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Al-Anon Forum Magazine Featured Article

A Hopeful New Start
The first amends I chose to make was to my father who passed away. My sponsor suggested I write him a letter. After praying about it, I began to write and the words and the tears just poured out.
I wrote how much I regretted blaming him for all my problems. I admitted that I'd had no right to call him an alcoholic because that was a diagnosis only he could have made. I told him I couldn't do anything to change the kind of daughter I was when he was alive, but if he were here today I would be the best daughter I knew how to be. I told him I would cook him dinner and laugh at all his jokes and take him to watch his favorite team play a game. I was blessed to feel a great release after finishing the letter and I was very grateful for the experience.
The very next day, I was delighted to win two tickets to see my father's favorite team. I was already wondering whom to invite before it occurred to me to thank my Higher Power for the unexpected gift. I closed my eyes and said, "Thank you, God". Immediately, I remembered my letter to my dad. The coincidence was not lost. I smiled and knew that I had been forgiven. There were tears in my eyes when I said, "Thanks, Dad." Since I couldn't take my dad to the game, I decided to do the next best thing to invite one of my three older brothers. Logic said I should invite my eldest brother, but he and I had a falling out and hadn't communicated for years. The next older brother lived too far away, so I called brother number three. To my surprise he said, "You've got the right idea, but the wrong brother." He suggested that I try to mend fences by inviting our eldest brother.
Again, the coincidence was not lost on me. I talked it over with my sponsor, prayed about it and finally decided to send my brother a ticket the game with a letter of amends. In the letter I said, "I will be at the game. Here is your ticket. If you don't come, I will understand but I would like it if you would come."
Turning it over was a challenge, but I was truly willing and I knew that I had done my part. Game day arrived on Saturday with no word from my brother, but I reminded myself that I was doing this for me. I bundled up and went to game by myself, despite the 35 degree temperature.
It was a beautiful day in spite of cold. I was disappointed, of course as the innings went by and I continued to sit alone. Yet, I refused to allow my brother's absence to ruin day for me. I pretended that I was there with my dad, just as I had promised him in my letter of amends. I thought about all the games Dad had taken me to in my life. I smelled the same smells and heard the same sounds, sitting in the ballpark that my dad had loved so much. I only made it through half of the game because it was pretty cold, but I had done my part. I was free.
I believed my brother had simply chosen not to respond to my letter. I prayed the Serenity Prayer on the train ride home and reminded myself that I didn't have to like what I had accept. I was reminded by my loving Al-Anon family that there was a greater plan than I could see and that I had done my part. It was all I could do. It was time to Let Go and Let God.
When I got home from work on Monday afternoon, I discovered a Saturday delivery, overnight package waiting for me in the entryway. It must have been there since Saturday, but since the regular mail had come before I left for game, I hadn't bothered to look any more. Inside the package was the other game ticket and a kind note of thanks from my brother. This man who for nearly three years refused to be in the same room with me, had not only written me back but had gone out of his way to send a special delivery package so that I would have the ticket in time to invite someone else. I don't know today what will happen with my brother, but it's a hopeful new start and for that, Dad, and Al-Anon I am truly grateful.
Wendy P. - Illinois
Alcoholism is a family disease. Those of us who live with, or have have lived with, this disease as children or adults sometimes have problems which the Al-Anon program can help us to resolve. If you have answered yes to some of all of the above questions, Al-Anon may be of help to you. You can contact Al-Anon by checking your local telephone directory, or from the Resources page. Phone numbers and Contact Information for the Austin Area are listed on the Contact Page of this website.
These articles were reproduced with permission from 'The Forum', the monthly inspirational newsletter of Al-Anon. Al-Anon World Headquarters, Inc. is located in Virginia Beach, VA. See www.Al-Anon.org for more information.