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One Day at a Time in Al-Anon:

This is a story about a man who has dedicated his life to helping the families of alcoholics.

On one occasion, he was invited to address an important Al-Anon meeting in a place about seven hundred miles from his home. Shortly before this event, he lost his beloved wife.

Those who had asked him to appear thought he would certainly not wish to keep his speaking engagement. But he did.

To one of the members who had expressed her sympathy he said: “Let me tell you a story of an Englishwoman at the time of the Blitz in the Second World War. Her husband had met sudden death, and her minister went to break the news to her. When she greeted him she asked: ‘Are you bringing me bad news that you come at this unusual time of day?’ ‘I’m afraid so,’ the minister answered. ‘Is it about my husband? Is he dead?’ ‘Yes, I am sorry to bring you such sad tidings…’

“She interrupted him to say: ‘Come in and let me make you a cup of tea.’ At his astonished look, she explained, ‘My mother taught me, when I was a little girl, that when anything very dreadful happens, I must think of what I would be doing if it had not happened, and then do that.’ ”

He gave a moving and inspiring talk to the assembled Al-Anons. Everyone marveled at his ability to rise above his personal sorrow, but few realized he had distilled that sorrow into inspiration for us.

From the book “One Day at a Time in Al-Anon”. © Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1973