hi tom, thanks for the fab pics. im soz i havent learned to send you any but i will get there. 
  if you ever run low on grattitude read this.  i have just been into a local cafe in town where, i was met with a face.  it was very badly scarred and so were his arms, hands and neck.  i recognised the eyes.  hi its Andy isnt it.  he couldnt smile due to the severe burns but his eyes did.  he used to go out with my sister when we were young.  it was nice to see that he wasnt uncomfortable with opening up to me.  he lifted his top to show more scarring.  i finished my food and moved to his table to chat with him.  he told me what hed been up to.  he had been a builder and had taken early retirement at around 45yrs old and had bought tickets to go abroad to do charity work building a community centre in a 3rd world country. then it happened.  he had had some sort of accident involving petrol, his whole body was set alight and he tried rolling to put it out but it didnt work…he knew he was going to die.  he headed for some conifer trees and i dont know how but the fire was put out.  he has spent the last 6 months in hospital living on pain killers and depression, having surgery after surgery.  he is homeless and stying in a rehabilitation home until he is housed.  in truth he looked a fucking mess.  what was startling to me was that he took off his jacket and just had on a vest top and people just stared at him.  he seemed unmoved and unconcerned by the childrens comments or amazement at having seen a human being looking like this. he started talking about how he hopes to be well enough to do the charity work soon,  after he has had more surgery on his armpits so he can lift his arms more.  we spoke about my alcoholism and life.  he amazed me by his spirit as we chatted about how life is good and how blessed we are.  he and his partner are no longer together, he is homeless and doesnt know where he will be from week to week, his body has left him immovable in parts and his confidence and spirit soared like the phoenix from the ashes…litterally!  i feel humbled by his ability to move on.  i cannot know how he has suffered but i felt it was akin to mine althouogh i onely have a few visible scars on my wrists and his is litterally all over his body.  as i looked into his eyes, i saw it, he was a brother to me as are my fellowship friends…kindred spirits.  i am sending much love to all addicts inside and outside of the rooms and to all people like andy who have fought through adversity.  may god give them special blessings.  much love tom. xxx

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