Helping hands in service

Delegate’s Post – October 2023 – Pass It On

Oct 29, 2023

Pass It On

Since early recovery, each summer my husband and I take a motorcycle trip during our week’s vacation in August.  We rode during our dating days and then picked it back up again in sobriety.  It is something we both very much enjoy and find the time on our bikes to be quite memorable and cherished.

A few years ago we decided to ride through update New York into Vermont to visit the gravesite of Bill and Lois W.  With Bill being a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and Lois being a co-founder of Al-Anon Family Groups, this was an extra special trip for us.  I remember packing my good jeans and pretty pink shirt for the visit, knowing I wanted to dress nice ‘for Lois’.  As we made our way there, I found myself wondering what I could bring Bill and Lois  when we visited.  Should we stop and get some flowers?  It just felt weird as if we shouldn’t go empty handed.  

When riding it is a perfect time for me to live my Step Eleven.  So as the miles went by I talked with God asking him what he thought we should bring as a gift.  There have been times while praying that I do get some clear answers or direction.  This was one of those times.  I heard, “bring them your recovery”.  Now that I could do.  That made sense!  I experienced a great peace and strong sense of gratitude the rest of the trip as I thought about how my recovery was a gift, a most meaningful and precious gift.  Al-Anon teaches me how giving away this priceless gift is so vital and important for me and to the future of our fellowship.  That is the Al-Anon and AA way, our Step Twelve tells us so.

After two days of riding and 550 miles under us, we made our way into the small town of East Dorset, Vermont.  Without really knowing where the cemetery was or let along the gravesite, after a few ‘chance’ meetings we found ourselves at our destination.  I remember being quite awe struck at the simplicity of the cemetery, headstones and the hillside.  It was one of the moments I didn’t want to end.  I wanted to stay as long as we could.  While we were there, a few local men stopped by as well and shared with us how they stop every day during lunch to pay a visit to Bill and Lois.  That was a very humbling sight and it drove home for both, my husband and I, that we were blessed beyond measure for this moment, this place, and for our life we have today – all made possible by so many people before us.  These were ordinary people doing extraordinary things despite the disease of alcoholism because of the power of the Twelve Steps and a loving God who cares and guides us and our fellowships.

As the power of our program engulfed me, I then thought of my gift I wanted to give Lois!  “My recovery!”, I thought.  So in prayer, I chatted with Lois and let her know my gratitude for everything and offered her my recovery in a spiritual moment.  Then very quickly, clearing and softly I heard, “Pass it on”.  Again, a simple yet profound moment for me.  Without skipping a beat, I stitched those words in my heart.  

As we mounted our motorcycles and gently roared down the small path, I cried tears filled with serenity and joy.  I knew everything was going to be okay and my job was simple from there, to pass on this gift of recovery that I was freely given. I didn’t have to worry if I ‘had what it took’ or compare myself to another along the way.  I only had to pass on what I had and who I was and that would be God’s will.  I knew a new truth and had a simple doable plan that was laid before me to follow one day at a time. Upon taking in all that the visit to Bill and Lois’s graves gave me, the trip home to Pennsylvania was even that much sweeter than the trip there.

This has been a driving force and hallmark of my service journey.  Today I find myself in the final months as PA Delegate of Panel 61. I know without a doubt that I have been carried through the links of service to this moment by many others who passed on their recovery to me.  So in turn with thankfulness and love, I try to do the same and hope another person is helped as much as I am.  

Thank you for the opportunity to serve and thank you for honoring me with your trust as Delegate.  I know my recovery has been enhanced because of this experience and I hope yours has been too.  With much gratitude, I am very much looking forward to serving in my next service role as PA Area Chair on Panel 64.  I treasure this privilege to serve and to give back to Al-Anon Family Groups and our Pennsylvania members.  I pray for the wisdom to lead well and am grateful for the many friends I will be serving alongside.  A special congratulations to our next Delegate, Ralph H!  How exciting!  I join you in supporting his journey and service work. PA is blessed indeed. 

So until our paths cross, best wishes for your continued love and peace in the Al-Anon program.  Let me know how I can be of service.  Please pray for me and be assured of my prayers for you.  In closing, I thank you for all you do to carry our message of help and hope to the families and friends of alcoholics.  All my best to you in where you find yourself next passing it on!

“Focus on what you can do, then do it with all your heart.” – Lois W.

    Your friend in service,

    Lori F.

    Delegate, Panel 61