Below are a very small sample of the many kind letters of Thank You that we receive…
March 22nd 2011
I hope you and Mrs. A are doing well. I don’t know if you remember me or not but I was the immature, arrogant man from NYC who wanted to open car washes with you. I am grateful to say that I am no longer that man anymore and the people close to me will agree.
It has been four years since our last conversation. The situation that transpired due to my actions was both regrettable and unfortunate at the time. As I look back now at my part in the situation, I am filled with disgust and shame as a result of my actions. You were a big part of my early sobriety and opened up the pathway for my road to recovery. The lessons that I have learned were life changing. For that I am forever grateful to you and your staff at the Oasis Treatment Center.
At nearly five years sober, one day at a time, I live with my wife and our seventeen month old daughter in Los Angeles. I write this letter with hopes of amending a relationship that I ruined as a result of my actions. I look forward to one day making those amends in person if given the opportunity to do so. Thank you for your understanding and look forward to hearing from you soon.
July 21, 2010
Dearest Jim and ALL staff,
Nine months ago my mother can to you with absolutely no desire to live, no self worth, and a debilitating disease eating away at her soul. She was hesitant at first to complete even thirty days of treatment, but over the months something changed. She slowly began sounding more positive and in control. I knew the Oasis had to be doing something right.
The first time I came down South to visit my mom in treatment I was anxious to say the least. The last memory I had of her was in the hospital, incubated. Upon our arrival, my Grandmother and I were welcomed with hugs and the utmost hospitality. We were invited to some wonderful meetings and I was able to complete a process with my mom. Each visit we made after that held same warm welcome. And every time we came, my mom was happier and healthier.
Now, my mom is home and doing SO well! She has been adjusting to life with the most amazing attitude, and has that “Spirit” that my family and I missed SO much. Her hard work got her to this new place, but also the support from you and everyone at Oasis who care so much! I want to thank you from the deepest part of my heart for helping save my mothers life. I can’t express how thankful I am to have her back. I hope you know how admirable you all are and that you touch lives… Thank you so very much… Hope my mom and I can come visit soon.
June 24, 2009
Dear Jim & Kathy,
You are some of the most important and special people in my life. I was nine years old when my mother’s life was almost taken and made her who she is today. You saved her from an addiction she could not destroy herself. I respect and love you for these reasons. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done for me and my family. You have changed my life forever and given me my mom back. She is my inspiration and hope ever day and I would be nothing without her.
The kindness in your heart has brought joy to so many people. You have changed lives for many and I love you; I always will. You have become family to me and I can not express my appreciation for you in only words.
I love you both!
“Ciera is now 15 years old”
June 12, 2009
Dear Oasis Staff and Members:
This letter is to say “thank you” to the staff and members of Oasis Treatment Center. A few weeks ago, my son was given the assignment of going to a treatment center and
writing a report about his experience. My first reaction was, “why would I intentionally put my son in a room with addicts? “ After some thought, I agreed to do the assignment with my son. We are so grateful to everyone for sharing their stories with us and for making us both feel welcome. The meeting we attended could possibly be one of the most important meetings my son could ever attend as an adolescent. What a great assignment for a kid to go through and perhaps more students should attend. Thank you again to everyone and we sincerely wish you all the best during and after your recovery. Never give up hope.
January 12, 2009 was my 10th anniversary (aka birthday). Oasis was my 7th treatment center, and I entered after being on hospital life support for the previous 13 days. My life is so much better. I have true friends, both in & out of the program. My life is blessed and my peace of mind is also a blessing. Thank you for teaching me to pray. It made all the difference in the world — along with many opportunities for service since I left. I am pleased that I could refer a few people to your center over the years, and am so glad that you are still there. Blessings to all of you. Blessings especially to the owners. You are doing God\’s work.
January 22, 2008
It was good talking to you and Ben on Saturday and I do feel the process calls will eventually invoke healing. At my age, I’m realizing that among other things we are works in progress and there is a reason God put us here
Patience has never been my strong virtue but I’m working on it and I must remind myself that it took sometime for Ben to get to this troubled state, as it will take sometime for him to get clarity. I just can’t stop this nagging, helpless feeling I get when thinking about how off course Ben had gotten and how dangerous a path he chose to follow without insight or regard of the impending consequences. My prayers are that he come to this realization someday.
In our family life through words and action I’ve tried to stress that it’s through giving that we receive and that by helping others we are helping ourselves. I’m sure that I preached and begged Ben to the turn-off point but I know he has sound values, a just soul and a good spirit that will manifest itself. I’m certainly proud of his 90 day achievement.
