Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cerci or Sercy

One of the special things about this program of recovery is how we develop such friendships.  The people in meetings are there sharing with me and I with them. It creates a bond.  And the most precious bond of all is that between a sponsor and a sponsee. 

I have written before about what a great sponsor I have.  I knew after meeting this person that he would be the one that I would ask.  And I did that very night when we first talked.  He knows a lot about me, as I do about him.  When he told me last week that he is planning to move to the left coast in the fall,  it really hit home how much a part of my life this person has become. 

He gave me a gift at our home group meeting for the boat.  It is something that he crafted with his own hands.  It is a kind of talisman that is supposed to keep me safe while on the water.  I am most grateful for the thoughtfulness and the symbolism of giving something to the boat.  He called this gift a cerci.  I had not heard the term before, but it is quite common in the south. Another spelling in SC might be sercy.  It is a gift that is unexpected and given out of friendship.    One important clarification about a sercy is that it is not meant to be reciprocated. It is just an “I made this and thought of you” type of gift.  I think it is quintessentially southern – a charming colloquialism, steeped in tradition, for a thoughtful gesture.

I cannot count the many cerci gifts that I have received from my sponsor.  I truly appreciate all his wisdom and years in program.  And all has been given out of friendship. 


  1. There is something especially meaningful about a hand-crafted gift. A thing of beauty...

  2. Someone suggested I go to 3 meetings a day at NA...

    ... am I supposed to have nothing else to do!

    I would if I felt on a knife-edge of craving. Yeah I would.

    But I come to NA to soak in something they seem to have and I want. That's why I come.

    You can't do their program properly until you're absolutely clean of all unnecessary drugs.

    I say unnecessary as something might be prescribed that another person might abuse. NA were tied up in nots over this one for years. At the end of the day abuse begins for a hardcore addict where clinical need ends. If you've been straight with a dr and the dr's given you and said use this every day then you're OK, if its given PRN just take it when you need it, don't waste time worrying about it and don't beat yourself up about it.

    Only thing I REALLY dont get about NA is saying Just for Today, then counting days!

    I only have a v vague idea when I last did heroin. I'm not counting days for no-one!

  3. we should all have someone like that in our lives...

  4. Maybe a sursy?
    I just finished the book "Plantation" by Dorothea Benton Frank, and they used it referring to little surprise gifts.

    While I'm here...
    Thank you for this blog!
    Reading it helps.
    A lot.

  5. that is awesome...we should all have someone that is that close in our life that can speak to us...the gift sounds wonderful

  6. Giving and receiving gifts in a good spirit is something I also learned in recovery. I have a glass disc with the word "HUG" on it that my sponsor gave to me at least four years ago and it comes in handy over and over.
    The handmade gift from your sponsor for the new boat was so thoughtful and will be a reminder to you of his friendship forever.

  7. What a gift his friendship is. I'm from the south but have not had the privilege of knowing the work cersi. Thanks for sharing this. I will remember this and share it with others. I am always encouraged by your posts and take something a way that is fresh and new. Thank you!

  8. Gifts that are handmade for me hold the persons intent to give thier efforts to another. Sounds like you were given many gifts over the years.

  9. I have never heard that term before! Really? It's real?
    And here's the thing- one of the best, most saintly men I've ever known has Sercy as a surname.

  10. What a beautiful post, thanks. Nothing like friendship, right?

  11. I've never heard that term before. How interesting.

    Love you, Syd. Have a great weekend.


  12. What a beautiful gesture of friendship. And you will be able to keep on giving what this wonderful man has shared with you, that is the beauty of the program it just keeps on giving....

  13. I'm sorry your sponsor is moving away... Mine left for another city last summer. It's strange; she still has her cell phone with its area code from around here, so when I call her, I feel as though she might still be up the road. --G

  14. This sponsor-sponsee relationship that we develop in AA and Al-Anon is very special. I've had 2. When my first one died just a year after we bonded I was devestated.
    Then a fine lady came to my rescue and we've been together over 20 years. It's interesting that there have been times when the roles have been reversed...such as when she lost her husband ... and, for a short time, I became her sponsor.
    (or something close to it.)

  15. beautiful! What a gift sponsorship is in it's own right. And how wonderful that he is able to adventure into a new world and leave behind a little something to remember him by.

  16. I first heard the word "sercy" from my husband. When we were first dating, he gave me a little gift. He called it a sercy. I always thought it was a French term, but also makes sense that it originated from the South as he lived the latter part of childhood in Charleston, SC. A sweet memory!


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