Saturday, May 18, 2013

Rich and Millie

Our paths are crossed by many on this journey of life. I have been blessed by two very special souls in mine. I'll start with Millie since she was the first to enter. Fate has a unique way of crossing our paths at times. As a young Marine who had just finished boot camp at San Diego California. I had a weekend pass and visited a family couple who had known my parents. While there I went to San Juan Capistrano. The place where the swallows return every year on a certain date. Unknown to me, a lady named Millie, who lived in San Diego, was counting on those swallows to return for a very specific reason. She was trying to get sober and the swallows were a glimmer of hope in her life. Fast forward to twenty years later. Millie has returned to here hometown in her retirement. It happens to be where I live. Some coincidence! I find myself trying to get sober and meet Millie in one of those AA meetings. Millie was a fiery red head with a smile a mile wide and a heart as big. On the outside she appeared to have the world by the tail. As I got to know her I realized that she had her share of hard moments. Rich was about as far opposite to Millie in many ways. He had been down a very hard road in life. He had rode with the Hells Angels in that same area of southern California. And spent time locked up in the pen. He was also like Millie in some ways. A fiery red head with a big smile and a heart as big. I met him in another of those AA meetings. He became an important part of my sobriety. Millie was such a bright personality that she was given the nickname Sunshine. By her example I learned to act as if everything was ok, when it wasn't, until it was really ok. One of Rich's favorite sayings was, "a person can't do better until he knows better." I don't know for sure why, but this explains a lot of things to me. My main point is that both of these people overcame serious difficulties to go on to help a lot of other people in a positive way. They have both gone on to the next world for now. When I think of them I can still feel the warmth of their fire. And their strength reminds me that no matter how dark the day, that the sun will soon shine again. X.