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How a Silver Coin Connected Two Alcoholic Anonymous Members

He found a medallion honoring 25 years of sobriety. But who did the chip belong to?

A silver AA medallion.

There are more than 2 million members of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am one of them. And although our fellowship is, in fact, anonymous, I sometimes wonder who else around me is a friend of Bill, as we say, referring to AA cofounder Bill Wilson. We members come from all walks of life.

I work at the front desk of a fitness center in a 55-and-up community. I’d just started my shift one day when a guest approached me, holding a medallion.

“I found this by the water fountain,” she said. “I think someone dropped it.”

She handed it to me. I recognized what it was immediately—an Alcoholics Anonymous sober anniversary chip. This one was for 25 years, every day a miracle.

I thanked the woman and put the chip in the lost and found drawer, a knot in the pit of my stomach. These chips were precious. I had one of my own at home. A 30-year chip. I knew what these chips meant. Thirty years since the program helped save my life from drinking. I said a prayer for whoever had lost it.

Several weeks passed by. Then one day, as I was walking through the fitness center, past the rows of stationary bikes, a man waved me over. I thought maybe he had a question about the gym equipment or his membership.

“This might sound odd,” he said, “but has anyone found a silver coin around here recently?”

The man followed me to the front desk. I opened the drawer and pulled out the sober chip.

His face lit up. “You don’t know what this means to me,” he said.

“I think I do,” I said. “I have one too. Congratulations on 25 years.”

“Thank you,” he said. “And congratulations to you too.”

He didn’t say anything more, but he didn’t need to. Our chips speak for themselves.

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