From the December 2013 magazine.

December 2013: Flight from Omaha

Most Twelfth-Step calls are down in the trenches, but sometimes they’re up in the air

It didn’t take long for me to notice her condition. She put a bag of licorice sticks in the seat pocket in front of her, and then had a helluva time getting them out—one at a time. When the drink cart came by, she ordered two gins. The flight attendant asked her if she wanted ice and mix—the woman ignored the question. She did take the cup with the ice, but impatiently. When she unscrewed the lid on the first gin bottle and chugged it, I really took notice. That smell never fails to get my attention—even after 32 years.

The flight had left Omaha at 11 a.m., so it was close to noon. I waited to see if the gin would help her shaking, but soon it became very noticeable, though she was reading a magazine and acting like everything was fine. My daily email Grapevine Quote for that day was by Bill W. and said: “Let us remember that great legion who still suffer from alcoholism and who are still without hope. Let us, at any cost or sacrifice, so improve our communication with all these that they may find what we have found—a new life of freedom under God.”

-- Carleen L.

Helena, Montana

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