank her I had a dear friend named Bob Brown who passed away a couple years ago and then Bob was just a wonderful man and and I was privileged to be with him at the end and when he passed away and we talked and his only friends Kenan and he said that one of his regrets was that he never had the opportunity to thank Maggie Maggie were in the biscayne room which was a place in in Georgia before they allowed us alcoholics before they discovered insurance and a lot of Alcoholics and hospitals that Maggie would take people off the street and detoxify them in a Biscayne room and she saved my friend Bob Brown’s life and before he died just an hour or so before he died he said one of the things he regretted was that he never got to thank Maggie and and I got to thank her for my friend Bob you know Alcoholics Anonymous

is an amazing organization and I’ve been with you well next next month will be 27 years and you never cease to amaze me who and what you are and which you have made me as a result of who and what you are I’ll be profoundly grateful for as long as I live someone said to me one time you ever get tired of getting on airplanes and doing those things and this maddening frankly answers yes I’d love to stay home and practice my golf game and John would have liked that too and and and everything else but you see I can’t because I’m hopelessly in debt to you I owe you everything and and I’m so deeply in debt that I can’t even pay the interest on the principal and if I spend the rest of my life thanking you it’ll never be enough I’ve been in California for a while now is that from Fresno a couple weeks ago and I went down the desert and spent some time with my brother and and got over to Paramount speakers last week and and I’m just thrilled to be here if you’re kind of new here and I know we met some I met a one man named Dominic who came over from Arizona delighted easier he’s got about five months which we would all agree as an awful lot or not drinking five months and but if you’re kind of new here what I’ll try to do tonight at least to the best of my ability is is to tell you a little bit about what it was like what happened and what I’m like today and I’ll try to do that and if I fail it doesn’t matter because Monday morning I’m on an airplane either way but you may want to talk to the committee I was born in a small town in Ohio and a place called Martins Ferry if you hadn’t been there I wouldn’t bother but I’m the second child the eldest son and they were I had nine brothers and sisters and am Irish I won’t tell you what church I went to it’s gotten a lot of play this weekend I’ll tell you that and I will give you a hint it’s got something to do with bingo but I’m not gonna say any more than that and and as I think back on it now I think that one of the things that characterized my childhood was the fact that I was scared I think I was born scared I I also had the idea that I couldn’t talk about it and now nobody ever said that to me I brought came up with all of this myself I I’ve been sober or came into a a too long ago to have learned about the child within and I don’t want to be critical that I really don’t but when I came and they didn’t tell me anything about healing the child was and they told me I to discipline a little child within and that’s what the problem was but but but I didn’t know that I was seeing life differently than other people of course I didn’t because I never talked about it but most of all what I was was afraid in arenites I’d lay in bed think of thinking about what it was I was going to be I was afraid of and and I would come up with all these things like you know five years old and I thought about everybody all the men seem to get married which meant one day I’d have to get married and I didn’t like girls all that much and and who would marry me I mean my ears stuck out you know I look like a taxicab with a rear door open and and I was a skinny little kid and I had something lived under my bed and it was it was only there when it was dark and and I could press my little ear I guess the mattress and I didn’t move here moving around down there and I knew what it was there for I mean I intuitively knew that it was waiting for me to dangle my little legs over the side of bed not sit gone I knew that and and I couldn’t talk about any of these things and I just imagined one day the family be at breakfast Nate say where’s Keith they say all know the thing under the bed got him and uh an awful way to live had a speech impediment and and only the people who who loved me understood me and and they treated me like I was normal and I am grateful for that but but I was just a screwed-up kid and and I was always looking for solutions for life and I came up with some great solutions the problem was it didn’t fit the problem but it was a great solution I’m reminded of the that ladies were playing golf and they sliced a tee shot over in the next fairway and a woman shouted for but it was too late and there were four men over there and a one man fell to the ground he was rolling around he had his hands between his legs and he was just withering and agony and and she went running over and she said sir I’m so sorry we couldn’t even talk to her he’s just wound and then head with his hands between his legs and and she said I’m a physical therapist I believe I can help you and she she unbuckled his pants and and and and then unzipped his pants and she reached down

and began to massage him and she said there sir doesn’t that feel better he said he said yes it does he said but my thumb’s still hurts like hell and you know is a wonderful solution it just didn’t fit the problem and my friend Marty told me that he lives out in the desert and it’s just amazing and that’s the way my life seemed to go and and and I remember I my first drinking experience yeah I think you have to drink at least once if you want to be a member of Alcoholics Anonymous now I bumped into some people I have a few doubts about but that’s another topic and and when I first time I drank I drank at home I was 5 years old and I didn’t go out a lot when I was 5 and and my mother was out she was either to bingo or having a baby or something and and my father was watching us and he was watching me and I had a brother dumb denne denne is a year younger than me and and and we’re playing bug or something at the kitchen table and and I guess dad thought it would be funny and he got a siege of beer you know well nothing happened to me Danny on the other hand was having a spiritual awakening he slid out of the charity its rolling around under the table and he was singing mary had a little lamb and other drinking songs and and my dad panicked you know and he wrestled him to the ground he got put his jammies on you’re the kind of a feet in the trapdoor and he’s looking upstairs and he put him in bed and he said to me get get ready for bed so and I said ok dad and I got ready and got into bed and and he said don’t tell your mother about this and I’ll take you to the movies I thought well you know they don’t negotiate much with you and you’re 5 so I was game but Denny wasn’t hearing it he was having the best time and uh and I never forget this as long as I lived little dumb Denny stood up in his crib and he urinated on the floor and I remember watching that thinking you know there’s a kid who’s powerless over alcohol and whose life has become a member and you know it’s a stranger’s see just never made it you know we’re we’re not proud of this but Danny just never really you know got ahold of it he did some strange things I’ll give you some examples then he went to one college I guess worse gets worse he had one major he graduated in four years I never heard of such a thing what the one graduate school graduated top in his class had a number of job offers he picked one he just retired a couple years ago as a vice president and a large international corporation strangest thing of all was he married one woman here’s a guy at the world in the palm of his hands when he was four years old he let it slip through his fingers hi to work at this thing I was twenty-one years old for a urinated on the bedroom floor for the first time I be my great privilege to introduce to you my sister-in-law Shannon my brother dumb Denny would you stand up you know I I tried like crazy as a kid to do it right and it never seemed to go real well for me I was an okay student but I was never particularly a brilliant one and as an okay baseball player but I was never particularly you know outstanding jenny was a superb athlete and and and and so what I discovered I could do well in high school was to be bad now I wasn’t that good at being bad couldn’t get into much trouble but I was what they call mischievous and and I was in a lot of trouble in high school a lot of disciplinary action and if we’d have been wealthy I think I’d have been diagnosed as in acting out adolescent we were poor so I was just a punk and and we used to we used to have to serve detention and if you serve detention in our high school you went to the library and served it with sister Victoria remember sister Victoria she is this wonderful little nun who used to round you run around saying really absurd things like every boy is a prince in every girl’s of princess because we have a father who’s

