Me, My Mom, and Our Friend Natalie

By Doris A.

I turned fifty-nine last summer, the same age that my mother was when she died, thirty-six years ago.  I don’t have the number of years sober under my belt as she did when she died (fourteen), but I am working on it.

My mom had a friend named Natalie. I was in high school when they met.  Natalie became a friend of our family, then she became my friend, and as of two years ago, she became someone very special in my life.  Natalie died six months ago.  She was eighty–five and forty–four years sober.

Before I tell you more about Natalie I need to tell you about my mom; she is essential to the story.  My mother was an emotionally troubled woman, a severe binge drinker who drank through all her pregnancies and a good chunk of my childhood.  Only with the help of AA did she finally get sober in her mid-forties, when I was about nine.  Sobriety and the fellowship defined the last fifteen years of her life—it was a gift.  But it didn’t solve her emotional difficulties; today she would be considered to have both a borderline and bipolar disorder. Neither was ever treated.  At times her behavior when sober was as crazy-making as when she was drinking.

Dagny was my mother’s name, she went by Dee. She grew up in Chicago during the depression, one of four children, with working class parents from Norway who spent a lot of time at the tavern. Family legend has it that during the War my mother drove with her sister to California on a motorcycle.  She worked as a waitress most of her life, getting married in her early 30s to my immigrant Slovakian father—six months before my older brother’s birth.  I suspect they met in a bar, I am pretty sure they did not know each other well.

“Traumatic childhood” is so cliché, a bit hyperbolic, but that is what it was. I had a drunken mother who raged at her family for the slightest infractions. She broke treasured toys just because they were dusty. Cold water was poured over the top of one’s head, for who knows what.  My mom, the lady who locked herself in the bedroom for days on end, who swallowed a bottle of aspirin while we were young and dad was at work, the mom who screamed at neighbors from the porch and got in fist fights with her sister on the back steps. Few things were normal, everything was stressful, and the stress was relentless.

But there are also good parts inside me that came from my mother; they are part of my character and personality, things that I like.  I have sweet memories of my mom embedded in my psyche. She was the daffy den-mother who turned our basement into a haunted house and threw the best birthday parties ever.  In my head, I can easily hear her Chicago sounding voice and her hearty way of laughing.  I have vivid memories of sitting in her lap, head against her housecoat, finding the smell of cigarette smoke and coffee oddly comforting. She made me strawberry crepes for breakfast and sang songs to me that she made up in her head. The crazy making part was that I never knew who I would come home to, which version of my mother would be waiting for me when I opened the door.

Sobriety didn’t quell all my mother’s demons, but it sure changed her life.  She loved AA, really loved it, it was her life-raft.  It was the one place she found unconditional acceptance. A call from an AA friend or sponsor always set her mood in a better place.  Sobriety brought so many people into her life, and into our home. She sponsored other women and made good long-term friends.  Natalie was one of her dearests.

Natalie and her clubs

I met Natalie when I was about fifteen.  She spent time at our house playing Scrabble with my mom and younger sister. They both loved liverwurst sandwiches with fresh tomatoes from the yard. My mom talked Natalie into buying a bicycle, which soon became a focus of their friendship. We lived near the lake, so it was easy for them to take long rides up the lakefront, riding their old-school three-speeds equipped with bell, basket, and a picnic lunch. Sometimes my little sister went with them.

My siblings and I found Natalie intriguing.  She was younger than my mom by maybe ten years – but at the time we just had to guess.  My mom used to say “Natalie will never tell you how old she is, so don’t ever ask.”  Natalie was single but often had a boyfriend in her life.  She sold shoes at Marshall Field’s, and later at Nordstrom’s, she had a cute apartment, golfed on a regular basis, occasionally traveled, and had a parakeet named Senator Percy. As a true urbanite, she never owned a car.

Natalie got to connect with the best of my Mom—and for reasons I am not clear on, my mother never turned on her in anger the way she did with others.  They had an “almost like family” friendship, a one-alcoholic-helping-another-alcoholic type bond. In fact, my goofy mother created an “adoption” certificate for Natalie declaring she was kin. It entitled her to at least one Scrabble game and one bike ride a year, a promise to always stay in touch and to care for her if she was sick. Natalie, my mom, and my younger sister all signed it; they then burned the edges with a match to make it look old.

