Even though spring is blooming, I recently had a conversation with an It’s A Wonderful Life reference that I just had to share.
The owner of the company who installed our new roof (more on that in another post) was a great guy and he was very easy to talk to. As such, after the job was completed, he came to our house to collect the final payment, and Mrs. Beagle, Bob (the roofer) and I talked about a few different things outside of the questions we had about the roof.
I can’t remember the specific context, but he mentioned that he lives a pretty quiet life in that he doesn’t smoke or drink. He then paused, and said that this wasn’t always the case, that he is in fact a recovering alcoholic. I asked how long he was in recovery and he said that it’s been 19 years. I was very impressed and let him know as such, and he then told us something that made me really stop and think.
He told us about his ‘George Bailey’ moment. I’m sure most know, but just in case, George Bailey is the main character of the Christmas themed movie It’s A Wonderful Life. In the movie, things go wrong and he says out loud that he wishes he had never been born, and then gets to see his wish come true. A guardian angel takes him to a world in which he’d never been born, and he gets to see how things changed for many of the people (his wife, friends, family) whose life wouldn’t have been touched had he not been born.
Bob’s story obviously wasn’t centered about what would have happened had he not been born, but instead about how things likely would have turned out had he not stopped drinking. He told that during his ‘really, really wild days’ (his words), he had a best friend who was there with him at every turn. They drank together, partied together, got out of had together, got in a lot of trouble together, and lost control of themselves together.
At a certain point, Bob realized that he couldn’t do that. He knew he was out of control so he quit drinking.