a king a disgusting it and we’d say call each other Prince Keith and Princess Marion and all that stuff and and when you serve detention in the library which sister Victoria had to make rosary beads okay those are things that Catholics pray on and rosary beads have ten beads in each decade near five decades in a rosary and and so she’d give you pliers and wire and these beads and things and you’d make rosary beads and then they’d give them to the missions they send them to the missions and I spent a lot of time with sister Victoria and she used to put me behind a magazine rack she said I was a prince but I was contagious so so I sent behind a magazine rack making rosary beads and I got really good at it and and my rosaries were different in other people’s rosary I made them with eleven beads in each step and you know after four years I had hundreds and hundreds of Newton rosary beads all over the world and and she never caught on and you know just you can’t not tell him you know I mean you’ve got to tell him and and so I just where I graduated I went to see her and I said sister you know what I’ve been doing in the last four years she said yes you sly little prince she said even putting extra beads and all the rosaries be and she said and I know why you’ve been doing it and I remember thinking I hope she tells me because I haven’t a foggiest idea why I do this and she said people all over the world are going to pray extra prayers and God is going to give you all a credit don’t you just hate people like that you and then she did something to terrify me she took his beautiful smile I have a yearbook and I frequently open a picture and open a book and just look at her and she took both of my hands in her hands and she said you know you’re a very special little prince she said God loves you very much and she said when I first met you I knew you were special and she put a medal of Saint Jude on her beads and she said whenever I get to this medal I say a special prayer of you now st. Jude is a patron saint of lost causes and to them and she said one day you’re going to go all around the world telling God’s children just how very much he loves him and so if if I’ve missed you I just want you to know an honor of sister Victoria God loves you very much I I graduated from high school much to everybody’s surprise and I’d like to talk about my graduation it was different we had a principal who called me into his office and said it wasn’t absolutely essential for me to show up for graduation and father will Mouse key was his name and I said well I said I have to her father he said I said if I didn’t it would just break my mother’s heart and he said I was afraid you’d take that position and and he said we don’t want any trouble well we found out today that if you’re Catholic you get lined up by alphabet which wouldn’t be bad because then I’d be in the middle of the pack at our school we did it by size and I was the smallest one and there were two people who hated that the smallest guy and the tallest girl hated that system but so I was the first one so we had to go up these bleachers right which meant I was at the far end and everybody on that row very gradually and imperceptibly shifted over and shifted over and somewhere in the middle of the bishop’s really moving talk I ran out of bleacher and and I was hanging on a backdrop and I looked over and father well mouse key had his face in his hands and and I don’t think he was crying but and then when you went up to get your diploma I almost never wore a dress or anything like that and so we had these read these robes on and you’re supposed to genuflect and you kiss the bishops ring and then you you you know you stand up and you leave and but if you step on the front of your gown when you stand up you’re going to bishops lap which is what happened around and I looked over and sure enough father well mouse key was crying and and then you know I had a terrible dilemma I had no earthly idea what I was going to do with my life I had no idea what I was going to do with my life and and and so I took one of my very first inventory say I I said remember I stood in front of the mirror I took my shirt off and I flex my muscles and and I turned sideways and I stuck my chest out and you know and and I was 5 feet 1 inches tall and weighed 113 pounds whatever else I was I was a born killer so so I went over to Wheeling West Virginia and joined the Marine Corps and the problem with that was that I wasn’t yet 18 years of age so I had to get my parents consent and I failed to tell my parents just slipped my mind and and a recruiter showed up at our

house and my poor mother almost died and and I remembered as long as I lived the poor thing she cried all night and she kept saying Scott they’ll kill him and my dad kept saying don’t worry Pat they won’t take them so would add voter confidence the next morning we got a taxicab and went over to the bus terminal in Wheeling West Virginia and a put me on a bus and I went to Pittsburgh was the second longest trip I’d ever made it was 60 miles and went to Cleveland once and and I knew nothing about anything you know I mean it’s just nothing about anything is the dumbest kid who ever lived and and I didn’t know that I couldn’t ask her Craig talked about that so well this afternoon I didn’t know and I didn’t know I couldn’t ask and I thought I had to ask I had to act like I knew so what I did was I got very good at watching you and I was I would do what you did just a split second behind you I almost look like a shadow I would do it so so close to you did but I had no idea what to do and and it was a it was a very bad year in the Marine Corps they took if you had a pulse and so that afternoon I was sworn in the United States Marine Corps and and that evening three guys from Pittsburgh were also sworn in we had to catch a train at midnight and and so they Stern they said hey kid we’re going to go over to a bar and get a sandwich and a couple beers and I said you know it’s just what I was thinking so I went with them and we went to this bar and I never forget as long as I live now you know I’d maybe had a drink of this or a drink of that at home or something but but I never drank I prior to this time I never drank and I follow these guys into this bar and in a bar was filled with real men you know the kind you know they had tattoos you know they spit on the floor you know they knew words I couldn’t even imagine doing those things and and and in real men have rural women with okay real women hanging around real men guys like me used to get what was left and and I follow him over there and a bartender came over and he said what do you want and I thought oh my god a quiz I thought the way life worked was when you least expected it someone was going to say take out a blank sheet of paper put your name in the upper left-hand corner and they were going to ask a bunch of questions