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.
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.
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.
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.