When I was twenty, away at college, my parents divorced.  My mother moved to a studio apartment in the same building as Natalie. At fifty-six she finally learned to drive (poorly), bought a car, and stuck an “easy does it” sticker on the bumper. She began to cobble together a new chapter in her life, relying on the fellowship for support and meaning.

My mom and her “easy does it” car

A year later my father retired and moved to Idaho, dragging along my punk-rock, acid-dropping fifteen-year-old sister (my dad had custody of my sister, which is its own painful story).  Both my brothers had already left home, one moving out west. The thought of being left behind by all of us must have been devastating to my mother. Shortly before my father and sister left for Idaho, my mother literally packed everything she owned into her car, with her three-speed bike on the back, and drove around the country aimlessly. I think it was for a few months, maybe just a few weeks. I don’t remember.

She eventually arrived in Spokane, Washington, which was thirty miles from where my father had settled. In a disconnected, muddled-up state of confusion, I decided to skip graduate school and live there as well.  Essentially my fractured family “dislocated” itself across the country.  And here is the hard part: three or four months after moving there my mother was diagnosed with late-stage cancer and died within a year.  I don’t remember how much contact my mother and Natalie had during that time, but I am sure there was some.

My sister and I called the year in Spokane “our own private Vietnam.” I worked in a tavern and drank like a barfly. I spent a lot of time with my mother that year, but we barely talked about the fact that she would soon be dead. There were some tender moments, but also some crazy ones.  Like the time she kicked my sister and me out of her house for eating cake for breakfast.  What I wanted that year, what I needed so badly, was to put my head on my mother’s lap and have her tell me how I would cope when she was gone.

My mom did not die in peace.  She was anxious and afraid; cancer was in her bones and her brain, the physical pain was unbearable.  And sadly, she was cut off from her AA fellowship in Chicago that last year.  She died in early November of 1980.  The week John Lennon got killed, Ronald Reagan was elected, and I became “orphaned.”

Six months later I was the one packing everything I owned into my mother’s dented-up ”easy does it” car. In a fugue, I hit the reset button and moved to Seattle. It was there that I slowly began to heal my psychic wounds, putting myself together from the outside in.

For the next thirty years, Natalie and I exchanged a few Christmas cards and letters. Her letters were wonderful accounts of her day-to-day life: bike riding, meetings, lunch with friends, telling me about cross-country skiing on the waterfront of Chicago. It was very much like the type of letter my mom would have written.

I also saw her in person a few times while visiting Chicago. The most memorable occasion was in 2007.   My now ex-husband and I had lunch with her and another friend of my mother named Mary.  At lunch, I learned that my mother, still in early recovery, did a twelve-step call on Mary.   Mary happily described how my mom came to her door forty years ago and took her to a meeting.  Upon seeing Mary dressed in a fur coat and jewelry, my mother exclaimed, “Oh, no need to wear all that, we’re going to a smoky church basement.” It was a speaker meeting which Mary recalled in precise detail. This story crystalized something about my mother, and about so many people I have known in AA.  That despite her struggles and the unhinged behavior my mother was an AA warrior.  She helped so many people, especially women, in the program.

Natalie, Mary and Me

As for me, it wasn’t until my early thirties that I decided to do something about my drinking. Yet for the next few decades I could only manage to stay sober for a few years at a time, sometimes longer, but sometimes for just months. And all through those years, I had a love/hate relationship with AA; I knew I needed the fellowship, but so much of it reminded me of my mother’s erratic behavior both before and after she got sober.  There was a touch of PTSD in just hearing all that “program talk,” and of course there was also the god bit.

When I was fifty-one, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, something I had feared for years.  Contrary to my mother’s situation, it was detected very early, and after a year of treatment, I was given a clean bill of health. Shortly after, I decided to drink once again, and that was just one too many relapses for my husband.  We separated and eventually divorced. I moved back to Illinois to live closer to my oldest brother in a town three hours south of Chicago.

A year or two after I moved Natalie found me on Facebook, and we started connecting again by phone and email. Two years ago I finally went to visit her in Chicago. I wish I had gone sooner.  She looked much older than when I had seen her last but remembering what my mom said years before I did not ask her age. I suspected she was somewhere in her eighties.

