O n December 19th 2009 members of the Huntington Group, Happy Joyous and Free, joined together to bring a pre Christmas Holiday Meeting and celebration, that was to many and we counted approximately 200 participants, a chance to be among friends and fellow alcoholics and share the warmth and love that had in earlier seasonal events been lost and forgotten, overshadowed by an unforgiving world of addiction and alcoholism.

In spite of warnings of blizzard conditions which were headed our way, conditions which would force our guest speaker to cancel, the doors were open at six, the tables set with Holiday ornaments, and the food was beginning to be served to the spirited participants. A full menu of Italian delicacies!  Trays of sausage, chicken, ziti, salads and the table went on and on with no one left to hunger. Dinner followed by deserts. Cakes, endless trays of cookies, creme brulees and of course, the obligatory, never ending pot of coffee would follow.

A glum lot we were not, as the moods were light with laughter punctuating sentences. Friends talking to friends as if each hadn't a care in the world. A sense of relieve shared by all that for on this night we were sane and sober and with the help of God and those who surrounded us , this special night could  last well into the morning and fill our spirits  with hope and joy for the rest of the Holiday season.

Rich from Long Beach stepped to the podium. A friend of Regina's whose responsibility was to secure a speaker for the occasion and spoke to us from his heart. Speaking as if the memories he brought to light were inspired by a yearning to point out that which had brought him to his knees some thirty three years ago. He seemed to speak for no other reason than to show others that they were not alone in their addiction. That their problems, some so familiar to us all, could no longer condemn him or her to a life that ends when the bottle runs dry or the light shines to mark the break of a new day, only to find you cold and shivering in a world so far away, that one could no longer recognize this scene as being of our own creation.

The meeting ended at eight thirty and as I walked out the door the blizzard winds were screaming in its full fury. Snow swirling, streets covered in three inches of snow. Yet tonight I sit and write down my memories of this occasion, realizing soon, that the winds will cease to rage, the snow we be cleared and just like that, Christmas will come. A white Christmas like they tell you about and just perhaps, from that storm, will come tranquility. Almost as if someone, a long time ago made a promise to you that was remarkably close to coming true.

And it was.

Merry Christmas to you all!