"How did you do it, Dad? How have you managed to not
take a drink for almost 20 years?" It took me almost
years to have the courage to even ask my father this
personal question. When Dad first quit drinking, the
family was on pins and needles every time he got into
situation that, in the past, would have started him
again. For a few years we were afraid to bring it up
fear the drinking would begin again.
"I had this little poem that I would recite to myself
at least four to five times a day," was Dad's reply to
18-year-old unasked question. "The words were an
relief and constant reminder to me that things were
tough that I could not handle them," Dad said. And
shared the poem with me. The poem's simple, yet
words immediately became part of my daily routine as
About a month after this talk with my father, I
received a gift in the mail from a friend of mine. It
book of daily affirmations with one affirmation listed
each day of the year.
It has been my experience that when you get something
with days of the year on it, you automatically turn to
page that lists your own birthday.
I hurriedly opened the book to November 10 to see what
words of wisdom this book had in store for me. I did a
double-take and tears of disbelief and appreciation
down my face. There, on my birthday, was the exact
that had helped my father for all these years! It is
the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me
the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the Courage to change the things I can; and
the Wisdom to know the difference.