See What Others Are Saying

“I stood in the hall, I was on the pay phone at my job 20 years ago. A woman I knew whom attempted assisting me in becoming a healthier person was incapable of nurturing me to the extent in which I needed; I had no idea at the time the blessing in which she was providing me . Because she is currently deceased I am unable to say, ‘thank you.’ My deceased friend offered me to another woman whom she believed would better equipped for the task at hand, me

“I had no idea at that moment the blessing which was before me, because it felt like more of the same emotional traumas which I had experienced multiple times already in my life. Abandonment, rejection and fear. I was given to Marla as a rejection, an incorrigible.

“For 20 years I have been loved, nurtured, taught, respected, hugged and given indelible gifts. The gifts I’m referring to are not the type you buy in stores, you cannot purchase them with money nor can you place a financial price on them.

“Marla has assisted me in areas of life that are valuable to self! They create self-awareness, self-commitment and self-development. I remember her placing me in a mirror asking me to look at my own reflection and to explain to her what I see. It was a difficult moment. In the beginning of our relationship she allowed me to be with her throughout her personal endeavors, paying bills, cooking dinners for her family, handling business affairs, tasks people encounter on a daily basis. Things I was unaccustomed to doing. I witnessed her raise her children, independent, responsible with integrity and respect. I watched her go through lonely days and nights awaiting the husband she was praying for. I was able to learn from her things about being a women I hadn’t received from others, not that they are at fault; but I have also learned through these experiences that people cannot give you what they themselves do not possess.

Marla is a mentor, a friend, a predecessor, an indelible lady! Due to my inability to accept her guidance and assistance I suffered many years of what I call, ‘wilderness wonders.’ Had I been able to receive the love, guidance and instructions it would have been saving me from serious consequences I could not foresee ahead. I suffered many more years addicted to drugs, unhappy relationships with men and six years of incarceration in a women’s prison due to a drug related offense.

“Although I didn’t respond positively quickly, Truth never turned her back on me, consequently, I have walked away from her multiple times. Although, again, Marla has always stood firm, solid and confident in her love and hope that one day she would witness me having my own desire for my life. I remember her saying, ‘baby, come up here where I’m at or get left behind.’ The seeds were being planted for me in a field of opportunity. It was up to me to accept the gifts of reaping the harvest. Indelible! Marla is the epitome of mentor. Spiritual love, unconditional she is not! Hard work is expected and if you’re loved by her she will insist you do the same for yourself

“I am so grateful today, I am a changed person. Marla helped me through addiction, life issues and incarceration with strategies from Truth. Phone calls, letters, advice; ‘eat, sleep and pray she would say.’ I conceded! I was tired, and I knew she was giving me the best instructions I could receive from any other woman. I love myself now, and the times when I was incapable of accepting instructions from Marla and walked away, I stagnated my growth and development that much more, I have yet to find a female role model whom is equipped with the compassion and strength of this lady!

“Today I am a successful student, live independently and am drug free. My past is behind me and I am not in a relationship with a man. There are moments of loneliness, times when I get weary, those are the days I reflect, Marla has had two strokes, lived single for years alone, raising her children, recovered from past wounds and traumas, and also flipped her truck on the freeway last year and broke her back in two places. With all that she still remained true to Truth's work.

I recognize the gift today! The strengths of another can be given, passed down, learned from. When you combine them with your own personal experiences it makes for not just one powerful woman, yet a multitude. What was provided to me is also provided to others, and what is provided to them is provided to more, therefore a village is being born, created and passed forward!

“Marla, you are a special person, a gift only God himself can provide. The world is better because of your concern and compassion for others and I am healthy, mature and prosperous because you loved me. Thank you for never giving up on me.

“I met Marla, in the summer of 1994. I was very new in my recovery process and didn't quite believe that recovery was possible for me. I was attending a meeting in the Metro Detroit area and in my lowest moment there she was. I was a member of a 12 step program and they had made some promises for me to live better. They promised to assist me with loving myself and that they would love me until I did it. And that's truly what she's done. In the last 21 1/2 years she has helped me through so many trials and tribulations. My joining the league in fighting the good fight and I can honestly say that this ride is going awesome. Marla has given me countless hours of time, her shoulder to cry on, her ears to listen to, tools and skills and suggestions on how I can better have confidence in myself be assured of myself that I can stand it and meet all my journeys head on. I came into the room with so much baggage, I had unresolved issues with the law (courts), my daughter, my family, my parents due to the mess I had made of my life and because she had already started our journey only thing that she had to give me was what she had done for herself and it worked for me. I remember I had to go turn myself in to Oakland County Jail, because I had some unresolved issues. I was so afraid of taking that step, but I was also afraid not to do it. So I called Marla and explained my dilemma. With open arms and encouragement she said that she would stand with whatever decision I made and if I made the right decision that she will walk me through it. So with the influence of prayers, I decided to do the right thing. And just as she said, Marla, drove me to jail speaking nothing, but encouragement and promising support for the duration of the stay, and she did. Marla, is such a personal (hands on) individual! That my entire family not only loves her, but has a personal relationship with her of their own. My daughter, calls her.... Her Sponsor. In 2014, 20 years later, I was hit with a near death experience, and Marla, never left my side. My mom, would say baby, (Marla) you're not well yourself and go home. She simply responding in her usual form, I'm fine. The point I'm making is she had been struck with major medical issues herself, yet she continued the good-fight. For Marla and her husband, believes, in fighting the good fight. I can think of a whole lot of programs and places that people can go to but I've never had better love, support and team lifting encouragement from Marla. I’ve never received so much basic daily living skills and tools to work on to keep me focused. Now I know that I can do this thing, One day at a time. I truly believe that I gave myself to God and God gave me to Marla, and as a result of this in seven months I'll have 22 years clean. I thank you!”

Greeting my Brother: (Victor)

“We can take this outside;” those are the words that were spoken, as I prepared to go outside and fight, then I heard someone’s voice saying, “That’s not the way we solve problems in NA.” I turned around and there you stood, looking calm, there was something that made me take notice of your very demeanor, it was at this point that my whole life changed. I thank God for given me the presence of mind to listen to you, I realize then that I belonged to a 12 step program but the program was not in me and I needed help, I was in a dark place and God sent Bro. Wheeler to the rescue. Being a felon and struggling addict I had little hope for the future.

“As I sit here writing to you, I’m thinking about the last 25 years you’ve been in my life, the lessons I’ve learned about living since knowing you; like being a good husband, a good parent, a good worker, respected in the community, that jail and drugs doesn’t have to be an option in my life today. As I look at the person I’ve become today I have you to thank for a lot of it, for having me to look inside myself and finding me, being there for me through all my failures and accomplishments. When I look at the many addicts and convicts coming out of prison that you have helped, it makes me proud to have you in my life. I’ve been so busy providing for my family and living life that I sometimes forget to thank the people that helped me to get where I’m at today in my life, I just wanted to take a few minutes and say thank you, for helping me on this journey I’ve been on and for your continue support. Thank you for being my mentor, my friend and setting a standard that I and many more guys like me can live by, thank you Victor for showing us (that had no hope) that life is worth living.”

Tim S.