We sit rapt around the table in the last five minutes of the class listening to her tell her story, part of an assignment that has turned into so much more. The class is for those recovering from substance abuse â€“ never has there been a group of braver people. They implored my to join their class after I came as a guest speaker and I readily accepted. The inspiration is reciprocal.Â Her voice is a wavery whisper, becoming a mournful wail and tears splash down her cheeks as she recounts the death of her toddler daughter. A release of so many years of grief that she once swallowed down with so much alcohol. Around the table we dab our eyes, mourning her loss, celebrating of her strength, recognizing her breakthrough, being part of her magical transformation, a moment I will never forget.
When she finishes she looks up and is met with silence. Awe. She smiles at me, triumphant. She recognizes her own healing.
“Thank you for giving me the courage. It’s because of your book and this class that I was able to write that.”
For the first time, I see before me the power of my words and I forget to breathe.