Jim, I believe that we have been truly blessed to know you and the Oasis family at such a critical time in Ben’s life. There is a God and His presence is being felt. Thanks for all of your time, energy and concern involving our family.
January 1, 2008
Happy New Year!!!!! As Jon and I were ringing in the New Year last night, we were reminiscing about 2007, counting our blessings and as always we remember that it was two years ago, New Year’s Day that we escorted Kimmie to Oasis. I’ll never forget how I felt that day- full of hope, relief, and gratitude that at the very least Kimmie would give treatment one more try. We were so impressed that you took the time on New Year’s Day to come meet with us. Jon and I knew if we could get Kimmie to Oasis she’d have a fighting chance to get well. We could feel the warmth and love you and your staff had to offer even on tv!!!!
I am so happy and so very proud to tell you that Kimmie’s doing so well, and in the next week will celebrate six months clean and sober!!! What a wonderful Christmas we enjoyed this year!!! Gone were the tears that came with hearing certain Christmas carols that reminded us of her this year we sang them together, we hoped for a “white christmas”, instead of fearing that she may be cold, hungry, and alone, although we certainly prayed and remebered all who weren’t as fortunate and blessed as we are. We will always believe you and Oasis are such a hugh part of her recovery. We just love and appreciate you and what you do so much Jim, you’ll just never know. Although we don’t see you often, we think of you and talk of you frequently and ALWAYS let people who are dealing with the disease of addiction that if they want to get well they need to do it right the very first time and go to Oasis. We will always feel gratitude and love for you and Oasis.
In addition to having Kimmie home alive and very well, we also have our beautiful grandchild Alivia, another little life that was cared for and helped along by Oasis! She’s now almost two, and so perfect it’s nothing short of one of God’s miracles that we give so many thanks for!! She is so intelligent, so beautiful, really just an enchanting little creature whom we all love so much and are so very thankful for. What a gift!!! It really must feel extraordinary to know that you have helped so many people get well. I believe there are angels among us and many times when I look into my daughter’s eyes, share a laugh or a hug with her, or pick up Alivia and put her on my lap to read her a story or just smell her hair I know that you must be one of them. Thank you…
We hope you and Kathy have a wonderful New Year filled with love, health, and beautiful memories!!!
With love and gratitude,
Keri & Jon F.
December 17, 2007
Hello Jim & Kathy,
Well these are my three boys. Who would of thought me (Jean H.) aka Drew Barrymore well as Jim called me, would have three boys and a great husband. Last time I saw the two of you was when I picked up my two year chip at fireside. That was a very special night to me. I stayed clean & sober for almost another year, then I moved, got complacent and stopped going to meetings & I didn’t do what they told me to, which was to get connected & grounded with program people. So I drank and it started all over again, the insanity, the pain, and all the chaos of my addiction. I never went back to my drug of choice (herion), but it was close enough to kill me and take my life away from me as I know it today. I got strung out on pills for the last year and before I knew it was out of control and I couldn’t stop until one night I was watching T.V. and I saw the show “Intervention” and you Jim, were featured in an episode and my heart felt so warm I knew at that moment I needed help again. So I called National Referal and talked to Stacy. She placed me at Dr. Willas house and what a blessing. I have been sober since November 7, 2007 and I am very hopeful for my future, my husband has also returned to the program and we have been doing the work to stay sober, so I just wanted to thank you. The two of you have always been very special to me and in my heart & thoughts for years. I really miss you, I would love to be able to come to a fireside or Jim’s spiritual group or both if I’m welcome. I would just love to see you. Thank you for all of your dedication to helping people live clean and sober you are amazing I Lov you please call me when you have time!
Oasis Treatment Center
I am Ciera C. (Stacy C’s. daughter) and I have recently visited your treatment center. I have been to Oasis many times before and I always love it! At Oasis you always feel welcomed and feel a part of everything. The people who work here are kind and sweet people. Tony the chef always has a smile to greet you and his food is amazing! Paxton always greets you with energy and a welcoming hug! Dennis is always kind and considerate and welcomes you with a smile. Mercy is funny, nice and beautiful! She always has a comment to say and will surprise you with the way she gracefully walks on those 5 inch heels. Jim and Kathy are always welcoming with hugs and worlds of wisdom. Stacy C. always has a smile and welcomes you with a hug and in my case some tears! The Oasis staff is a generous and loving family. The Oasis is a beautiful and fascinating place. Together they create a beautiful and inspiring place. Thank you Oasis. I love you all!!!!!!
