It's Christmas Eve morning and all through the house,
I hear fighting over video games and see cookie crumbs everywhere!
Ok - my try at being cute.
All of my kids are home for Christmas, it doesn't get much better than that.
We have lots of personalities to deal with and lots of fun to be had.
I am truly thankful for this life of mine, it's quite remarkable.
13 years ago I celebrated the Christmas season on the streets and running away.
14 years ago I stole a $5 bill from a friends wallet and ate Chinese Buffet by myself.
It wasn't enough to pay for the food, but the fine folks at that restaurant felt sorry enough for me,
they fed me and let me stay as long as I needed. I was so sad that day: no kids, no family, all alone
and it was freezing outside......but looking back I was blessed to be able to eat, and lucky those
people had a heart.
Many folks will pat me on the back for my current success in life.
They say it's the American Dream. They tell me things like "Mike you've earned it"
"You worked hard and got your life back."
I am always thankful for a good pat on the back and some "At-a-boys".......
But truth be told, I had very little to do with this current state of affairs.
I have had so much help in my life, it's crazy.
Even when I was down and out, God had a hand in making sure I didn't die,
there was always someone there to bail me out and keep me alive.
It has been no different in recovery.
My wife showed up at the absolute right time to save me.
The program was there and the door was open with a room of people just waiting for me
to walk in and ask for help. People took me in, accepted me and my flaws and troubles.
They supported me when I had nothing at all.
They saw something in me I never saw in myself.
They took me to meetings, helped me get jobs, fed me, clothed me, and supported my decision
to be clean and sober.
Slowly over a period of time, things got better.
I am finally able to begin to give back in my life.
These people have invested more than a decade in me and they are finally beginning to see
I get very grateful this time of year. even when these kids are driving me crazy,
I remember when I couldn't see them at all.
Today they're all here, screaming and arguing and laughing and having fun and fighting
and singing too loud and leaving food EVERYWHERE!
I love it. I am the luckiest man alive.
Today I salute the real hero's in my life.
You know who you are. My wife, my children, my in-laws, my sister and brother,
my sponsor, my home group, my ex-wives, my best friends, my manger.
Thank you for taking me in and giving me hope.
You've done all the hard work, I just showed up.
You deserve everything I can do for you, I hope to do more.
Today my life is about giving back and I am so thankful I am alive and able to do so.
These are the people that deserve a pat on the back, a big present, and a big ole' "AT A BOY"!
Finally I want to thank God.
Whoever you are, wherever you are......you have always been there for me.
When I was ready, every door opened wide.
Somethings haven't made sense, but I don't need to know everything.
I trust you with my life and I am thankful for your will.
Today I no longer celebrate the Holidaze - I celebrate life.
I am home, not on the streets, not drunk or hungover, and I am doing my best.
Now if I can just figure out how to win at Halo.......I SUCK!
Merry Christmas People :)