now I had a lot of answers because I studied all the time the problem was I never study the right stuff and I didn’t know how to answer this question and so I watched the other guys and they said we’ll have a beer and I said me too and and then he came back he asked the same question and then he came back a third time and I knew the answer I answered first and something happened to me between the second and third drink and it you’re here it probably happened to you too and that as I had what would pass for a profound spiritual awakening I stood up I didn’t mean to stand up I just couldn’t help just stood up the floor was six feet four inches below me in my right shoulder was out there in my left shoulder with him the muscles are rippling through my body and and I’d mine that had been filled with so much fear you know the only thing I knew about the Marine Corps was they took a certain number of men to South Carolina and drowned them in a swamp every once that’s all I knew and and all of a sudden that mind was boom is crystal clear and I remember thinking but of course it’s so simple why didn’t I see it before and for the first time in my life I saw the big picture the first time in my life I really felt like I was somebody it had happened occasionally Danny and I played on the little league baseball team I wanted championship three out of four years and in the night that they gave us the trophy I was somebody but as soon as we left I didn’t know who I was again and and but this moment I knew I was somebody and I looked around the room and my heart broke because it was still with a bunch of pathetic sniveling little men all of them had women with him are looking at me over hungry eyes you know how they do it and and I was in 7th avenues wonderful and and I went from table to table just answering questions is amazing I mean I answered questions they didn’t even have and and it was wonderful they kept buying me beer and it got more and more wonderful when Pittsburgh’s the greatest place I’d ever been and and in in a bit just before midnight they said we better go and it seems to me that the people in this bar said please don’t go we’ve just discovered you and I said no I have to go and make the world safe for democracy and and we went to the Train and I got on a train now I assumed I got on a train okay because I woke up on a train and that’s reasonable and I was laying on the floor of the Pullman coach the Marine Corps had kindly provided me with and someone had wet the floor I was lying on and whoever was they had wet me too and and I was in Washington DC which is three times as far from home as I’d ever been and again I was five feet when he says gone away 113 pounds I was terrified and I changed my clothes and I

got off the train and the guys are waiting on a platform and they said we’re going to go over and have a few beers for breakfast what do you want to do it that’s just what I was thinking and and we went over and had a few beers and and we drank all the way to South Carolina and that evening I fell off a train and a place called Yamma sea South Carolina if you haven’t been there I wouldn’t recommend that either and someone moved to bottom step I don’t know exactly what happened but I fell across the next set of railroad tracks it was a very rude man there the dead sent to greet us and he was hurling obscenities at myself and the other men who went down here to die for their country and and I remember trying to explain to this [ __ ] that he’d probably get along a lot better if he treated us with a little respect and very limited man he never seemed to grasp exactly what it was I was trying to convey to him I think it was just shouting so much they really couldn’t hear and and they said you can learn from every experience and what I learned from that experience is you can do a lot of push-ups drunk that’s what I learned and I know we’ve just had a wonderful meal and I don’t want to be indelicate but I’ll tell you something else you can do push-ups and throw up at the same time and I wouldn’t recommend it but it can be done and in the next morning we went on to this place called Parris Island and and I was welcomed into the United States Marine Corps and I must tell you I loved it I loved everything about it now if you didn’t think I belong here before that statement you know I belong here now but but I did and I often wondered why I love the Marine Corps so much and it’s truthfully I think I just figured it out a few years ago I my whole life I guessed it life I never actually knew what my job description was I never knew what was expected of me but the Marine Corps has a very clear idea what it is they want you to do and they aren’t a bit shy about sharing it with you and I’ve discovered and I’m a doer if I know what to do I’ll do it and that’s what I did in the Marine Corps and I took to it like a duck to water and I grow a few inches and I packed on some muscle and and I graduated from Parris Island dress blues award outstanding man’s award every promotion I ever got in the Marine Corps was a meritorious promotion I loved it I was the youngest NCO in the Marine Corps one time and I worked hard and I was offered a commission and I would have been the youngest officer in the Marine Corps there was only one problem and a problem was I had this little thing called alcoholism and I’ll tell you what alcoholism is for me okay I think I think of it in two ways number one the pre alcoholic condition is a condition that will allow me to be surrounded by love as I was my whole life my parents you know my father would play ball with me or checkers with me every day that I let him every day that I was in her house my mother hugged me and kissed me and told me that she loved me and I would have told you I wasn’t loved it’s an amazing phenomenon the inability to feel I have a friend bought my friend Bob Brown used to say I was never loved the way I thought I needed to be loved and I had the ability just to see what was wrong I would see how that we were poor I would see what we didn’t have we didn’t have a car and we didn’t have that I didn’t see the fact that I had brothers and sisters that I love so much and a grandmother and on and on and on just wonderful wonderful people in my life that’s condition number one condition number two is that condition that I will fall Craig talked this afternoon about enthusiasm and in enthusiasm is something I find it’s sort of endemic in alcoholics and and it’s certainly obvious among sober alcoholics but it’s also obvious among drinking alcoholics and and I would become tremendously enthusiastic about whatever the way of life was that I had wandered into and then I would quickly or not so quickly begin to violate every principle associated with that way of life and then I’d have to blame them for what happened to me that’s what I did in the Marine Corps I ended up in Santa Domingo in 1965 leading a Patrol took a group of men on a patrol into a fire zone in a blackout I don’t remember going and I don’t remember coming back what I remember was waking up I was fully clothed had a 45 when around in the chamber and a hammer back and three rounds were missing I rarely slept that way and and I woke up and they woke me up and asked me to make a report on what happened the night before and I don’t even remember going into the city and I couldn’t report and so I sidestepped it adroitly and I turned down that Commission and I got out and then I blamed the Marine Corps for what had happened to me and that’s my story that that’s my drunk of law that’s it pure and simple I would become very enthusiastic about a way of life and then I’d end up violating every principle associated with that way of life and I got married and that’s what I did as a married man I violated every principle associated with