I thank you for giving Paula a second chance. Her life, and ours, is so much better! We appreciate everything you have done for her.
My mom is right – my life is 1000% better now that I am sober. Not only have you shown me how to live a life without drugs or alcohol, but you have also shown me how to live it to the fullest. You have taught me to respect myself and to demand that others do the same. You have shown me my self-worth, making it possible for me to see the good in others and for me to surround myself with people of value, who will bring me up. I don’t ever have to settle for less again. I don’t know how I can ever re-pay you for what you have done for me. You have literally saved my life and completely transformed it. I only wish I could fully express how much you mean to me…I love you so much!
February 14, 2007
What an honor it is to have been invited to celebrate your 25th anniversary with you and all your friends. Not only is it an honor to come celebrate with you, but it has been an honor for me to have you in my life for the past 9 years of my own recovery. Back in 1997 you saved my life. I was a lost, confused person. I was filled with anger, frustration, fear and pain. I knew nothing about life, its laws or God. I did not have hope. I had only known failure and negativity. But from the moment I sat on my bed for the first time at Oasis. I felt a glimmer of hope. The magic was alive and well in that room. And from the moment that I met you, I began learning from you. I began to fill my mind with the truths about life and this world, that you so generously shared with me. My whole life I thought God was picking on me. But you taught me about “cause and effect”. You taught me about the boomerang. You taught me “Hit a cop – Go to jail”. You taught me that if I lay out in the sun too long I will get a sunburn, you taught me that spiritual laws will remain the same. You taught me about those very important spiritual laws. I now know, because of you, that what I sow, I reap. I know that maximum service equals maximum rewards. I know that God will never give me more than I can handle. I know that I need to let go absolutely – even when justified. And that I can plant seeds or weeds…it’s my choice. And I learned from you that of myself I am nothing, the father doeth the work. I learned that I must stop fighting everyone and everything. And that the way to be happy is to make others so. And that I need to accept responsibility when things go wrong, no more blaming. And that owning up to mistakes frees me faster than blame. And that as soon as I own up to a mistake it goes away. And that making mistakes isn’t the problem, not looking at them is the problem. And that there are no mistakes, only lessons. And that if I’m hiding anything it means I’m living dishonestly. And that if I’m gonna pray for potatoes I must at least hoe the field. And that I must surrender to win and as soon as I do that things go smoother. And that I must trust God no matter what. And that love will give you wings. And that God must be the director; he must sit in the driver’s seat, on the throne and in the director’s chair. I learned that I must get excited about everything that I do, I’ve learned to dream my dream – my impossible dream! I’ve learned to stick with the winners and stay in the pack. I’ve learned that God won’t do for me what I can do for myself. I’ve learned that my inability to accept God’s will can make me miserable. I’ve learned that I am what I am (Popeye). I’ve learned that I need to exercise my mind like a muscle so it can grow. I’ve learned that I am not a victim. I’ve learned that the “I’ll show you, I’ll kill me” only hurts me. Boy how I believed I was hurting the other person. Ive learned that I don’t punish others by harboring resentments – I punish myself and I sacrifice my serenity and peace of mind. I’ve learned that I am bodily and mentally different from my fellows. I’ve learned that the assassin is onboard my ship 24 hours a day. I’ve learned to relax and not struggle. I’ve learned to listen to that small still voice inside, the one that comes from the pit of my gut. I’ve learned that God speaks to me thru that spot. I’ve learned that the only way to live comfortably in my skin is to get outside of myself and help others. I’ve learned to wear life like a lose garment. I’ve learned that when you sober up a drunken horse thief you are left with a sober horse thief. I’ve learned that if you hang out in a barber shop – you are bound to get a hair cut. I’ve learned to look for the similarities and not the differences. I’ve learned that if I put ½ as much effort into my sobriety as I put into using – I will succeed in my sobriety. I’ve learned that alcohol is a subtle foe and it wants me to fail. I’ve learned that hitting my knees is not about religion – it’s about surrender. I’ve learned that drugs and alcohol have failed me and they will continue to do so.
All of those wonderful tools and lessons and all of that knowledge I have learned from YOU. And you continue to teach me on a regular basis. You never run out, you always have something new to teach me. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have been able to know you better than most of the patients you treat at Oasis. I feel honored that you treat me like your daughter. And I am blessed that you continue to guide me through all of life’s bumpy roads.