By then Natalie was living in a senior citizen apartment building in Lakeview, a very trendy Chicago neighborhood.  Despite weighing about 90 pounds and looking very frail, she was leading a remarkably active life.  At her apartment she proudly showed me her newest bike, that was equipped with a radio for her rides along the lake. She said she still golfed at a nearby public course and that she went to the gym around the corner and especially liked the Zumba class. I learned about her long-term companion who lived in Arizona–she spent winters with him every year.  She said the arrangement suited her well.  Natalie wasn’t trying to be cool, she just was.

The next time I saw her was a year ago.  I decided to visit as I was approaching my fifty-ninth birthday, the age of mother’s death.  I wanted to learn more about Natalie’s life and more about her friendship with my mother. I was so grateful that Natalie had an impeccable memory and was sharp as a tack. That day we went to a meeting.  In my share, I talked about how I had become friends with Natalie and about the friendship she shared with my mother many years ago. It was hard not to cry.

Natalie Becomes Kin

Later in the day, Natalie took me on a “walk and talk,” showing me the interesting gardens in her neighborhood. While we walked, I learned that she was the only child of a cold and distant mother and that my mother was nurturing to her in a way she hadn’t experienced before. She commented, “I wasn’t used to that.”  I got the sense that she understood my mother’s emotional burdens, but she made it clear, “I would never let anyone say a bad word about your mom.”  We humorously compared stories about my mother’s bad driving, and before I left, she took out the “adoption” certificate which she had saved for so many years.

Until that afternoon I had not grasped what an impact my mom had on her, nor did I understand that Natalie herself thought of me “as kin” all these years.

I last saw Natalie last July, shortly after my birthday. I could tell she wasn’t feeling well; she said it was hard to eat and that she was tired. We spent part of the morning just reading quietly in her apartment; she paged through The New Yorker, and I paged through her stack of Grapevines.

In the afternoon we decided to go to the movies. She picked out the animated movie Finding Dory. I was so happy that another adult wanted to see that movie.  She loved the idea of taking an Uber there since she had never used it before.  The day ended with a dinner at a place down the street, where the owner and waiter knew her name and what she liked to order. We talked about the funny scenes in the movie. She was going to see the doctor that week, and I asked that she keep me updated on any news, and said that maybe we could see each other before she left for Arizona.

A week later she wrote an email saying that the doctors had not found anything seriously wrong with her, but were still trying to figure out why eating was so difficult.  She promised to keep me in the loop.  A few months later I emailed her and got no response, and when I called, I found her phone was no longer in service.  I knew what this meant.

Natalie and her radio equipped bike

It took me many weeks to track down any information.  Finally, one of her Facebook friends confirmed that she had died.  The woman gave me the contact information for a gentleman named Dan who had driven Natalie to a meeting every week for 28 years. From him, I learned that she did not die alone and that she left specific instructions that there was to be no memorial service and that her body should be donated to science. He said that this was “tough on many of us.”  He suggested that we have lunch sometime and tell Natalie stories.  He also got me in touch with a lady named Sue.

Sue sent me an email at the end of January.  She said Natalie was born in 1931, and that she died on September 6th shortly after being diagnosed with throat cancer, a few months after I had last seen her.  Sue spent the last week with Natalie at the hospital and was there when she died.  She said she had known Natalie for 40 years. “It has been an overwhelming loss for me, as she was both sponsor and friend for so many years.” She also kindly mentioned that “Natalie spoke of you often and she valued your friendship.”

Sue also wrote that she had met my mother before she moved to Spokane. She and Natalie were the first passengers in my mother’s car shortly after she had gotten her driver’s license. How funny is that? Someone else on this planet had ridden in my mother’s “easy does it” car.

I am so sad about Natalie’s passing.  I wanted us to have a few more years of friendship. She offered an emotional bridge to my mother. Natalie lived an interesting and spirited life which was embedded in the fellowship of AA. I am so grateful that she made sure we would stay connected over the decades.  I am touched that she held me in high regard and thought I, too, had an interesting life.  She was an independent woman who loved life and embraced sobriety, what better role model could I have?

Sue, Dan, and I are having lunch in April. We will tell Natalie stories, and I will have two new friends. Sue suggests we go to Dairy Queen for desert, just as Natalie liked to do. I will learn more about Natalie, who I painfully miss. Perhaps I’ll hear another funny story about my mother.


About The Author:  Doris A.

