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The following is the last portion only of a current (2002) play about Dr. Bob Smith, received from Barefoot Bill L., another "Barefoot" old-timer and friend.
It is performed by Bill McN., known also by his performance of "Moments: An Evening With Bill Wilson". The Dr. Bob play has only been performed a few times and is a must see. The play comes from the idea that Dr. Bob gets one last chance to say whatever he would want before his passing away (since his last talk, which was at the 1st International Convention of AA in 1950 in Cleveland, was only a few minutes long due to his illness).
Here is the ending which was requested from the performer. Please note that the conclusions, with poetic license, are Bill McN's assumptions of what Dr. Bob said in his final years. Also, Angel Anon is something he has played around with for the last 10 years beginning with a concept of self-less helpfulness that centered around an earlier idea he had called "Angels Anonymous". Enjoy! --- Love and Peace, Barefoot
Since Anne's passing and with my own failing health, I've been isolated and given plenty of time to gather my thoughts... to make some sense out of a disordered life. Now, the benefits of prayer and meditation have become immeasurable. During this process, using the Absolute of Love that I mentioned previously, I have gained a new insight that I would like to share with you. But first, let me state most emphatically that this is my insight. If you want one yourself, follow the process.
What process? Well the answer is pure and it is simple ... on a regular basis, seek through prayer and meditation to improve your relationship with your understood God, asking only for wisdom, courage and strength to carry out His will for you ... when known.
I have come to believe that I am made in the image of God. That image is at the very center of my being and resides inside the smallest atom, or particle of atom, that was my beginning. I call it my angel ... my angel anon ... most often unknown to me, but known always by God. It was formed by God's idea of me, and it is eternally good. It is a piece of God and it resembles Him.
I have been formed around that image and over the years, and through the circumstances I have shared with you in my story, I forgot that it was there. Again, it is the image of God; God's idea of me and placed there at the instant of my conception. This is true of every human being that was ever born and truer still for all that will come after you and I have long since gone.
As an infant this goodness is recognizable by those who choose to look for it and it can, and will bring out the goodness in them. It is called unconditional love ... total acceptance. A child for its mother and the mother's love for the child is the best example. Unearned, open and unconditional ... absolute ... it flows and animates the whole relationship.
And then, for reasons that are too many to list, the love gets distorted, clouded, and survival begins to take over. I began to see "through a glass darkly". I lost that joyous spontaneity that makes up the young child and I became fearful ... the kind of fear that transcended all the love I contained.
I wish I could remember when that fear began. Was it separation, a smack on the bottom to put me back in line, a disappointment, or someone's failure to fulfill a promise? Was it some overheard comment that slighted me and, worst of all, I found believable? I don't think I will ever know... and in all honesty, is it that important? What I do know is that I have to let that fear go if I am ever to find happiness and peace of mind.
But how, how do I do it?
Well, the answers are again just as pure as they are simple. First and foremost, I must stay sober. Then I must try to help others get sober. I must consistently ask for God's assistance in those two endeavors and accept his will for all of us ... not just me, but for all of us. I must practice love through an open and expressive attitude of gratitude for the benefits that have been given to me. I must witness to God's love and kindness in my own living experiences. I must give of myself ... mind, body and soul, on those occasions when the need is made obvious. I must be willing to accept that my help may not be welcomed and my efforts may go unappreciated.
I must walk humbly in the presence of my God knowing that "Of myself, I am nothing, all that I am comes from my Heavenly Father." I must continually let loose that little angel inside of me, that angel anon, the better side of my nature, through acts of spontaneous generosity to those that need it, and finally I must act with faith so that more faith will be given me.
And who said there are no musts in AA? My only regret is that I had to wait for so long to learn these simple lessons. I pray they come sooner for you ... remember; all you have to do is practice.
Finale: A voice is heard ...
When it was certain that Bob would not survive his illness, close friends approached him to ask his permission to build a monument to his and Anne's memory. Bob was humbled by their request but he declined, asking only to be "buried like other folks." So, as he wished, on a slight rise overlooking Akron's Mt. Peace cemetery, there's a simple headstone marked SMITH. This is Bob and Anne's place of rest.
At first glance a passerby would see nothing that sets it apart from all the other graves, but should he or she take a closer look, they would notice small piles of medallions on top of the stone and more around its base ... placed there, in loving gratitude, by people in AA, and of AA, who come there each year, by the thousands, from all parts of the world.
Although most would not know the significance of these symbols... these tokens of sobriety and earned grace, they would realize that this is a special place ... and these must have been very special people.
No monument is needed. -- We are Dr. Bob's and Anne's monument!!
The stage goes dark.
Since the beginning of my recovery in AA, February 28, 1974, I have always felt very much akin to Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, sharing the same disease and recovery, the same first name, and the same birthday, he, August 8, 1879, and mine, August 8, 1933. I visited their home, and their place of rest during and after Founder's Day 1997 and again in 2002. I have a page dedicated to Dr. Bob and Anne, The Smiths
Bob's and especially Anne's, favorite song, Amazing Grace, was played and sung often in early AA meetings. This is the sound of Amazing Grace played on a Native American flute, just click on the title, let the sound file load and Enjoy! Very Powerful and Spiritual!!
Love and Peace, Barefoot
KEEP COMING BACK!
On the Web Oct 7, 2002 in the Spirit of Cooperation
Three mighty important things, Pardn'r, LOVE And PEACE and SOBRIETY