Alice and Mary had grown up
together. First they were children together, then teenagers. Their
friendship held all through college and on into womanhood.
Their lives would have been
perfect in every way. They lived in a wonderful area. It was a small town,
quiet and peaceful. Nothing of any great disturbance was ever cast upon
this world. As children grew and had children of their own the idyllic
conditions might have been considered almost perfect. Of course, the women
had small struggles. Both had to work and manage for their families, but
this was of no difficult consequence.
Only one situation lurked ever
around about and with them. They were like family and it was a sorrow.
Alice watched her friend suffer through the constant, daily struggles she
had with her husband's love for alcohol. It was like Mary was father and
mother to her children. The man did hold a job and continued on with it
for a life time. The fact that he had shown promise as a highly
intelligent man in his youth was substituted for his love of the tavern.
He was never physically abusive, but he just simply was never there. When
major problems erupted with the family, it was all but with an abstract
club Mary had to beg, cajole, and plead for the man's advice and help with
Over the years Alice watched
Mary become drawn and aged with the heavy responsibilities visited upon
her will. It seemed to weigh down on Alice and as her friend suffered, so
did she. Many a night saw her begin to include the issue in her prayers
hoping to have an answer opened up to her.
On this particular summer
evening her husband had suggested they drive into the little town only a
short distance away for hamburgers and to pick up a video tape. Alice was
most agreeable, since she was tired and, didn't particularly want to heat
up the house with the cook stove.
"Why don't you just let
me rest in the car while you pick out what you want to watch." Alice
spoke to her husband. She was glad just to have a moment to sit and watch
people go in and out of the store.
For some reason Alice sat
straight up in the car seat. With not a thought in her mind she opened the
car door, entered the double doors of the store, walked directly to the
less frequented back part of the store. Directly in front of her was a
tape by Marianne Hartley dealing with alcoholism. The sign said,
"free." "Can't miss on that," Alice reached and picked
up the tape.
She was out of the store, back
into the car before her husband finished shopping.
After Alice watched the tape,
she picked up the phone. "Mary!" Alice was anxious to share the
information with her friend. "Come over tomorrow.""You must
see this tape by Marianne Hartley."
As the two women watched the
tape dealing with alcoholism, it has to be admitted their world was
forever changed. No longer were they the innocents, ignorant people they
had been only a short time before. Before them were the possibilities, the
whispered dream that maybe there was a way to confront a monster. The end
of the tape emphasized they begin to attend the sister organization to
Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-anon.
"I'll call, find out
where they meet." Mary was willing to seek help. "Will you go
"Why not." "I'm
sure we can all learn." "From watching this tape, I'm afraid it
is going to be a rather lengthy endeavor." Alice was trying to see
into the future.
"Nothing could be worse
than what things have been like up to now." Mary looked hopeful.
With tears, shaken souls, and
slow growth, the two women attended the meeting together at first. As time
went on Alice dropped out. Mary had grasped the twelve steps and was
working them with her group. She no longer needed the support of her
friend, but was making more friends who were certainly more able to guide
and direct her to a stronger ability.
To make the way seem easy,
with smooth sailing is certainly not an accurate statement. Mary had to
look into her own personality to see what she was doing to enable her
husband to drink. Her whole life was beginning to take on a different
aura. Certainly, there wasn't a quick, easy solution. However, with
continued attention to meetings, the support of her group, and reading to
understand, she was able to slowly come to a place, where she could simply
acknowledge what a friend did by walking into a video store, just by
chance, to pick up the tape by Marianne Hartley, was simply, to be
considered, "A God Thing."