Today marks 19 years that I had my last drink, or as I like to refer to it my lifelong enrollment to the Wilson / Smith University. I am not asking for comments, I’m not looking for pats on the back, I’m not even saying look at me. For I have done nothing but have a willingness to take the cotton out of my ears and put it in my mouth and listen to what I was told, and do what I was told to by someone a whole lot smarter than me. I have been very blessed in my life. I have a Good Wife, whom God has seen fit to spare twice. I’ve been surrounded by good friends; I have a sponsor only a phone call away. I lost another Great Sponsor with almost 50 years who told me over and over again surround yourself with winners. I have tried to do that. I have tried to be a good person, but not being perfect I do stumble, and when I do, I seek Gods guidance to reset my compass.
It has not been a good week. For many of you know that I am very involved in the bird world, my passion being that of my Parrots, and it can be very difficult within the bird world. Everyone has different opinions, everyone wants to do, and be the best, and some believe they are the best. I have tried to be a good student, and as I do not know everything, and will be the first to admit it. So again I do my best to be a good student, as so I can be a good teacher.
I have worked with many groups and rescues trying to better the avian community, and do my part. I have learned people can be disappointing at times. None of us being perfect, yet I have never met an imperfect Dog, Cat, or Bird. They are what they are, like us many different personalities all rolled up into a ball of fur or feathers. After 19 years it has finally sunk in. Acceptance, one of the first lessons we are taught in all those first meetings. I know in the back of the brain it’s been there, but all of a sudden it hits me like a ton of bricks. A lesson taught to me by what most call a lower life form. I accept them so easily for whom and what they are. It’s pretty straight forward. I guess through the years I had become more cynical than I thought, without even realizing it.
I have been in groups where this group doesn’t get along with that group, or a person in the same group doesn’t get along with that person. We have all been guilty; we have all had our tiffs. I have always tried to live up to the “Principles before Personalities”, I almost wish there was a 12 Step Book for life as it were. There is the Golden Rule, the 10 Commandments, and I guess for simpletons like me the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, and the 11 Promises. Just as we say “Keep It Simple”.
All of this being said again it has not been a good week, and I have had many, like most of us. Except for one bright spot. This Woman came forward posting her story about her husband’s loss of job, her car wreck and her oldest going to college, and to boot her feathered companion becomes seriously ill. She posts a plea for help, and friend of mine, and I see it, and we both approach a group who helps in these situations, and they are already discussing it. Story shortened the bird gets much needed surgery, and still sadly passes. In the mean time this little bird and her story steals the hearts of everyone, maybe in the hundreds. This group comes together, with nothing in it for them, only to put out a great deal of money through donations in hopes of saving this sweet little bundle of feathers, where as others were ready to write her off. This group said “never say never” to the end.
I’ve gone to “Gratitude“meetings over and over again, and in my life I have truly been grateful for many things. I have been grateful for the people in my life, old and new. This week, this sweet precious little bundle of feathers struck me to the core of my soul. I have been touched by the animals in my life, I have lost a few, and miss them greatly, but this was different. This little soul brought together a community; it made it a better community. Her loss is so sad to her family, but in that painful loss she brought a message to others in a very short period of time. That message to me was that in all I do or say in my daily walk, I must listen to the smallest sound, for in that smallest sound a plea for help maybe trying to reach out to be heard. I was mad as hell at God for taking this sweet innocent life. In that anger, I almost missed it. God used this little one to bring us together, she made a group of fine people a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger, and a little more unified. A lesson from one of Gods smallest creatures. For that I am truly Grateful.
By Bob Kaegi