being married I became a man who became emotionally physically spiritually abusive to the woman I was married to we had two beautiful children and our second daughter Kimberly was born and and she was almost three months premature and she she had a very serious case of highly membrane disease and she was born in a hospital which I was working Georgetown University Hospital and and in three days before she was born they had bought an experimental machine and so was there the day she was born and the day she was born I was passed out on a living room floor in my underwear and my wife had tried to wake me and couldn’t so she threw water on me and then she called the neighbors and so when I opened my eyes I was laying on the floor this apartment in my underwear soaking wet with my neighbors looking at me the way they look at us you know with that disgust and but you couldn’t no more disgust or more incomprehensible to moralization and I felt and and I remember I got up and I ran and I got my wife was crying and I got her in our car and we rushed across Washington DC to to the emergency room at Georgetown University and then I began to demand that they take care of my wife because I work here and that’s just an absolute embarrassment I was drunk I was a mess and I turn around I went home and just as I layed down the phone rang and she said she said Kimberly has had a membrane disease they don’t expect her to live would you please come in remember how angry I was and helpless and hopeless I went in and for the next two days I said in an office with the door slightly ajar and a lighthouse watching this little girl struggle for every breath she could take and I knew what to do I mean I watched my father my father knew how to be a father and he knew how to be a husband and I knew what he had done he’d have gone in and has put his arm around his wife and he said Pat we’ll do this and there was nothing left inside of me and I cowered in a dark room and watched my wife good and baptized a little girl because they didn’t think she lived through tonight and and I had long since given up on God and I in a desperate move I ran down to the chapel and I got on my knees in front of the tabernacle and I was a little kid who loved a tabernacle and I’d never go by the church that I didn’t go in and say how did Jesus and I got on my knees in front of the tabernacle and I begged God to let my little girl live I never want to forget this as long as I live I told God if he’d let her live I’d do anything I said if you’ll let her live I won’t drink and I was drunk in 12 hours I drank when I thought drinking would kill my little girl you know place Pasquale the great French philosopher and theologian said that God created man in his own image and unfortunately man returned a favor and and I was so spiritually healed by this time that I created a God who would kill a little girl because her dad was sick and that’s not the way God is and when she she lived and they said she’d be [ __ ] and and last week she had my second granddaughter and she’s not a graduate from Auburn University I always tell her I think you can be [ __ ] and being on her graduate from Auburn University but she and her husband graduated from Auburn and he’s a dentist and she’s a schoolteacher and and it’s just wonderful and yet you know I couldn’t not drink for 24 hours thinking that drinking would kill her and I never want to forget that I never want to forget how powerless over alcohol this human being was when you found you know and I went to where a guy like me has to go and that’s a Skid Row section in Washington DC and I lost everything in one morning May the 13th 1973 I got up what passed for a went into what passed for a bathroom in a dive in which I was living and I had a bunch of pills and and I just didn’t see any other way out and to this day I don’t know if I begin to take them or not what I do remember was saying something to the effect of you’re 29 years old and we’ll be over now I really want to stress here there were hundreds and hundreds of people in my life who loved me enough to do whatever it took and I didn’t know it when they say that alcoholism is selfishness and self-centeredness it really is and I was about to perform the most self-centered Act the human being can perform that is to take his own life thinking it wouldn’t matter to anybody else and I heard a voice it was a woman’s voice which surprised me and and in fact told me that when you’re 29 is not supposed to be over it’s supposed to be starting and in a jar jarred me and and I immediately remembered it my estranged wife had given me a couple of telephone numbers and one was to Alcoholics Anonymous and one was to a treatment center and I could only find one number and I I called it it happened to be the treatment center and I spoke to a woman who knew what to say to me because she was a recovering alcoholic

and I spent the next three days not drinking trying to come up with enough money to get into a treatment center and it was only 350 dollars and I went to the bank to try to borrow some money on this old car I had and part of what went on with me those three days was auditory nations and it’s funny I put a nickel in the parking meter and the filter London Philharmonic Symphony would be playing Beethoven’s fifth symphony beautiful thing and I’d be standing by the parking meter thinking what a great deal you know I mean a nickel you get the park and you get to listen music not as in a banker of sitting there talking to a banker and I’m hearing Beethoven’s fifth symphony and and I realized there wasn’t new Zak I was the only guy was enjoying this music and then the next day the stuff out of the corner of the eyes remember those you know those things that dart around and then I started my skin started moving around on me and and three days later I somehow knew it was time and I got in a car and I drove from Washington DC out to this little treatment center in and it took me five hours to drive 30 miles I had what we used to call the run in Fitz and and I I could go so far and then I’d be sick and and I throw up and then I wet my pants and and I be sick and I changed my clothes and I changed my clothes outside this broken-down car on route 29 outside of Washington DC and my Phi Theta Kappa key fell out of my pocket and I wondered what had happened they always told me that I had so much potential Linda I was saving it for a rainy day and and then there was nothing there and I went to this place finally and that night they put me on a bus and they sent me to a place called Alcoholics Anonymous and I never knew Alcoholics Anonymous existed I worked in one of the finest medical centers in the United States and I didn’t know that Alcoholics Anonymous existed and I’ll never forget that day as long as I live but I didn’t know it did that was to be the beginning of the rest of my life and I got off this bus and I walked up and there was an old man at the door really an obnoxious kind of guy you know look in the eye you know the kind you know and I was a shoe guy I liked to look at shoes and and he said shook my hand and he said you’re new and I thought oh my god he’s psyching and and he said to me put his arm around me and he said you know Sonny said if you keep coming here you never have to drink again and I just wanted to scream at him you don’t know me I’m a guy who drinks when he thinks drinking I’ll kill his little girl but he didn’t know me because he was an alcoholic and he was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and what I couldn’t do on my knees begging god I didn’t a presence of perfect strangers from that day to this you have kept your promise I’m not had to take a drink and he took me inside he introduced me a woman is 10 days older than dirt the oldest human being ever saw in my life they got me a half a cup of coffee and it set next to me and patted me and and halfway through the meeting she looked over and the old face exploded into a smile and she said if you stay with us honey you never have to be alone again and I began to cry I didn’t know that what I had been was alone so desperately oh well that’s why I love about 12-step work I love about prisons and many of the places of privilege to go hearing fifth steps things like that did the privilege of being invited into that place that people swore no one would ever be allowed to enter and that’s what you did for