Congratulations on 25 years of sobriety. What a happy occasion. From something that could have been so tragic – has come such a miraculous transformation.
I love you so much Jim and am so proud of you.
February 14, 2007
I hope you can see my smile and feel me hugging you as I tell you, “I Love You”. I am so grateful that God blessed my life with you. As I said last month when I received my 3 year chip at the Oasis, if I lived to be a thousand years old, I could never repay you and Kathy for what you have given me. I mean that with all my heart. I know today, had I not come exactly when I did, I would surely be dead. It was because of the patience, love and understanding I received that I am able to say that today. Jim, I know, as do many, that our relationship did not start off very well, especially since we BOTH thought we were right, but I am so grateful you did not kick me out and you gave me a chance to learn how to live one day at a time. You taught me so many things Jim. The importance of getting on my knees every morning humbly asking for God’s guidance and again every night thanking him for keeping me sober that day, following the rules…and the realization they did apply to ME too, and that remembering what I learned in kindergarten was all I really needed to know. You taught me to stop “searching and never finding” as I had my whole life,…my acres of diamonds was right here all along! You taught me that I had to go “within” in order to go “without” and that “I am what I am”, as Popeye said. Today that has helped me to accept so many things in my life and to move on, simply because “it is what it is”. One of the things that has always stayed with me is from the Big Book and you shared it often on Saturday afternoons…. ”There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.” reminds me to always be willing and honest enough to keep an open mind………to step back and take a look at me……is sometimes all that it takes for a moment of clarity. Jim, probably the greatest thing you taught me was to be of service to others. That is the key to life, the most rewarding gift. As the Big Book says, “life will take on new meaning”. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends—-this is an experience you must not miss.” I am so very grateful you chose to be of service Jim and to dedicate your life in sobriety to that service. You have been a part of God’s plan throughout your lifetime and an instrument through which He has been able to touch many people and restore them to sanity. You are a blessing to me and I knew to many others. For that I am so very grateful. Regretfully, I am unable to be with you for your celebration tomorrow evening. Please know I will be with you in spirit and I’ll be dancing!
I am sure this fireside will be an extremely powerful one. God’s presence is sure to be felt. I wish I could be there but I need to be here with my family right now, and God is in charge not me!! I will continue to pray for both you and Kathy every morning and every night and ask that He allow you to continue the work you do so well. My wish for you as always, is happiness today and peace of mind forever. I love you and I am so proud of you. You’ll be in my heart always….
Congratulations on 25 years of sobriety!!!!
As you open fireside tonight on the West Coast, I will open the East Coast, with, of course, the Serenity Prayer, asking that He continue to hold us all in the palm of His hand and give us peace One Day at a Time……
I love and miss you all and I will see you again…..in God’s time…..
First of all, Merry Christmas to you, Kathy, and the Oasis. I wish we could have all been together for the holidays and I could show my new fiance, Derek, how warm and caring the Oasis is. I miss the days of being at Oasis around friends and enjoying each others company. I truly value my time spent at Oasis and the relationships I built there. This year for Christmas Derek and I went to my mother’s house, in Chicago, the weekend before Christmas and spent time with her and Robert. We then drove back from Chicago (5 hours) to Cincinnati to spend time with his family on Christmas Eve. Derek had to work 24 hours on Christmas Day. So on Christmas Day I hung out with my cats Stubby and Mokee. As life goes on, it just seems to get busier and busier.
Derek and I are both in school. He is in school for Paramedic’s. He should be completed by this coming Fall. I am in school for Chemical Dependency. It’s finally time I get educated on how to give back to other people with addiction issues. My dreams are still to own my own treatment facility and help the community. I am contemplating on having the facility in Cincinnati or Indianapolis. I just need somewhere that has Metro bus transportation just like the Oasis. The ability for people to ride the bus to find jobs and also humble those of us that never had to ride the bus before is awesome. I do not know when I will be done with school. I am taking my 3rd and 4th course right now in the Bachelors program for Addictions. I am only taking a couple of courses at a time since I am working full time as a Senior Accounting Technician at the Riemeier Lumber Company.
So far my courses are: Dual Diagnosis – where a person has a mental disorder and an addiction. This course stresses the importance of the treatment of mental illness world and the treatment of addiction world coming together as one. Anger and Addiction – where anger plays a big role in addiction and can sometimes lead to relapse if the anger is not dealt with. This course had us assess and understand our own anger so we could help others to understand and assess their own anger.
