I remembered several years ago,
This was a man I had known since I was 16. At the time he had close to 30 yrs in 12 step recovery.
He had been instrumental in the growth of a couple of different 12 step fellowships in Texas. And he had spoken many, many times over the years.
This time was different.
This time his topic was on ‘Fun & Joy in Recovery.’ What made this time different was that Jim had lost his wife to cancer just days before.
He had every reason in the world to back out of his commitment to speak. But he didn’t.
Jim and I rode together in a motorcycle club. Before the meeting, I remember meeting up with him and the club to ride out and support him.
The atmosphere was both lighthearted and heavy at the same time.
We got on our bike and rode out with Jim leading as usual. – Jim was our Road Captain at the time.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Jim as he stood behind that podium. I expected him to break down, go off topic and be a bit mournful in his speaking.
Instead, he led with a line that I will forever hold close.
“We are only perfect when we’re laughing.”
Here was a man who I knew was hurting from the loss of his wife. Yet, he chose to share the perfection she had shared, more than the pain he was feeling.
He shared his pain but did so in a way that was healing not harming. He continued that day, talking about that very moment. That moment we experience anytime we experience unfiltered joy. That moment in time when we laugh, when we are perfect. Just for that very moment, our laughter is our expression of perfection. And even if it is just for that single moment, the pain is gone, and we experience the perfection of laughter.
Jim passed away last night in his sleep. Like many others here in recovery, the news hit me rather hard. He was an iconic figure in much of my recovery.
He taught me how to Road Captain; he taught me how to see past the surface. He had been my grand sponsor, my mentor, my predecessor, and my brother.
Most of all, he taught me how to find my laughter, even in pain. He taught me that we are only perfect when we are laughing.
G.B.N.F. Jim W.
09/30/1945 – 02/15/2018
“Always Aspire to inspire, before we expire.”