Monday, May 12, 2014

Alice Paine Joins Her Beloved Dr. Bob in the Afterlife

Alice about 15 years ago at a housewarming for my new home in Wasena.
When Dr. Bob Paine died in mid-March, most of us who knew him and Alice, his wife of 70 years, believed she would join him soon. Now she has. Alice Parson Paine died over the weekend, taking her humor, her joy, her extraordinary gifts to others with her and joining the man she loved so deeply for so long.

I met Alice and Doc nearly 30 years ago, during early efforts to get sober. I already knew their daughter, Emily and was to know their son, Bobby.

Alice, Bob, Emily and Bobby.
Doc had helped set up programs for drunks, including the "honor court" in the Roanoke judicial system that gave me the choice of going to jail for drunk driving or to AA, where it was believed I and people like me might be helped rather than punished for a medical condition.

Doc and Alice were there for me during the early days of my sobriety (20 years this month) with wise words, solid direction about this "god thing" that I didn't understand and resisted so strongly, and with such incredible patience and humor that I was constantly astonished.

They were both quiet, but so very droll and funny. Alice reminded me of Ruth Gordon (the marvelous actress, who upon winning her first Oscar for "Rosemary's Baby" in her 80s, said, "Now this is encouragin' "). Alice's wit was perceptive, self-deprecating, often brilliant and easy to miss because it was so casual and natural.

She and doc were involved in everything and I won't even attempt a list, but I will say as simply as I can that each lived a worthwhile life, a life of giving and growing, of adjusting to  harsh realities and finding the sun in the cloud. They were people of such goodness that we'd only need a few more of them to raise the average for the entire world.

Thousands of people will directly miss them both and millions will miss them indirectly.

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