me you could handle me kindly you handled me gently nobody was ever mean to me in Alcoholics Anonymous and it took me two or three weeks to realize that I wanted what you had I didn’t think I was an alcoholic I didn’t think I had what you had but I wanted what you had I wanted a peace of mind and that contentment – camaraderie the friendship the hugs I wanted that and I was afraid that I wasn’t one of you I was afraid you would discover – what I was was insane I was a guy who thought about killing himself and the thought of suicide for quite a while was pretty close to me I was a guy who didn’t call his parents and wasn’t permitted to see his children I was a guy couldn’t sleep at night and I just drive around Washington DC and I visit the mind and I could I’d read them every night I could never remember what I read to day before so I was like being new all the time you know and I was a madman and I really wasn’t an ad man the first few months I I was sober I was absolutely crazy and I couldn’t go into stores I a seller a friend of mine I I couldn’t go into a grocery store from more than a few minutes so so I did all my shopping in the Express line and I’m running and I grab I get a basket and I grab ten things and I’d run up to the Express line and I paid him in and I’d run out of there and I’d be sweating and everything whatnot I’m in this line you know and I guess the guy is having a bad day he’s bored or something you know and he said to me sir you have 11 items and this is a 10 item line you know he just having fun you know and I just lost it and I said you’re absolutely right I

don’t deserve to shop in your store and I don’t deserve to be in your line and and and you’re right and then I turn around at people standing behind me and I’m saying got to be so proud of this man he caught me trying to sneak 11 items for a 10 item line and and and all these people want to do is buy a few things and go home you know and I’m going on and finally he’s saying it’s all right sir it’s just a joke I was just a joking and the manager came over and said what’s going on here and I said got to be so proud of this man I said he caught me sneaking through this line 11 items I said you got to promote him you know and I’m going on and on I started to cry you know in and a manager say it’s alright it’s alright I said no I don’t deserve to shop here and I ran out of story I call my sponsor he said you did what you get your ass over here and I went over this place you know he put me in his car and we went to the Safeway on Wisconsin Avenue just pointed I said no he said yes yes good so I went in and the guy came running over he said sir you all right so I had a really hard life I wanted to apologize rode wanted to buy a few things if I couldn’t you know I always did my shop in there from then on you know and I get in that line like I go 1 2 3 4 I we laugh out of it goes insane I mean I heard it was insane and I do the craziest thing if you’re kind of new I want to warn you against old-timers stay away from old times you know cliff and some of these old-timers because they weren’t nice people Vince isn’t old timers stay away from people there aren’t nice people you know they lie they they say things like they say things like we come to meetings because we need to that’s a lie the only reason they come to meetings is the only enjoyment they get out of life is watching people like you and me suffer that’s why they come to me if you don’t believe it after the meeting go up and tell one of them a problem first thing they do is laugh you really want to make their day tell them a problem about sex they love problems about sex Nantz is always the same no sex and there are no sex yeah they’re not having sex anymore they don’t want us to have sex either I used to go it is old-timer says a fool you know I hung out with a group of guys is sort of like the problem of the month group you know we come up with a problem and then they say go ask the old-timer so I’m not going to ask you’ll go go ahead ask me like you so they hate me and no no no go ask them so I’d go ask him and old-timers never answer questions they speak in parables never answer a question till I tell them and I got this problem and so finance I had a little problem with a big problem was I was impotent which will put a real crimp in your sex life and it was driving me crazy so I go to this guy and I old timer and and I beat around the bush fun he said what’s a problem I said man he said Wallace had that problem when we drank too much he said oh go away I should win I thought it was important you know he’s away you got a full social calendar uh so the next month I go back to the same guy you talk about insanity I go back to the same guy and I told mr. problem I don’t remember was a big problem July of 73 you might remember a big problem everybody had it and and I went to this guy and I said to him I said I told him this problem and he said I’ll tell you what I want you to do get this now is that I want you to borrow lipstick from one of the girls in a program he said I don’t want you doing anything else for the girls in a program he said oh that’s right you can’t is that I want you to go home and I want you to write on a mirror Keith you were wrong I said I can’t do that you see my problem is I have a poor self-image and I need to be affirmed don’t ever talk that way to an old-timer they they hadn’t read any of those books and and so he said so I bought some lipstick I didn’t want to anything to anybody especially a woman right guys and so I went home and I wrote on my mirror Keith you were wrong and I knew they were not you know I threw it in the trash can I went to bed it was a normal night remember in normal night at 50 days oh you know I closed my eyes my brain woke up for the first time that day and it took off you know you’re never going to make it they’re going to find out you’re crazy and they’re going to kick you out Alcoholics Anonymous you’re going to be alone in arrest you’re like what difference does it make you’re impotent you know just on and then I’d finally drift off to sleep and in the leg cramps remember lake Renfro God have you jumping up and down beside the bed with a leg cramps you know then 15 minutes for I had to go to work I go sound asleep and it would take three alarm

clocks to wake me up and and in my mind we’re still working you’re going to go to work today and they’re going to find out you don’t know how to do your job and they’re going to fire you and what difference does it make you’re hopelessly in debt and I went out and I started to coffee I just wanted to cry you know and I went and I looked at the mirror and I said Keith you were wrong I saw thank God because if I’m right I’m going to hell of a lot of trouble and and I discovered it’s a great grace of Alcoholics Anonymous is being wrong so if you’re kind of new be wrong the more stuff you can be wrong about the happier your life’s going to be and I tell you something you’ll find it’s hard to believe they don’t keep score how many times you were right and wrong now I live my whole life thinking that somewhere they were keeping score and if you were wrong too many times God would say get off the earth he doesn’t do that it doesn’t matter I mean I don’t know what I was right or wrong about yesterday I got on the wrong golf team but I can’t think of much else that went wrong but it doesn’t matter I got the club big Erma it’s called what I’m telling you is it did Alcoholics Anonymous is a place that took me and raised me and I don’t know any other way to say it I was privileged to grow up with the parents whom I grew up wonderful parents taught me writing on the church in which I grew up which I I was so angry with us one of these people came down all anonymous I was religiously anti religious you know the kind and I was just waiting to be offended go ahead defend me go ahead you know and I know used to say these brilliant things like I don’t like organized religion well I did an inventory and I discovered the truth the truth was I wasn’t the Pope might have been a pope I would have loved the organized