Friday, October 03, 2008

Elaine W

My very good friend Elaine W has been sober just a few years less than I've been alive. Seriously. In fact, she just had a sober birthday about ten days ago. I've known Elaine for a long time now, and since my friend Buddy K died (sober) while I was making my 30-day silent retreat in 2005, Elaine has been sharing her experience, strength, and hope with me in a particularly focused way.

I found out this week that Elaine has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and needs a pretty radical surgery this coming Friday.

Now, Elaine has been around the block, not to put too fine a point on it. She's had perhaps more than her share of difficulties since she sobered up so many years ago -- but she's managed to surrender her will and life into the loving arms of her Higher Power through it all.

By a careful maintaining of her spiritual condition, through attending lots of meetings, working with other alcoholics, reading AA literature, and generally being of service to others, she's lived the "daily reprieve" my friends who go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings talk about.

Through it all she's stayed sober, yet saucy.

I love that in her.

Shortly before I shipped out to Summer Camp - South, Elaine underwent hip replacement surgery that traumatized her whole body, and necessitated incarceration in a place that was none too pleasant afterwards. I was grateful I was able to get to see her almost daily during that time.

There's something so satisfying about being crabby with someone else who's crabby, eh?

(Of course, she had *cause* for that, while I'm just a curmudgeon....)

Somehow in the midst of both of us being grumpy together, I could usually get her to laugh, despite herself.

She's really cute when she's in a bad mood, unlike me.

In any event, Elaine's got this pretty radical surgery coming up this next Friday, so I respectfully ask you, gentle readers, to offer prayers and supplications, send out good energy, visualize healing light enveloping her, or whatever it is you do as your personal spiritual exercise as a way to support her and those who love her in this time of need.

She's going to be all right, no matter what (I have a great story, for another time, about being "all right," told by my friend Blanche D or Blanche M, depending on when you knew her); but expressions of support are welcome. I'm led to believe she reads my blog from time to time, so if you might be so kind as to just give leave her a quick note here, I know I'd appreciate it.

(In this case, anonymous comments *are* appropriate and not an indication of a lack of moral courage!)

Hooray that she has a really, really, really big Higher Power, who has experienced powerlessness from the inside out. In her case, his name is Jesus -- a "Higher Powerlessness," if you will....

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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Anonymous said...


Our thoughts and prayers are with you for successful surgery and recovery.


John & Marlene

islander said...

dear elaine, my thoughts and prayers are with you. erik

Anonymous said...


What a gift it is to know a man like Tim! He obviously loves and respects you very much. What a great comfort when we are ill to know that there are people that love and care for us. You are in my heart as is Tim. I wish you well and am glad I share this magical path with you.


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