Happy Anniversary, dear man~

You might think, seeing the title, that Handsome Husband and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary. And you would be wrong.  Today we’d be celebrating a much more important anniversary, because if this particular one hadn’t happened, we would never have been married for 23 years.  Our life together wouldn’t have happened at all.  So much wouldn’t have happened.  And much more would have likely happened, with none of it being good.

Handsome Husband wanted so badly to make it to this day.  He struggled with the knowledge that he wouldn’t make it.  This is the anniversary that meant as much to him as our wedding anniversary.  I can say, happily, that he and I share this particular day also.

This dear man, who lived joyously, would have celebrated 25 years of sobriety today.  I’ve struggled with writing about this, to be honest, because of anonymity, but my heart says that I want you to truly know this man who was my husband, and the impact that his sobriety and recovery had on him,  helping him live his life in a way that honored the gifts given to him through his sobriety.

Being in hospice, and at the end of his life, didn’t stop him from continuing his recovery, and his work of sponsoring others.  His sponsees  came from the East coast to pay their respects to him, to bring meetings to him, to show him and tell him how much he’d helped them change their lives, and the lives of their families, through their own sobriety.  He tasked me to put all of the information he had from his step work on a zip drive in order to distribute it to others, knowing he wouldn’t be here to further support anyone.

I was so proud, I am so proud, of how he changed his life.  Our lives together started out with him already sober, with both of us sober, but he stayed engaged and built the years of sobriety, and made a difference in the lives of so many because of it.  He spoke at many meetings, and there were un-counted numbers of evenings when he was hours on the phone, talking AA with those who sought his experience, strength and hope.  What he’d been given, he passed on, with all the love in his heart.

Being recovered helped him get through the last part of his life, where he was in so much pain.  He didn’t drink.  He could have-what the hell did it matter any longer?  But he chose to stay sober, and gift all of us who loved him with the clarity of time.

Chuck D was my husband, yes, and I miss him as passionately as I  loved him.   A very strong part of what I admired and respected most about him was that he was also a man who found a life of recovery and made his life count for something and touched many other lives because of it.

So, congratulations, dear husband of mine.  You aren’t here for this important date, but many are remembering you and holding you close and feeling gratitude that your example of living sober led them to their own version of living the dream.   Your sobriety lives on in so many.

” God, I offer myself to Thee-to build with me and to do with me what you will.  Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.  Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love and Thy Way of Life.  May I do Thy will always”.

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16 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary, dear man~

  1. HAPPY 25 YEARS OF SOBRIETY CHUCK..YOU DID MAKE IT..I TOO, FOUND MY WAY IN ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS,, AND I AM VERY GRATEFUL FOR THIS..DEAR CHUCK, YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN, AND A PART OF ME KNOWS, THAT YOU HEAR US ALL STANDING UP, NOW, AND CLAPPING FOR YOU.

  2. Happy Anniversary Chuck! i was lucky enough to have his step work sent to me and I use it for myself and my sponsees. Love you and miss you my angel

  3. Dear Alison,

    This post is beautiful. I’m sure Chuck would not have minded you sharing this revelation with your followers. Like you said, (so beautifully, as always) the impact of his 25 years of sobriety played such an important part of your lives.

    Where are you currently? I hope you’re with family and/or good friends. Do you have any idea at this point in time where you plan to plant new roots? If you do have plans to come back to the Las Vegas, NV area, please let us know as we’d love to see you again.

    Take good care of yourself.

    Best regards,

    Ardie & Bev

  4. When we overcome life’s struggles, I believe that it helps others to know that they too can overcome. Thank u Chuck…happy anniversary.

  5. chuck was a very careing and kind man in AA he always was there when the hand of AA was there he was loving to all happy anniversary chuck lov billG.

  6. Allison,
    Thank you for sharing that beautiful insights
    to the truly remarkable msn you were
    Blessed to call “YOUR TRUE SOULMATE”
    You both shared a “once in a lifetime”
    Love. I celebrate this special in Remberancr
    of your life of LOVE. May God bless you both
    Today and Always.

    Leslie

  7. Alison, thank you so much for deciding to share this. I can’t tell you how many of your (and your children’s) posts I’ve cried through, and this one was no exception. What an amazing, selfless man, to continue to sponsor when he was so sick. Congratulations on 25 years; he obviously truly lived the third step prayer.

  8. Thank you for this revisited post. I say bravo over and over. I too, and blessed with the gift of sobriety!
    His legacy lives on.

  9. God bless you, Allison! You have written a moving, soulful tribute to your Handsome Husband. My Charles passed away from cancer on Nov 29, 2015. I also called him ”my handsome husband” & some called him Çhuck. He was a patient, kind, loving man who quietly helped many others through his words & deeds. Charles was very faithful to God, loved attending church each week, even when he didn’t feel well. He was a very sensitive man & I MISS the HELL out of him every moment of every day! I’ve read books on grieving, am going to therapist regularly, taking meds to help, support from friends/and some family members. This is the worst pain I’ve ever experienced! The only time my stomach feels ‘safe’ is when I’m around my son, who lives in a nearby town. The tears never stop… interacting with friends brings me back to reality. Cleaning out the house… Charlie kept way too much memorabilia from his past, plus he had many hobbies. Everywhere I look… his school mementoes, hobby mementoes, Model A cars!, Civil War items, antiques. He kept many things in boxes crammed into closets & always wanted to open them ‘later’. Now I’m having to open them & it hurts like crazy to see them!! I guess he was a hoarder. This grief is taking my energy, lowering my immune system. Every day, it’s such an effort to get out of bed & empty out more boxes, sort his coin, stamp, old book collection. I have to interact with others to keep from losing my mind. Part of me is angry that he left so much work for me; I’ll have to sell many large items & get appraisals on things. I asked him to please do as much of this as he could in recent years. He continued to go to his hobby club meetings.. even to some Civil War reenactments. The other part of me is crumbling… remembering my precious soulmate husband of over 32 yrs. I love him so much!! I pray for him every day & also pray for the spouses left behind… widows, widowers. God, please bring peace to us! Fran

    • That’s an awful lot to deal with , Fran, and triggers can shoot up from anywhere as you go through his things. I’m so glad that Chuck and I had gotten rid of so many of our belongings, and I keep that in mind when I contemplate my own death. I don’t want our kids to have to go through any further distress. I’m headed up to Indiana shortly to close out our storage unit. Everything in it will go somewhere; donated, given to family, whatever is needed, so that I don’t have to think about it any longer. Wishing you well, always~

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