ATOD Prevention – focuses on prevention before the addiction. I just recently started this class, but so far I have found lots of prevention information along with treatment information that is currently being sent to my house. Basically this course teaches different strategies for helping people gain knowledge about Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs before experiencing it. I feel this can also help attribute to my treatment center when it comes to siblings, other family members, and friends of the addicted individual.
Holistic Assessment – is a very interesting course. This course emphasizes the importance of the Shockras (Major Mike’s meditation), proper breathing, physical needs, replenishing your energy, cleansing your mind and body, and more. So far our homework assignment was to be one with the shower; this was supporting the Zen theory. I can accomplish this moment briefly, but I am still working on it. It’s hard, like with meditation, to turn off your running mind. I find it is a lot easier to have a tape with a guided meditation. By the way, is there a way to get a copy of Major Mike’s meditation tape of the Shockras? I do not mind paying for it or sending a blank tape.
My courses have been very educational and exciting. I have finally found my place. I got an Associates Degree in accounting and I flew through those courses, because I am good at accounting. But now that I work in the field, it is not fulfilling enough for me. I need to feel likhe I helped someone, or at least was a part of possibly giving them a chance at a different future. At least the accounting will come in handy with my dream of owning a treatment center.
I was also writing to see if you would have time to talk with me about your journey with the Oasis Center. I have a big dream ahead of me to open a treatment facility like the Oasis and need to start figuring out the steps I need to take to make this dream come true. I am unsure of where to start in aspect of a facility. And then once I have a house or building, I wonder about financial support. I know non-for-profit facilities have grant money, but my understanding is they do not offer long term treatment like the Oasis Center. I get the feeling like they don’t offer the 90 day program and sober living like the Oasis. I will have to research this more.
My mother, Robert, Derek, and I are looking to travel to California in September of 2007. I am not sure the specific dates yet, since Derek has to make sure he does not have class then. His program is already set in advance and he is fined 100.00 if he misses class. Pretty interesting, I wonder if less high school kids would skip class if they had to pay a fine. Anyways, I am going to write you again in a month or two and I will hopefully have specific dates.
I hope the weather is treating you good, and that you are in the best of health. We will hopefully see you soon. I loved visiting you and the Oasis; it is just too bad we live so far away. If we lived closer, I am sure we would see more of each other. Until then, I will continue to write, and keep in touch. hope you had a wonderful Holiday!
It is difficult to put into words how Cindy and I felt after we spent three (3) days at Oasis visiting our son Justin. Our experience was truly an answer to our prayers. We had the opportunity to attend various meetings and get to know many of the Oasis residents and staff. We also appreciated having time to talk with you at the Fireside ceremony after Justin received his sixty day recognition. At the conclusion of our visit, we were truly touched by the progress Justin has made since he entered Oasis. Justin’s physical, emotional, and spiritual condition has improved significantly. We are so pleased that Justin has learned about the various aspects of his disease and the tools needed to fight against it. We are also extremely grateful that Justin has found hope at Oasis and has become re-united with the Justin we love so much.
For several years we struggled with trying to guide Justin in making good decisions that would allow him the opportunity to live a loving, productive, and satisfying life. For the past year, we were in constant fear that we would get “the call” that our son over-dosed, was jailed, or was dead. We prayed each day that somehow a miracle would take place and that Justin would be able to get his life back. We are so pleased that Justin has made the choice to allow the Oasis staff and community to give him another lease on life. We know Justin has a long way to go. However, we also know that Justin will have his best chance for success at Oasis
Justin is a wonderful young man who has a great heart, and the potential to touch the lives of others in a very special way. God has shined His light on Justin and has truly blessed him by allowing him to attend Oasis. We “Thank You” so much Jim, for the contribution you have made to Justin’s life along with so many others. We pray each day that God will continue to bless Justin with the strength he needs to shape his future in a positive way. We also pray that you will continue to be blessed to touch the lives of so many others that deal with a terrible addiction.
We stand by as supportive parents to do whatever we can to support Justin and the great work that you and your staff are doing at Oasis. We recognize that your work can drain every bit of emotional and physical energy from you, in order to make even the smallest step forward possible. When you face those times of extreme challenge, please remember our letter of deep gratitude and appreciation for the love and care you have provided to our son, and so many others. Our thoughts and prayers are with you always.
