Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pray for me...


I got a call last night from Little Greg.  You probably have a Little Greg around some of your meetings.  He now has over 11 years of sobriety in AA but he's been around over 25 years.  He's put the touch on most everybody over the years in his several "careers."  He's been (off the top of my head) a truck driver, an actor, in charge of maintenance, a deliveryman, a store manager, a baggage handler - a long list of attempts to re-invent himself and get into a new life.  I can remember at least 5 times when he's had a car, a nice place to live, everything was going his way and then, suddenly, it all falls apart.

It's not his fault.  Ever.

He is a victim.

Greg lived with us for a couple of months 2 years ago.  He was in the middle of rebuilding his life one more time and it was great to see that it was all going so well for him "this time."  We finally had to set a time for him to move out (before he could afford it...) but, well, we were just done with him.  And, it seemed like several things had conspired to make this a good time.

He has as strong a grasp of the AA program as anyone I know.  He's been sponsored by men I consider heroes in AA.  He can cite chapter and verse about selfishness and self-centeredness,  spiritual awakening and service.

Last night, Little Greg was standing in the cold in the line to get into the homeless shelter overflow in Denver.  We both knew he was only about 45 minutes away from my house if I chose to drive down and pick him up and bring him home to one of my warm, empty, beds.  He didn't ask to come to my place.  He did ask if he "had anything outstanding for which he needed to make amends" - I thought hard (and prayed hard) and said "no - I think we're current."

We talked for about 30 minutes.  I noticed that he'd been able to get his cell phone turned back on (it'd been shut off earlier in the month) but I didn't mention that.  He complained extensively about how someone with 11 years and 8 months should not be living like this.  How he'd been put in this place by an injury and a medical system that wouldn't meet his needs.  About how long any sort of disability assistance would take to get in place.  He complained a lot.

I felt really bad for him and I shared that with him.  I assured him that I had no answers for him.  I shared the experience of a guy I sponsor who's living in a homeless shelter and where he's found opportunities to be of service there to those people.  I shared as openly and as honestly as I could.

At the end of the conversation, he said "I have a really selfish request of you." I held my breath - in the past, what has followed is a request for money or something else.  What he said was: "Will you pray for me?"

That was interesting.  I wasn't prepared for it but I got that it was the entirely appropriate request and the entirely appropriate thing for me to do.

...and, something I forget to do as often as I might...

I hope he's OK...

8 comments:

Kathy M. said...

What a great post. I can relate to blowing up my life and serial reinvention. I'll also pray for Little Greg. Thanks for sharing.

Syd said...

I know a few Little Greg's. I hope that he will be okay too. Maybe he will actually remember that this is a program of action. I hope so.

dAAve said...

Cool.

Mary Christine said...

Having been a little mary for my first decade in sobriety, I can feel for this person.

I am grateful he has you and us to pray for him. And have compassion.

Doc in Al-Anon said...

Funny, I had to come back to your post...I've been thinking on and off about your little Greg today. I wonder how his day is going. It sounds like his recovery has been fragile in the past. I pray for a more robust version, this time. It sounds like he already sees you as a part of that.

Little M said...

I don't know why it's so hard to become aware of and step away from the victim mentality but I've seen it time and again among my peers, and sometimes, myself.

garden-variety drunk said...

what a wonderful post. I'll pray for little Greg as well

Steve E said...

God, please take care of Greg. Thank You.

It has been many years since I've been seen standing out in the cold, with no place to go...

In the morning I'll see if anyone fits that description--it is easy to tell.

Thanks for the memory.