Reach Out and Touch

by Jane D.

Spent my Xmas with family — some of my most dangerous buttons. Got through it. And it really was OK. The same old conflicts, a bunch of new ones. I didn’t drink and didn’t have much problem with it then even though this is the first holiday season I can remember (literally) having been sober.

So, I’m on Amtrak coming home and I’m not sure whether or not it was that the relief of getting through the holidays wasn’t coming fast enough to suit me or whether it was that I was feeling the need for a reward or boredom or what, but my lizard mind started rationalizing. One glass of wine wouldn’t hurt. After all, I didn’t drink when my buttons were pushed; when the pressure was on, so one glass of wine couldn’t hurt now. My seat was less than one car down from the club car. That made it very convenient.

The power went off. They had to get a diesel to push us to a new power line. But the power was only enough to run the engine — no heat or lights. A three hour trip took me six-plus hours. As the hours grew, and, as I couldn’t smoke on the train, my lizard got stronger. The line to the Club Car got long. As they passed me, I noticed a very young, very harassed mom with baby and started to talk. I offered to get her what she needed so she could sit down with cranky babe in tow. She took me up on it. I got on that line still debating on getting my booze and wanting it real bad by that time. Bought two waters, walked extra cars to find and give it to her. Took the baby in my arms and walked her for an hour or so up and down the aisle; her under my coat to try and give her some warmth in the cold.

As I walked her, that small child reminded me how precious life is; mine included.

That was my small holiday miracle. Happy New Year!