With sincere appreciation,
John (Justin’s Step dad) and Cindy (Justin’s mom)
I can’t even begin to describe the gratitude I feel for what you have given to me for what Oasis has helped me find. Oasis showed me love when I could not love myself. I came in full of fear, resentment and completely empty. I had given myself three (3) choices: drink, die or seek help. I couldn’t imagine my life without drinking and death didn’t seem so scary but something inside of me wanted to get better. In a moment of truth, I asked for help. In my head, I had doubts that it would work. I wanted to run or drink – anything but face myself. I hated myself for who I’d become and the mess that I had gotten myself into. I was so disappointed and sad. That is when you and the Oasis began to love me and for that, I love you. I love every single one of the people whose path mine has crossed while I was there. The hope and love within each one of the counselors is profound and you have an amazing gift of spirituality and love. I will hold on to what I learned here in my heart forever. I walked away from the Oasis with more than I ever thought I could have. A relationship with my Higher Power, Love, Contentment, Spirituality, Friendship, Faith, Passion, and Gratitude. I feel like the Oasis will always be with me and from that comes great strength. Thank you for the amazing gift of a second chance, life and sobriety. And, of course, my spiritual tool belt! Tell Kathy “Thank You” too, she is an amazing, strong, lovely woman.
Last night the process with Becky was a very powerful and exhilarating experience. I was afraid she was going to choose going home after only two weeks. I truly believe that the reason for her decision to stay for two more weeks was directly related to the
Lord working through you. I have never met a man so dedicated to his work and thus his patients/clients as you. It was truly a bit of Divine intervention when I called Mr. Mercer and he introduced me to you. You were quick to return my call, even though your plate must have been running over with all that you have to do coupled with getting ready for a well earned vacation. Our telephone conversation was most enlightening and right to the point. Jim, there is no way I can thank you for all your efforts and the efforts of Lindley, David and the rest of your staff. They are superb, world class, over the top and besides that they are darn good. The Good Lord too inspires them.
I know there are no guarantees in this business, but at least Becky is not taking off the cast after 12 days. I am praying that God will continue to guide her during her recovery. We’ll take it a day at a time.
I look forward to working with you and Becky as she progresses. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I now see a path to regaining a beautiful daughter. Feel free to share this with Becky and be sure to tell her I love her very much and I am very proud of her decision. We will take good care of her kids as she regains her health.
Thank you (this just doesn’t adequately express my feeling towards you & your staff.)
I was a former patient at Oasis, and have never taken the opportunity to thank all the staff for everything. Although I was forced to leave the center early I see that as a blessing. I quickly went back to using on my return home for several months avoiding any contact with and sort of program. I pulled strength and determination from my higher power and begun to “hit my Knees” every morning like Jim said. I never knew my own freedom until I abandoned all that I thought I knew (which was everything) and let my higher power work through me. That is just one example of many tools I now use from the program, and I am here today living because of it. I am not sure who will read this or if anyone even remembers who I am, but thank you and keep showing other addicts and alcoholics the way.
Dear Jim & Kathy,
I’m writing this letter to express my deep gratitude for the wonderful care and guidance that you and others provided for my son during his stay in your facility. I was greatly impressed by the fine quality of the work at Oasis and, most importantly, the high level of skill and dedication that I sensed in all members of the professional staff. I’m sure I can speak for my family in conveying out heartfelt thanks and appreciation.
As a professional who has worked in numerous health facilities, including mental health for forty years, I can say unequivocally that the program at Oasis is outstanding. I believe that this level of quality has been achieved by the long years of dedication brought by you, Kathy, and others under your leadership. What useful and productive lives you have led and continue to lead!
Jim, while I was at the Oasis, you conducted a meeting in which you spoke of the power of a fourth dimension that people can draw upon and use productively in steering the course of their own lives. Your words had a great impact on my thinking and feeling about this topic and I’ve continued to ponder their meaning. Recently I found a book on my shelf that might bear further on the subject. It as written some years ago by Nathaniel Brandon and entitled: How to Raise Your Self Esteem, a Bantam Book, 1987. Chapter 3 is entitled: Living Consciously and the content of that chapter best summarizes the theme of the book.. The author lists several thinking processes that involve living “consciously” verses living “unconsciously”. They appear to be similar to a philosophy that is shared and practiced by Oasis.
Beyond the practical guidelines offered by Brandon for achieving mental health, I think another dimension is equally if not even more important that your program seemed to emphasize- the power of the spiritual dimension. For me personally, to be fully conscious of the world with respect to our positive and negative contributions to it is very close to the spiritual realm. Yet, I’ve come to believe that the spiritual realm is much bigger than one’s self-consciousness and we must reach beyond it to embrace a kind of universal consciousness (spirit) as found in the mind of what some might call God. This spirit is what seemed to prevail to Oasis.
