Thank You Fran, Paul, Don, Jen, Jess, John, Susan, and the Hippie Girls!
Godspeed Fran Tenser
We are a small group of active AA members in Elmira, NY. Most of us were chronic relapsers who had the good fortune to have heard the message, done the steps and recovered. We started some meetings and kept them simple. We listened to Joe and Charlie read from the book, we prayed and kept our discussion focused on the directions in the book. We craved a deeper fellowship that represented the beauty, simplicity and effectiveness of the program we had come to know in the big book of alcoholics anonymous. Very few in the local fellowship wanted to help or join us.
I heard of Fran from a fellow A.A. member. I was told that if our little group needed help Fran was the one I should call. So I did. I told Fran the situation and she immediately said that she would come and put on a big book workshop. I asked her what her schedule was like and he told me sooner was better, so we scheduled 2 months out. We said our thanks and goodbyes.
Fran called me back in about a half an hour. She thanked me for asking for her help and explained to me that she was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, and had been given less than a year to live. She explained to me that she was angry and afraid and had been praying. Fran’s prayer was simple. "Either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is, or He isn't. and God is everything so what is the beauty in this situation, my having terminal cancer". Fran said her prayer, and listened. Fran had been praying that prayer just before I called. Then after my request, she received another. Fran prayed and listened and within a half an hour, she received two calls for help from two folks that she didn’t know and probably never should have. Fran told me that the beauty wasn’t in her cancer it was in her usefulness. She was still useful to us in alcoholics anonymous. This wonderful program and a God personal to her had saved her, and now even with cancer she could be of use to Gods children.
Fran came, she brought 9 other friends of this fellowship, they traveled 3 hours and spent 3 days (their own time and own dime) giving us their love as well as their understanding of the program in the book alcoholics anonymous. Fran followed the directions in the book and built the fellowship that she craved and that fellowship came to us glowing with love, gratitude and service.
I never heard Fran complain of her cancer. I watched her answer questions and teach with a mothers love. She didn’t ask for anything, in fact when I asked her if she needed anything she said that she had few needs and they had all been met. Fran told me that the members of her group self-sufficient and God reliant. And they proved to be. All had a clear message of recovery and the beauty therein and all believed in and were committed to service work. Fran and this group of recovered alcoholics showed me a level of recovery, fellowship and service that I had never seen before.
God Bless you all you have helped me and many others more than you realize and your love and understanding will continue in my life as well as the service work it has initiated. Thank you and God Bless.
And thank you Fran - you have helped me more than you know. I will never forget you and I will carry your name and your work with me wherever I go. Your message is pure, insightful and full of love; you are the most selfless person I have ever met.
Godspeed Fran Tenser