One of the greatest gifts my mother ever gave to me was her 12-Step daily devotional book that she read every morning for 40 years.
My mother got the book in August 1975 when she began a 12-Step way of life. Its words of faith and encouragement accompanied her through every circumstance: the joys and challenges of raising seven children, her committed married life with my Dad, and in later years facing the harsh realities of my father’s unemployment, financial reversals, his death, and, in the final decade of her own life, a painful progressive terminal illness that robbed her of the ability to walk.
She always kept the book close by and would quote wise reflections from its pages to me.
After many years the binding broke from the thousands of times she opened it. My mom was resourceful, so she mended it with duct tape.
The pages are yellowed and stained with age. Its cover is worn, and the duct tape no longer holds the pages together. I use a rubber band to keep the book from completely falling apart.
The fact that the book is so broken and old from all the times my mother held it in her hands seeking answers makes it absolutely beautiful to me.
It is a great testimony of the power of one mother’s personal commitment to recovery and how it can generationally impact a family.
My mother’s example of living a 12-Step way of life was a key influence in my decision to do the same in July 1990. I think both of our choices helped to influence the decision of my son, JP, to seek recovery more than a decade ago.
As mothers who are part of a family system impacted by the disease of addiction, we all can be influencers for recovery in ways as small as the example of reading a daily devotional book.
A tiny stone cast in a pond creates ring upon ring of ripples. Likewise, even our smallest actions on behalf of recovery for ourselves and that of those we dearly love.
Is there a favorite book that is part of your daily spiritual practices?
Did you ever reflect on how your practice positively influences your loved ones?
Please share here. We can all be inspired by our collective experience strength and hope.
Nancy and her son, JP, are co-authors of Unchained: Our Family’s Addiction Mess Is Our Message. Their book tells the riveting, true story of a JP’s descent into opioids and alcohol addiction, homelessness and violence, and his recovery to become co-founder of a treatment health care system.