Doris lives in Champaign-Urbana, a lovely university town set amongst the cornfields of central Illinois.  For the past year, she has served as Chief Editor of AA Beyond Belief.  Her day job is managing a lending library at the county jail through Urbana-Champaign Books To Prisoners.  Her home group is Many Paths—a thriving secular AA group that recently celebrated its two-year anniversary.

Artwork 

The featured image for this article was created by Kathryn F.

Audio Version 

The audio version of this story was recorded by Len R. from Jasper, Georgia. Len is interested in starting a secular AA meeting in his area. If you would like to join him, please send an email to lenr.secularsobriety@gmail.com

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  1. Gerald March 20, 2017 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Doris, for sharing the exploration of your childhood and family dysfunction with us. Just like with our individual drinking stories, the family dynamics generally are very different, but we get similar feelings as a result of not receiving proper parenting and a proper childhood.

    Me too, I had a parent in AA who never achieved the kind of honesty that a ninth step amends requires. My father was an AA “tow truck.” He brought a lot of people into AA, but he never did the steps himself 🙂 … You know, I suffered from the mental illness of depression & anxiety until I took up a kind of Paleo diet in my sixteenth year sober in AA, but my father suffered from a much worse mental illness for which he refused treatment. Truly he was the kind of person the Big Book calls “constitutionally incapable” of being honest with himself.

    My mother was a codependent. She briefly attended Alanon. She made a better choice in alcoholic husband for her second marriage, a garden variety alcoholic instead of the charismatic sociopath that was my father. My mother was a good person. She was the one most cheated by an early death. Fifty-five seems young now. All three of my parents came to unhappy ends and before retirement age.

    My mother was a good person, and when I took her inventory in the ACA program, I found myself & my own inventory there too (!) I was always a good person too. Many of her faults & failures were mine too 🙂 and I learned from taking her inventory last year, in my 23rd year of AA sobriety, so many things that I would never have learned about myself from the AA inventory method.

    … I’m a product of the AA program today and some other healthy influences. I used to just be a product of a dysfunctional home environment. I was the product of school, church, pop culture & TV too. The AA program has given me the means to become something better than just the product of all of those dysfunctional systems.

    I’m passing on something better to my kids. Sure, there are days when I feel like a parenting failure, but I’ll get right-sized soon enough. The reality is that I’m ending the intergenerational cycle of emotional poverty. I’m actually doing that with my wife’s help, who makes me a better person and a better father. It’s hard work, but it’s a privilege to break the cycle of emotional poverty.

    Thanks,

    Gerald, alcoholic, Japan

    • Kathleen A. Schultz March 23, 2017 at 1:01 am Reply

      Doris, thank you for your story.  It was very heart warming.  Like having a “visit” with a friend.

      I live in Montana.  There are no secular AA meetings in my area.  I am so glad I found this site.  It helps keep me sobre.

      Kathleen S.

    • Doris A March 20, 2017 at 4:42 pm Reply

      Gerald, thank you for sharing your stories.  My mother had goodness in her that she passed on to me, as well as the psychic pain I have had to deal with all my life.  Getting older, and wiser, and growing up emotionally has allowed me to have compassion for her without negating the damage I suffered from having a dysfunctional parent(s).  Thankfully I have finally gotten sober, and thankfully I got to know Natalie in the past few years. And thankfully I live in a time when breast cancer didn’t mean a death sentence like it did for my mom.  Warm regards, Doris

  2. Thomas B. March 20, 2017 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Doris, I too, thoroughly enjoyed your well-written and most moving story of generational alcoholism that’s complicated with other mental health conditions. Thank you so much for sharing your story, your Mom’s story, and the story of Natalie, who was a bridge in recovery between you and your Mom, long after she had passed. I trust the new friendships with Dan and Sue will continue the process of us sharing our stories with each other to deepen our understanding and compassion for the utter magnificence of simple being.

    • Doris A March 28, 2017 at 1:55 am Reply

      Thanks for your comment. I heard from Sue today (after I emailed a link to this story).  She loved the story and has passed it onto another woman, who knew my mom and also road in her easy-does-it car.  I think her name is Rita.  So now four of us are getting together to celebrate Natalie, and my mom.  I will email  you about how that turns out

  3. life-j March 20, 2017 at 12:28 am - Reply

    Doris,

    Thank you for this look at all parts of life. I think we need to look more at multigenerational influences than just “alcoholism”. So many things are inherited just by social absorption. I had an orphan for a dad. Things weren’t easy. All I could do, later,  was forgive to the best of my ability. As for my mom, we finally were able to have a genuine relationahip after my dad died 4 years ago, or 5. I did get amends from her since, and on more than one occasion. we have talked about such complicated concepts for an 85 year old as ‘boundaries’. we have had honest, and fair fights. We have become friends  ….. since after I was 60. Better late than never.