There is a Zen saying, “Once you say a thing, you have missed the mark”. I hope not to have done that here. Again, what I most sincerely wish to convey is my appreciation, gratitude, and deep respect for the work done at Oasis in the service of that fourth dimension that you spoke eloquently about and that the work at Oasis so well represents.
Dear Jim & Kathy,
We wanted you to have these pictures of Kimmie and her beautiful new baby! Kimmie named her “Alivia Kristine M.”. The meaning of the name “Alivia” is to “live again.” So much of Alivia’s arrival and perfect health we attribute to you and Kathy. Jim, without Oasis and your unconditional love and acceptance under God’s hands we just don’t think we would have had such a wonderful outcome. Thank you so much. We’ll never be able to find enough words or perhaps the right words to let you know how grateful we are for not only helping to save Kimmie’s life, but Alivia’s as well. You saved two precious lives in our family. We’ll continue as we have to send anyone we know who is struggling with addiction your way. We trust you and love you and will never forget the fantastic gift you’ve given to us – life…
We’re planning on visiting for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with Kimmie and Alivia for fireside when Kimmie will accept her one year chip! We can hardly wait to see you again!
Thanks again so much for everything! We rejoice in your life’s work everyday!
We Love You!
Jon & Keri (aka “grammy & grampy”)
Dear Jim & Kathy
I am writing to inform you that I will be terminating my lease and moving into my own apartment. It is a very bitter-sweet to be moving on from the sober living home, and I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for such a wonderful experience. Sober living has played an integral role in helping me to develop the quality of sobriety I have today. Thank you for providing a safe, inexpensive, pleasant place for me to call home until I have become ready to move on. I will always be grateful for such a loving and supportive environment.
Dear Jim & Kathy,
Enclosed are some peanut butter, chocolate chip, walnut cookies that I baked with love. I hope you like them. Being our age, cookies hit the spot! Your both are so young at heart & you look younger as well! No wonder I got along with you so well, besides the fact that you are both such great teachers and I respect the hell out of both of you and your knowledge and guidance is just awesome. Your spirits are very strong with Tons of Love! I very much admire your staying power of 50 years. That is really Cool! Been making cookies for the counselors at Lisa’s work to help them, Lisa has not had anyone quit and has made more $ for her non-profit organization than anyone. I really hope you get to meet her some day because she is an inspiration like Kathy and I am certain you would love her as much as I do. I just know there’s a connection for conversation there and a really good one too.
Take care and be good, your good, good friend,
P.S. I Love You,
Thank you for being so nice to me, growing up was really hard and I came across allot of hard times and many people. I came into the Oasis really beat down mentally and physically and you built me up in just 9 months or maybe 6 months. I was a shell of emptiness and I watched and listened and learned a new way of life, that I have been following with the help of not I, but GOD. It is habit forming to use the “I” but in fact I had nothing to do with my sobriety. You have a system that helps GOD come into peoples lives, the spirit entered the room basically and set the addiction free and since the Oasis 8 years ago no cravings for pot, beer, or anything. I am sure you are aware there is something greater and it too has helped you. This is why you both are so vibrant and young and sober. It is so great we have this in common.
Since I am not very good at expressing myself in person I decided to put it down on paper. There is so much I want you to know and I want to take the time now to tell you. We never know how much time we have on this earth and I think I’d be crushed if I didn’t think you knew how I felt about you. First off, you have done the impossible. You helped a girl like me get clean off of drugs. That was a tall order. A girl like me should not be saved. I come from a family of immense tragedy, drenched with addicts, many who have died in their 30′s and 40′s. My story should not have been any different but it is because of you. What an accomplishment. And I am only one person. You do this everyday and have for years. How Blessed that is! Like you, today I have a life that is beyond my wildest dreams. Thank you. I remember the first time I walked into the Oasis. I felt weak and scared. Although those feelings were overwhelming and all consuming, the love I felt inside your center still managed to reach me. Love, Love, Love. That’s what it was all about. That is what makes your center so special. I think that is the key. Love is a powerful thing.
I also remember the first time I heard about ’Jim A.’ from my peers. They all made you out to be so scary. When I first saw you walking down to the lunch area you didn’t seem scary at all. You were gentle, kind and loving. That’s all I have ever seen from you. You have taught me things that have changed me forever.
