A simple gesture is all it took.

One sentence.

Spoken along with a firm handshake and sincere smile.

From a man I have seen once a weekend for the last couple of months…..

And not before that for a few years.

His wife was a member of the AA group I used to attend. She had somewhere around 30 years of sobriety.

She would speak in meetings endlessly about the old times, get off topic, talk about her ailments and even forget what she was talking about sometimes mid sentence.

Sure, I would get annoyed.

But, she was a sweet woman who always had nice things to say about everyone.

Her birthday was celebrated in the same month as my sobriety date.

The group I used to attend celebrates sobriety birthdays by month. If your birthday is in June, then the 1st Saturday of July there will be meeting celebrating the birthdays in June.

Same goes for every other month.

Today is the first Saturday of November. Celebrants for October will be attending.

I am not attending. I do not attend AA anymore. I posted about it before-

The WalkAwAy

The woman with over 30 years sobriety and her husband were always there on birthday night.

She would receive her chip, and speak of how grateful she was for one more year and thank various members of the group for her sobriety.

Her husband would always shake my hand firmly and smile and congratulate me after I would get my chip.

She passed away a few years ago.

Which accounts for the lapse of time in which I have seen him.

A few months ago I went on my weekly trip to “the Walmart” and upon entering I saw him at the front of the store as a greeter.

Every week, we say hello and good to see you and go about our business.

Today, my wife and I went in to pick up a few things.

We saw him and said hello, good to see you and went about our business.

Upon leaving, he pulled me aside and said,


I said perplexingly,

“Thanks….for what.”

That’s when he took my hand firmly, looked me in the eye and said softly,

“On another year of sobriety.”

Staying sober leaves a lasting impression on more than I ever thought.

Be grateful for everything and everyone that crosses your path.

You never know who you might leave an impression on.