     

  4. Roger C. March 19, 2017 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    I have now read this article twice, and have found in quite moving. And it’s not just “hurt people hurt people” that makes it moving but also the very opposite, how we humans occasionally manage to reach out to, and actually help, others. And maybe that’s the very definition of “good”. Very complex. Very touching. These were the thoughts and feelings that this article evoked in me first thing this morning, and now. Thanks Doris.

  5. Ritha March 19, 2017 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    I need this site.  I live in Mexico in a city that is known for its large Gringo retirement community.  The AA meetings here are attended by elderly members, many of whom are very conservative.  Nearly all meetings end with the Lord´s Prayer.  It is not unusual to hear someone refer to the “Big Book” behind the Big Book.  I feel like a second-class citizen.  It is not my imagination.  Not too long ago, I made a comment about how nice it was for non-believers that Agnostic meetings were springing up, such as the meetings in Toronto.  My comment set off a Canadian woman who was present.  She talked about how much money AA intergroup wasted fighting the lawsuit to relist the Toronto agnostic groups.  After the meeting, there was a tight little knot of people around her.  As I passed, I heard someone say, “I don´t care, it´s not AA.”

    I try not to care, but sometimes I leave a meeting feeling more alienated than when I go in. Today, when I started to speak, the leader called upon someone else while I was introducing myself to speak.  The person she called upon had not indicated a desire to speak.  This is the second time is has happened.    I realize it is nothing compared to what others have gone through, but it makes me feel crappy.  I wonder how many people AA has driven away.

    • Gerald March 21, 2017 at 3:10 am Reply

      Ritha, another AA’er and I just started an online group for international loners: AA International Loners Steps & Traditions. This is not an agnostic/ atheist/ free thinker meeting, and I did intend to keep my own atheism low key in the beginning so as not to scare off the majority. The person who started this meeting with me is not atheistic, but she has 30 years in AA and is big on the steps and the traditions.

      Also, it’s technically not a meeting for house bound members or members with “social phobias,” for example, or people who don’t have transportation to meetings. It’s for international AA’ers  who truly are unable to adequately participate in a f2f AA community.

      I think you meet the membership eligibility if you think you do. It sounds like your local ex-pat AA there in Mexico is not following the 12 Traditions, and that would be sufficient grounds to meet the eligibility requirements: “not able to adequately participate in a f2f community.”

      You can find our new group at the online AA intergroup:

      https://aa-intergroup.org/directory_specialty.php?code=li

      Thanks,

      Gerald

    • John S March 19, 2017 at 4:02 pm Reply

      Thanks for writing, Ritha. I’m glad you can find refuge here among other AAs who understand that what one believes is or should be secondary to what one actually does to stay sober. Your comment is another reminder why our meetings are so important and the value in sites like this carrying the message that we aren’t alone.

      • Ritha March 19, 2017 at 4:26 pm Reply

        Weird, but I feel better just because you said you understood.   Thank heavens for all the agnostic sites, for your story Doris, and for you John.  Have a wonderful afternoon to anybody who reads this.

         

  6. Jerry F. March 19, 2017 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    That was very moving and well-written, Doris. If we live long enough, and if we stay attuned to all the others we meet, we will surely encounter some extraordinary people. And yes, “hurt people hurt people” but we learn in the program that our parents were parented, and that we, in just one generation, can begin the long process of healing ourselves and ensuring that our children, grandchildren, and adopted kin will always remember us with love. That is our legacy.

  7. Faith Rendell March 19, 2017 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Thanks, Doris.   Great story and great that you made it through and have become the person you are.