From day one I admired you and that has only grown through the years. I have been touched by God through you. I continue to strive to be like you. I want so desperately to have the peace that you carry. I believe this comes from the spiritual connection and since I have always struggled with this in my own life that may be why I am not there yet. I will never stop working to get closer to God.
I just want you to know the difference you have made in my life. Just the thought of knowing that you love me and will help me through whatever is going on puts a limp in my throat and tears in my eyes for I am so grateful. Getting feedback from you on marriage is an honor. Like you say, you are just another drunk and I know that but I want you to know that I am so inspired at the person you have turned out to be. Drunks don’t get as far as you have. You are special.
8 Years Sober
August 26, 2005
To Stacy, Our Beautiful, Wonderful Daughter. The Light of our Lives:
For five years we did not want to believe the addiction to alcohol had taken over your life. We chose, along with others who loved you, to make excuses for your behavior. We realized you were very ill when we took you to lunch for your birthday in April of 2004.
On July 5, 2004 you were admitted to Intensive Care suffering from liver failure and malnutrition as a result of Alcoholism. The next days we lived the nightmare all parents fear – - – - the very real possibility that our beloved child would die before our eyes. The fear, the sadness, the self-recrimination cannot be described. Your daddy had already planned your funeral.
The Medical staff at the hospital held out little hope that you would recover. We were told that if you did recover, you would most likely be unable to care for yourself. A permanent feeding tube was recommended.
Then, a few nights into it, ministers from the Mormon Church paid a visit. They prayed over you, thinking it would be your last night. We could see the faith in your eyes. The next day, you unexpectedly began to show signs of improvement. We lived by the numbers that doctors gave us day after day. You showed your determination when, even though you could barely lift your hands, insisted on giving yourself drinks of water. Everyone was amazed at how well you were doing, but still feared your mind would not fully recover. You showed them!! You continued to improve so much that after two weeks; the hospital released you to a nursing home.
With the possibility that you might fully recover physically, we were faced with a dilemma. We had promised God that if you didn’t die, we would do all in our power to see to it that you recovered from the alcoholism. We searched, with help of our EAP (employee assistance) departments, for a suitable rehabilitation facility. Your Aunt Rolinda researched on the Internet. We all spent hours worrying about what was best for you.
Fortunately for all of us, we were put in touch with Mercy from OASIS. She talked to you and she followed up with reassuring us that OASIS would be good for you and you would be good for OASIS. We didn’t understand until much later the part about you being good for OASIS. We asked you to make the decision and commitment and you decided on OASIS. Your dad and I were very worried about sending you so far away, but knew that might be the best for you to get away from all the enablers in your life and start anew.
August 23, 2004 we loaded you up in our RV and headed to Anaheim. The trip with you was nice, but we worried all the way about your health. The night we arrived in Anaheim, the Disney fireworks went up right beside where we were staying. You said, “This HAS to be a sign that this will be ok.”
The next day we dropped you off. Poor Mercy helped us carry in everything in those heels she is so fond of wearing. Of course, you brought everything but the kitchen sink. After talking to her, Lisa E, Dennis, Nicole and Minerva, we felt some confidence that you were in good hands. We left knowing we could not talk to you for a week. So, we headed north to Oregon.
You often wanted to leave the OASIS the next few weeks. Jim Rambo became your counselor and worked with you to help you face a lot of difficult issues. We cannot put into words how grateful we are doe OASIS, Jim and Kathy A., Jim Rambo, Laura Rambo, all the counselors and staff. And, of course, the friends that love and support you.
In the past year, you have become stronger and renewed your faith. You have been an inspiration to us and led me, your mom, to get in touch with my own spirituality. You have blossomed into the spiritual, bright, funny and compassionate person that was always in you. We are so happy that you are able to do something you love and use the talent for helping people that God gave you. They say everything happens for a reason. We believe God gave us all a cross to bear with your disease and we used to tell you when something bad happened that it built character? Well, you certainly have proven that point.
We love you more than anything, Stacy. And we are so proud of you, we could burst. You are the joy of our life.
Daddy and Mom
Dear Jim and Kathy
I love Oasis Treatment Center and all that you do to help people. You are two amazing people! Mama and I got matching necklaces with rings. We also got two matching build-a-bears! Thank you for helping my Mama and I know you both love her very much! I love her too, so, so, much! She is doing so excellent and I am very, very, proud of her! She has worked very hard and I love her! She tells me stories about both of you. They are wonderful stories and you can tell that she really loves it there! I wanted to thank you so much for everything that you do! I hope I see you again soon!
Ciera (Stacy’s daughter)