This has been a great couple of days. I shared my story at my home group meeting on Monday and picked up my six year medallion. We shared watermelon after the meeting. This group is truly home for me. I am glad that I have made such good friends there.
Yesterday, I picked up one of the fellows that I sponsor and brought him to the house so that we could have an "intensive" day of working on the steps. He lives far out in the country on another island. By boat, it would be an easy distance, but by car, it takes about 40 minutes. He is 19 and his parents only have the one car. He also has no driver's license because he has not yet gotten a visa. His story is one of tremendous struggle. Suffice to say that he has endured so much to be in this country.
I picked him up around 9 AM, and we spent the day doing work on the first two steps. We took breaks for lunch, to walk around the property, and for dinner. He loved the dogs who were enjoying seeing someone new. They recognize a good person instantly.
The day was intensive, but we had a good time sharing and talking. I can tell that this fellow is so willing and wanting to have peace of mind. After dinner, we went to the 7 PM meeting where he was warmly welcomed. I hope that we can do something similar each week because nothing is better than two people sitting down together and talking.
My wife said later that I was going to help this young fellow to open up and grow up. My goal is to be a friend, a listener, a traveler with him. Our interaction benefits me as much as it does him. And that is priceless beyond words.
I am reminded this morning that amidst the pain of life there are those blazing hot moments that make everything worth while. I remain the optimist in this life, but I understand the sentiment below so well.
"Sure, we'd faced some things as children that a lot of kids don't......We still hadn't learned, though, that growing up is all about getting hurt. And then getting over it. You hurt. You recover. You move on. Odds are pretty good you're just going to get hurt again. But each time, you learn something.
Each time, you come out of it a little stronger, and at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There's the little empty pain of leaving something behind - graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There's the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There's the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn't give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn. There's the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens.
And if you're very, very lucky, there are a very few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realized that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last - and yet will remain with you for life.
Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don't feel it.
Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it's a big part, and sometimes it isn't, but either way, it's a part of the big puzzle, the deep music, the great game. Pain does two things: It teaches you, tells you that you're alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that will ever happen to you in life is going to involve it in one degree or another." — Jim Butcher