Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published July 2011.

Web Exclusive: An Amends in the Nick of Time

If he had waited only one more day, he would have lost the opportunity to make amends

"I knocked on the door and a man answered and said he was busy and to go away."

When I was about 51 years old and sober almost 30 years, I found myself with enough time on my hands to do another extensive written Tenth Step. In the course of that, I discovered that I still had some amends to make that were long overdue. The most prominent were in a Midwestern town some 1,000 miles from where I now live. It looked like a road trip was in order.

I used to shoplift jeans from a clothing store when I was 16 years old. My mother gave me the money to buy them, but I stole them and spent the money on cheap wine and drugs. The store was a family-owned business and the son now ran the store. He was perplexed but gracious when I paid him back. The rest of the stores were long gone, so taking my sponsor’s suggestion I contacted the local Crime Victims Advocate to make a donation. I met with them and explained who I was and my purpose. I was well received by these kind and gracious ladies. During my visit with them I asked about a certain detective that I had some close calls with as a youth. It seems he had become the police chief of a nearby town some years back and lost that job due to drinking, but now he was sober. I asked them to say hello for me, but they suggested I do that myself and gave me his phone number. We had a great conversation—two AAs sharing with each other—and he vaguely remembered me but he definitely recognized the names of some of my known associates.

-- Philip S.

Carlsbad, California

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