religion of course what I was was spiritually ill and spiritually old people don’t see the depth and the power of spiritual principles and you know things happen to me that that I couldn’t believe could happen I you know I did the step work that we’re told to do it and I got involved in inventory I remember one night I drove to New Jersey where Denny was living and and I was able to make amends to Denny for the the things I had said about him behind his back because it’s awful hard to have a brother like Danny who does everything once does it well you know and and I was one of those people who used to braid the nuns you know the nuns have been playing for more stuff than the Nazis if you hang around alcoholics and arms and I remember we started talking about the nuns and then he said I said yeah remember they used to beat her knuckles with the roller and you know had to be worse for me so they used two centimetres side on my knuckles and and Denny said an absurd thing he said why seem to remember that happening a couple times of it most of all I remember a bunch of dedicated women who gave their whole lives to treat little kids teach little kids I said well that’s one way to look at it so what I’ve been privileged to do in Alcoholics Anonymous is to reassess my life to relearn the truths I was taught as a child there is a right there is a wrong there is a god these are the truths that I was taught as a child and I’ve been privileged to go back and relearn them but I had learned them at my own pace and I learned them from you and you taught me taught me everything I know or you affirmed everything that was a value in my life and you did it by loving me I remember the going to a meeting with my friend dick L greeted me at the door I had never met him before him dick came up and he shook my hand and he said I’m glad you’re here and I’m thinking that’s what people say and he said what’s your name and I told him he said are you kind of new so I got five weeks well four and a half and he said that’s wonderful he said tell me do you have a job or where do you work I said why I think I still work at the University I’m not sure and he said you have any children I said yeah two little girls but they won’t she won’t let me see him he said what are their names and I said Kelly and Kimberly and he said you know I’ve never seen a man stay sober not be able to see his children and then we had a meeting and in the next week I walked in that door and this man walked over and I remembered his face but I didn’t remember his name and he said I remember me I’m dick I said of course I do and when he said Keith how are you and he said how are things at the University and I said well fine I got the job he said that’s one of one he said Howard Kelly and Kimberly he remembered the names of my children I was hooked an organization called Alcoholics Anonymous and and you just led me by the you took

me my very first 12-step call I was sober about three months and and my sponsor took me to the DC jail and we’d signed in to jail and we want to talk to a man and you know you’ve never ever created what I do you just don’t do that and my sponsor is talking to this guy on the phone to this big thick glass and I can’t hear a thing he’s saying I’m listening to my sponsor and his laid-back guy his name was Nana and so he talked in about 45 minutes he said I got a friend here with me named Keith he’s doing real well it says he’s got almost three months of sobriety and he said we’ll let you talk to him for five minutes I think five minutes I got a lot to say to this guy and so I got the phone and I began to preach to this guy and and and I finally took a breath and he said wait wait wait a minute buddy he said this a a craps fine for you no loser like you he said when I’m a Fulbright Scholar I just lost and I began to scream in a phone well mr. Fulbright Scholar one of us is leaving here in a few minutes and one of us it and and my sponsor saw blatant going very well so he tried to get the phone back but I wasn’t finished and so I was down on the floor cradling this phone screaming at this guy and and the other people the other visitors began to look in our cubicle and then finally the guards came and so Dan got the phone away from me and he said yeah yeah he said I’ll come back tomorrow I’ll come alone I’ll come alone here after we went out in the parking lot I knew I was going to be drummed out of Alcoholics Anonymous I just knew it and and so we’re out in the parking lot and Dan didn’t say anything you know how they do it and and I couldn’t stand it anymore so finally I said that was pretty bad wasn’t it and you know what he said to me he said I’ll be honest with you Keith he said most guys wouldn’t have done it that way he said but you’ll discover we all develop our own technique and Alcoholics Anonymous that’s a last thing I ever heard of it you know so I’m telling you you know you can’t turn us off and I’ll coach if you show up and you have half a decent attitude and you want anything that we have any piece of it you can’t turn this off and you can never wear us out because I’ve never worn him out and I began to grow and I began to learn things I began to learn gradually and slowly and and I began to learn that good things happen to you if you show up for life and you know I was sober three or four months and I got a letter I was invited to study with it probably the finest psychologists that ever lived at least a finest I ever met his name was your only journey just died recently it’s also the Athene for Pope Paul John Paul the second but he is a physician and a PhD geneticist and and I was invited to study with him for a while in Paris and and I knew my sponsor wouldn’t let me go because I figured out what sponsors did they found out what you really wanted to do and told you you couldn’t do it and so I thought dan and I go to lunch so we went to lunch and and I gave him the letter and he read it and he just burst into a big smile and he said this is terrific this is fantastic and I said you mean I can go he said you have to go he said this isn’t about you he said this about Alcoholics noms he said best you could do is crap your pants over there on Skid Row he said this is about Alcoholics Anonymous and about God working in our life he said you have to go and he told me summer if you’re new please hear this please hear this he said to me Keith you can do anything in life if you prepare properly we will prepare you to go to France and you know New Year’s Eve 1974 I was landing in Orly Airport and I’m glad I was all by myself over in the corner because I couldn’t keep from weeping and I thought seven months ago I came within a fraction of an inch of taking my own life in the Skid Row section of Washington DC and Here I am walking the streets of Paris a free man and that’s Alcoholics Anonymous and I’m always amazed when I see a room like this but a little over 5,000 people are registered for this conference okay now I know all of us are alcoholics but just say three thousand of us you know there are more sober people in this building today than awareness state of California sixty-four years ago that I should be included in that so something for which I’ll be fondly grateful my life just has been swimming since and I there’s so much I’d like to tell you know I’m quickly running out of time I won’t talk too long and I I want to respect the wishes of the committee and the dance people and everything but but you know and I also the taper the man who’s taping this conference is a man who I owe a great debt of gratitude and I hadn’t seen him in a long time and and you remember Desert Storm I was living in Fayetteville North Carolina at the