  8. Joe C March 19, 2017 at 11:01 am - Reply

    Doris,

    vulnerable is the new heroic. I am honoured to be brought so deeply into your life. I am a second generation AA. My mothers friends have a very different experience of our mother compared to my sisters and me. My mother was charming and generous and she was loved by many. Though innocent children were not spared the horror of meternal alcoholism, my sisters and I have very different memories of our childhood than my mother recounts. In her narrative, she was a drink after the kids are in bed alkie. A childcare worker by trade, which she took pride in so thus, a loving, talented mother. There was no Step 9 amends to my siblings and I because in her world, she protected us from “the insidious disease of alcoholism.” That just wasn’t real as the chaos and random, fickle mood and violence outbursts created a life-during-wartime prison of a home. Over 40 years sober, my mother died at 75 without a clue as to why none of us jumped in to corroborate her magical tales of our storybook past. I learned that there were two Joans (my mom’s name) and the public one was the Joan I learned to enjoy in her later years. The mother of our childhood would never be s participant in the healing process for my sisters and me. Like one expects from an Alzheimer patient, the mom we knew had left the station and was written out of history.

    I understand that damaged people damage people and delusion is a coping mechanism. Mom has her own story of damage. It was sufficiently severe that she couldn’t bear the shame of her own deeds. She created a reality that she thrived in and we could accept or reject it, participate or decline, but breaking through it wasn’t an option.

    My mother was flawed and incomplete. So am I. I continue the legacy of imperfect parenthood. Alcoholics wreak havoc on those we love.

    For the damaged, I think the healing come from the same way we heal our own alcoholism-we share our stories with others. It takes a certain kind of bravery and vulnerability. Thank you, Doris; it means a lot.

     

    • Doris A March 19, 2017 at 12:13 pm Reply

      Joe, I am very touched by your comments. I, too, didn’t have a step 9 moment from my mom. I resented this for years, but not so much now.  I am very grateful that Natalie was in my life over the last few years, it helped me feel better inside; and it’s a joy to have a quirky, independent woman serve as a role model who was connected to my mother, but not my mother.

       

  9. Paul JFT March 19, 2017 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Thank you so much Doris! So many moments and feelings make up our lives.  I also turned 59 last year, the 1957 Kids have always been a fun bunch. Members of my family and I have struggled with mental health issues too, some much more successfully than others. Sobriety (7-2-89) hasn’t solved all my problems or made me any taller yet! BUT it has opened up doors to a reality and a shared adventure with others I never knew was possible in this life. The telling and re-telling of our stories is such a marvelous powerful thing. I loved hearing yours!

    Sincerely Paul JFT

  10. Larry March 19, 2017 at 10:32 am - Reply

    So touching,

     

    Thank you Doris.

     

    Larry

  11. Diane R March 19, 2017 at 10:09 am - Reply

    Thank you for your story and for your service work to keep BEYOND BELIEF alive and growing. Your story was my Sunday morning in bed with coffee treat. What more could a female agnostic in AA want.

  12. Heather B. March 19, 2017 at 9:53 am - Reply

    It’s amazing to me, the stories that lie just below the surface.  Thank you for letting us see this part of you that is heartbreaking, lovely and relatable.  As I sort through my own past with a clearer head, reading your story has reminded me that I am not alone.

  13. Lance Bredvold March 19, 2017 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Hi Doris;

    Your story reminds me that a large part of our common identity as secularists is displayed by resistance to the situation we are in.  This story is instead the kind of gentle growing up which has happened to me in AA.  Not so much drama or excitement, but just a steady maturing in company with others who were once unpredictable and thus frightening.  Probably we need more stories where “then there was the god bit” is enough said about that feature of the process.

    As the years pass I note that the oldtimers within our wing of the fellowship stop being quite so vocal about the differences we feel and become more vocal about how recovery feels.  When I was more rebellious than now, I found that a bit disappointing.  And now a story told as you have worded it, feels very appropriate and good.

    Thanks.

  14. John S March 19, 2017 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, and for all the work you do behind the scenes to bring stories here every week.

  15. Jo-Anne Kennedy March 19, 2017 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Thank you Doris for the lovely word picture you have painted. Hope to see you soon?!

    Jo-Anne

     

  16. Andy Mc March 19, 2017 at 6:57 am - Reply

    Thank you Doris, for taking the time to share your story with us, I loved the read and i found it very touching and well written(as one would expect from a librarian:-)

    Thank you,

    Andy Mc

     

  17. ken March 19, 2017 at 6:10 am - Reply

    Thanks Dorris.

    What an interesting story about the web of positive connections we form in this fellowship!

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