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Of Thanksgiving and recovery

Posted Thursday, December 8, 2011, at 5:27 PM

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a special Thanksgiving dinner.

It was like so many dinners on the surface. It was the usual fare --turkey and dressing, prepared lovingly for a big crowd, pie galore, and family and friends gathered, having a great time. All those at this gathering seemed to be just enjoying one another's company, talking of one another's recent successes and difficulties, of the first snow flurries that came that day. Catching up, supporting one another.

So what's the big deal? The big deal is that this was the Vernon County Adult Recovery Court's Thanksgiving dinner, and that extraordinarily ordinary dinner is at the heart of what the Recovery Court is all about. Sure, it's about second chances and avoiding a criminal record by making massive lifestyle decisions and changes. It's about recovery. But it's also about giving people the tools to build or rebuild strong families. It's about building a strong, positive support system. It's about all the Thanksgivings to come and the families that share them.

The Recovery Court's been in place since 2001 and has enjoyed great success. It hasn't changed every life. Some aren't successful in the rigorous program that seeks to give them the tools to take back their lives from the substance abuse that's landed them in a tough spot. But many are successful. And their successes are the reason for so many smiling children, parents, friends and grandparents gathering for this Thanksgiving dinner.

So to all the Recovery Court grads out there who are just living, day-to-day in recovery, thank you for all those smiles; you're inspiring others in ways you can't imagine, every day. And God Bless you on your efforts to continue in your recovery.

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Lynn Wade
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