time and a lot of our members were men and women in the military in the army in the Air Force and a lot of them had to leave to go to Desert Storm and I called your taper and I said to him a lot of our folks are going overseas do you have any tapes like to be able to send them and within a week crate I mean a crate of tapes arrived and and I sent him to the men and women who I knew over in the desert and what they would do was initial then and pass them on and I saw tapes at at hundreds and hundreds of initials on them and that was their contact with Alcoholics Anonymous you know I there’s so much so much I could say I and I ended up getting a sponsor named Sandy B after a few years Dan sort of dropped out and I end getting a sponsor named Sandy B who walked me through the steps and and that’s has been said so well last night that’s when I began to live when the steps began to happen in my life is when I began to live that’s the basis of this program if you’re kind of new don’t beat around the bush find someone who’s living the way you want to live and let them help you do that I work very hard and in you know it’s not a straight line to sobriety and I sure have made an awful lot of mistakes the one mistake I never made was picking up a drink and the other mistake I never made was being far from you one time in my life I’ve gone over a week without a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous and it frightened me because I realized each day was easier to go without the meeting and I’ve never done that again the other thing that that’s happened to me is that I realized that the basis of all my problems or my old ideas and growing up without a lot of material things an old idea I had was that if I could be successful enough then I’d be somebody I had enough money or something then I’d be somebody when I sober about six years I got everything that I said I’d ever need to be happy I was running marathons I had a very prestigious job I was traveling I had that town house the red brick town house with the hardwood floors and refinished all my antiques and and I had this wonderful social life was really depraved but I thought it was wonderful at the time and and I had all these things I thought I needed to be happy and and I nearly died I I ended up so depressed that I ended up hospitalized but six years of continuous sobriety hospitalized and what I had done was I had drifted back into seeking out the wrong higher power and I just I don’t know why I don’t talk about this often but I just wanted to talk about it and what I ended up doing on I see now is I ended up horribly depressed and that’s a medical phenomenon and that’s nothing to be messed with and I let the experts take care of that but the reality was was that I stopped seeking the higher power and I started trying to be the higher power I got very very important and I was showing everybody just how well I was doing and I found myself telling them constantly how well I was doing and I ended up so crazy they ended up flying to Texas and he put me in a treatment center and I was running a treatment center I was running all over the country telling people how to run treatment centers and they put me in a treatment center in the way I went was terrible I don’t remember Braniff Airlines but they’d paint all their planes different colors and and I flew into the dallas-fort Worth Airport on a pink airplane and my life was over and and I ended up in this treatment center I got in there in the middle of the night the next morning I was so depressed I couldn’t couldn’t even get dressed and so this man my roommate Big Jim Big Texan came over he started to help me get dressed and he said I know how you feel but he said he said I I he said I felt that way when I came in – he said but I’ve been sober six days and I feel a whole lot better he said how long you sober as well is six and a half years and he said oh [ __ ] and he went over and got in bed and so I laid back down and and I met some wonderful people in alcoholics Anonymous down there and one of them a little dentist he was no longer with us who spent some time with me but but the thing that I really met down there was was I finally had to face the truth and that is that I couldn’t be the higher power and someone had given me a Bible and said read this and in an outer fit of rage one day I grabbed that thing and I said let’s see what the hell you have to say and I opened a book and I open it to John 14 chapter and it says don’t let your heart be troubled have faith in God and faith also in me anyone on to say that that there were many mansions and that one was prepared for me and something inside of me broke because I realized that no matter how hard I tried no matter how successful I got I couldn’t make a place for me but

there always was a place for me and I got out of it on my knees and I wept and I promised God that if he would let me live if he would bring me back that I’d only do one thing and I just seek His perfect will and try to do it I came back and I took the blinders off and I began to look at life the way it was dealt to me I went back to that church that that I blamed for everything for and I and I I didn’t know much I mean I had a degree in theology and everything but I got that at Georgetown University and you can get a degree at Georgetown and not know much about the fullest ISM tell you that and and in philosophy I need a degree in philosophy there too but but seriously it was a fine education never find people the problem wasn’t them the problem was a receiver and I intellectualized God and because I was afraid to know God and I got a book on Fatima and when I was a little kid I was knighted into an organization called the Knights of Fatima and a bishop said to us I was the smallest of course so I was the first one knighted and an official said to us at night he said you know one day he said when you know most need help the mother of God will be there and and you know I opened that book and I looked in the Feast of Fatima celebrated May the 13th 1917 in a day that woman who I could never identify spoke to me and told me not to commit suicide was made the thirteenth nineteen seventy-three you can believe whatever you want to believe I believe that in my deepest moment of need the mother of God the one whose resurrection I’ll celebrate tomorrow morning was there for me and my whole life opened up everything that you taught me in alcoholics Anonymous began to make sense to me and I did what the book suggests that I returned to the Church of my childhood and I had to forget a lot of things and mainly me and I had to put away a lot of social issues and all that nonsense that changes every fifty or hundred years anyway and and I had to begin to seek out the truth that which I think are eternal and as I studied Aquinas and particularly Aquinas I liked very much in dietrich von Hildebrand and some of the the great great writers I began to hear Bill Wilson talking through father ed D about the spiritual awakening and about a life lived based upon spiritual principles and that’s what you taught me you know without you I’d be nothing and there’s no question in my mind about that you’ve given me everything I’ve had you taught me everything that I know I was sober forty years of age I was sober almost thirteen years and I didn’t know how to be in an ER personal relationship and that’s the truth I know how to be a friend and I know how to be a buddy and I knew how to be a golfing partner and I learned a little bit about being a brother and a son and a father but I didn’t know how to be an interpersonal relationship and I’m and and I was in another one of those relationships where we use one another and I was just disgusted with myself and I got on my knees one night and I bet God changed me and I said I’m going to live a celibate life I’m going to work with new members of Alcoholics Anonymous and I’m going to try to do your will if I’m ever going to have a relationship it’s going to be on your terms in my mind and I was made it was July the 4th 1985 and July the 5th 1985 I met the woman I’m married to today she was a member of al-anon and she had brought a friend to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous and any guys if you’re looking for a wife go to al-anon I’m not kidding greatest thing in a world is to marry a woman from al-anon and you know joy and I have so much in common you know we have one goal in life and that is my happiness and it’s just wonderful and and you know it was amazing to me every instinct I had was wrong and I have a sponsor Tom I and Tom’s wonderful man I think to find this member of a I know he hates it when I say that but it’s the truth that he has to find his member I know and I went to him and I said Tom I said you’re really well married I said you’re even married when you’re out of town I joke with him and he he said yeah I said I’m especially married when I’m out of town and and I said well you teach me how to do that and he took me by the hand and he taught me everything that I know about interpersonal relationship and you know it was interesting to me that every instinct I had was wrong every instinct I had would have been the way I did it before and I would have gotten results I always got before you know I said oh and we’re gonna have an illicit relationship he said you’re not ready for that and I said why he said you’ll know why and you know a few months later I knew why what I always did was if I found someone who I thought I might be able to capture I captured him because I thought if they had time to think it over they pick somebody else and and then I decide

