Last night was a special night for me in Harford County. Over 30 years ago I began representing and successfully defending a young alcoholic. Finally in 1997 I sent him from my office to rehab. He wanted to leave but they tested him first and he was still drunk and I didn’t see it in my office. He promised to return the next day and walked home. He didn’t drink that night and thus the 25 years began. It wasn’t easy. He went through a divorce with daughters ages 5 and 3, but with the help and support of AA members he got through it. Both of them were at the AA Meeting last night. There were work issues and the everyday bullshit that we all go through but he didn’t drink.I didn’t tell him I was coming and tried to sit in the back but he saw me and I sat with his family. He told his story and it was brutally honest about his life before Recovery and since. The people who supported him over the years spoke. I had attended AA Meetings before to learn and have always enjoyed the warmth and caring that the attendees have for everyone in the room. Last night was no exception. Tony asked me to speak and I told the group what I se as an “outsider” and how just being in the room helps even the most desperate person. I don’t know that I’ll make the 50th Anniversary but I felt as happy and joyful as Tony did last night.He hand wrote a letter for me to give to client’s years ago about his struggle and how Recovery had changed his life. I gave a copy of it to a new client Friday night who at 21 was where Tony was. I sent him to an AA meeting that night and he called to talk about it when he got home. I hope he finds inspiration in it as he nearly killed himself in the accident he had. At 21 it is asking a lot for him to give up his friends and lifestyle but I do my best to explain why it is necessary and send him to the places where he can learn and embrace a new life if he chooses. As I was getting ready to go to the meeting another 20+ year old client called to tell me he had received his second month chip from AA and how much better he feels physically and mentally since he stopped drinking. I held Tony’s 25 year chip and thought about how much that meant to the both of us. He is as dear a friend as I have and I told him the next time I hear him speak will probably be at my funeral although I expect to be at #30 for him.