Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Four Years Ago...

Early on January 21 four years ago we received the devastating news that Bill W, a long-time TLC employee had passed away.

Bill was at TLC from 1992 until his passing in 2009. When he arrived he was like many new clients. He had few job skills, and no money. But he had a burning desire to change.

He began volunteering around the program, working mostly in the office, learning about computer systems. Before long he was helping with minor accounting chores. As time passed he became more knowledgeable than his teachers. He took over the accounting department.  Bill did that job for many years, creating many procedures that remain in place today.

Bill's story is like that of many of our clients. When he came to the program he had little. At the time of his passing he had a new Mustang. He was buying his own home. But more important than the material improvements in his life, he’d developed a circle of close friends. Even more significantly, he’d reunited with his family and enjoyed spending time with them.

Not long ago a longtime staff member, who'd known Bill since he arrived, walked into the accounting office and said, "I sure miss my friend Bill."

We all share that sentiment. God Speed, Bill.