discovered that that wasn’t so and then I said you know we’re going to get married and he said you’re not you’re not engaged that’s an old-fashioned idea and he said Keith it got to be that way for a reason and and and so I bought Julia ring and when Christmas Eve she’d come over to my house and we were going to go to midnight mass together and I built a fire and I talked to her parents and getting their permission and I had a ring in my pocket night and I was going to get on one knee and and ask her if she would marry me again and just as I was about to do it she ran into the bathroom to powder her nose like chased in a bathroom and I put the ring on the wrong finger the wrong hand and asked her if she would marry me and uh and she fell into my arms and we both wept and and she did marry me about it here and a half later and the 20th of next month it will be 11 years of marriage and and I’m just saying this because as I’m really married and and I don’t have to violate those principles associated with marriage like I did before and that’s because of you you taught me how to be whatever I am today and I think that if I were to describe a life in Alcoholics Anonymous in 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous you know they are spiritual in nature as a literature tells us but the result or the fruit to that is that if I’m not a better husband and a better pigeon and a better sponsor and a better brother and a better friend and a better son a better father and a better grandfather today and I was this time last year I’m not doing it right it’s programs about spiritual growth and the rewards are overwhelming I quickly want to tell you just a couple of things and one of them is my dear brother Terry I’d like to talk about from time to time I love Terry so and Terry died of this alcoholism how they called it cancer but but it was alcoholism and and he died the day before my 20th a a birthday and 18 years before Terry it had 90 days to continue a sobriety a couple times and it just never happened for him and he was in the hospital and I I got to go see him and Terry used to leave town when I went home because I guess it’s hard to have a sober brother and and I loved him so and I got over to the hospital when we spent about two hours together and and he had questions I was his big brother and he had questions and things like do you really think there is a God and I said I know there is and he said you think God could like a guy like me and I said if you were the only one he would love you too and and then he we talked about things a rosary and the scapular and some of the things that meant a lot to me and and I gave him some and we talked a little bit and then when I went to leave he smiled and he said I didn’t leave town this time and I said I know and and I asked him for a favor I asked him if I could hug him and you know when your alcoholic it’s hard to hug some and and he told me I could and I hugged him just for a brief brief moment but it was enough I remembered theology principled I’d learned it there are two kinds of time there’s something called Chronos which is chronological time which is what I’m out of and then there’s something called Kairos which is God’s time and God’s time is always now that’s why we can’t meet God in the past we can’t meet God in the future we can only meet him now and you know in chronological time I just hugged my dear brother for a few brief moments but in God’s time I hugged him forever and that’s what I know to be true in Alcoholics Anonymous now shortly after my brother died I wash my my wonderful mother my saintly mother passed away and and she suffered so well and she considered everything the end of her life particularly the suffering as a prayer and there were nights when I go up to be with her and and I used to come down by myself at night and I pray a rosary aloud she loved her rosary so as do i and she would wake up and smile and go back to sleep and one night my niece who was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous came in and said that my brother Larry who’s also an ia and lives in Wilmington and he was visiting and and he said you have to come to the meeting tonight here my sponsor speak and I said no I said I think I’ll I’ll stay here with mom I’ll hear your sponsor another night my mother woke up and said no no she said you must promise me that you’ll go to Alcoholics Anonymous you must promise me you’ll always go to Alcoholics Anonymous those were the people who brought my boys home to me and I got some appreciation for what you’ve done in the lives of the people that I love you know mom passed away shortly after that and she had made a list of the things she wanted in her and her coffin and one of the things on the list was my 23-year

chip every year I’d give her a chip and buried with her as my 23-year token everything in my life I have because of you everything you know I was I moved to North Carolina in 1980 and and left Washington DC and I’ll always love Washington but North Carolina is my home now you know and I remembered an incident I was just dead moved down there and and I’ve pretty newly back to the Church of my childhood and I was really enjoying that and I was sitting out on a balcony one night I saw her about seven years and I had a big book in a big big book and I was reading it in a little apartment over a lake and and I was reading and it just overwhelmed that sense of peace and gratitude that come to us lucky enough to catch this thing called Alcoholics Anonymous and and I said why me Father why well have you picked me and I hearkened back to when I was in that treatment center and I called my poor estranged wife and and I said to her I’m an alcoholic and she said no [ __ ] and I said why me and she said why not you if anybody deserves that you do it she hung up and I’m asking God why me Father why me and he said why not you son if anybody deserves that you do and that’s the beauty of what I think we have here is that what I have is what my father always wanted for me and and that is a sense that I’m very very special to him and you’re very special to me because you’re a bunch of princesses and princes and we have a father who’s a king and in during this season in particular I wish you the very very best I wish you a resurrection that develops a spiritual awakening so profound that it results in a personality change and I wish you sobriety and I thank you and I Danny Jan thank you so much for being with me tonight my lovely wife Julie I wanna thank you just for putting up with me all these years and and I asked you to keep my new grandson who’s a week old and my granddaughter who’s 8 days old in your prayers thank you very much we hope you’ve enjoyed this recording to obtain additional copies receive a catalogue of other AAA and al-anon tapes and CDs or to join our tape of the Month Club call encore audio archives at one eight hundred eight seven eight one three zero eight or visit our website at www.att.com/biz