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Brotherhood of the Broken

It’s hard for me to describe the atmosphere of the monthly awards night. Hard to find enough adjectives to convey the camaraderie among the men. The inside jokes and nicknames that have everyone laughing but those of us who don’t live in the Center. We’re smiling knowing we’re part of something good.

6 month sobriety group

We bought a new camera that takes better pictures in the rooms lit by fluorescent lights and the shutter snaps quickly enabling some candid shots. These pictures capture some of that fellowship where words limit me.

One of our drivers comes to support the others. He has 10 years + clean time.

Nancy, one of our supervisor’s, is frequently invited to awards night, a guest of one of the graduates that has worked with her. She’s a sweet as they come and genuine in her support of the men and the program. She and Randall (another employee/grad) made carnation boutonnieres for the men for Mother’s Day.

Richie leans over to me and says “See that table? Those guys are their sponsors. They spend several nights a week at meetings and step studies with them.” The guys, our guys, he’s talking about are in their 20’s. Danny may have crossed that 30 line. They’re working it hard. This time.

These men live together. Most of them in 10-men dorms. There’s one large shower room where they shave and tend to hygiene care in shifts. At times it gets tense. Someone has a bad day, some are good at pushing buttons and sometimes it’s that urge that pulls strongly at them and nothing is right. Still, it’s a good house.

May birthdays

A year and over clean time

New grads congratulating each other. Check out the reflection in the mirror.

Strike a pose! :D

May’s graduates

We are reminded of our brokenness. All of us in some way need mending. We’ve come to the right place. Them by choice, us by appointment but all together as a brotherhood. I’m grateful they allow me into their fraternity. The den mother of sorts. Major Mom, some call me. Definitely a mom who loves watching her “boys” congratulate each other on selected recognitions and having one month clean and sober. A mom who swells with pride seeing them with their sponsors, hugging one another, laughing with family. As we say in the ARC:

God is good. All the time. And all the time, God is good.

13 thoughts on “Brotherhood of the Broken

  1. Dearest Debby, your photos are full of life my friend … your subjects ;-) The Men, are healthy and smiling. I know their days aren’t always bright and shiny, but they are sober, and that’s what they’ll say at the end of the day. Sober is good, all the time, one day at a time. XO mel

  2. Today I’m feeling a little weary of the addiction roller coaster. Nothing has happened..(as far as I know)…I’m just tired of the after effects. The unpaid fines, the license problems, the unemployment history. You know how overwhelming it can be. I need to step back that’s for sure, and recharge.

    Good for the men! Everyone needs to start somewhere, and your faith must help them so much.

    • It’s the wreckage, Lou. You get the big pieces cleaned up because they’re easy to see but the little shards don’t seem to do away, do they? Overwhelming is a good description and stepping back to recharge sounds like a good response. Do that, friend. Thinking of you. xo

  3. Debby–So encouraging to see the achievement awards. I think it’s part of the program to keep them busy, keep them focused and I’m all for getting recognition for hanging in there. I love this post. It had me smiling.

    • Smiles are a good way to begin the week. These men have me smiling a lot. Today was no exception. Two passed by me in the warehouse waving. They stopped a minute and John said we use to want to walk past you and not be noticed but now we’re waving. And they were smiling big too. One day, Heidi, I’d love to have you walk through with me. We can share in the smiles!

  4. The brotherhood of the broken – where the pretense is stripped away and you’re down to blood and guts and sometimes, glory!
    I pray for your men and for you and your ministry every night.
    And here they are, smiling smiles of grace and victory.
    I can feel them smiling, all the way to Texas!
    I know the battle is never over. But then, it’s never over for any of us on this side of Home.
    Yes, as you often say, all is grace,

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