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”.