Dear Dino and Scotty:
I have been holding onto a card that I stumbled upon and felt it fit just right. I have been contemplating what to say in my note of thanks but have been at a loss for words for months.
I had so much to say I didn’t know where to start. Finally realized the reason I was at a loss for words, the card says it all so beautifully in just a few short words.
Although you both have shared that you each have fought your own battles with this disease, those experiences have brought you to where you are today and allowed you to share your gift for helping people with others. I find it genuinely remarkable the way reach out to others who suffer from this disease both the addict and the co-dependent family members. You always seem to know what to say or how to instinctively handle any situation that you are confronted with.
You share wisdom and do not sugar coat the truth but are caring enough to understand the pain and heart ache that are a consequence of addiction. You know where the path to recovery starts and not only lead the way but are a part of the healing process. You radiate a level of respect from the men you help and show them the same respect in return. My son has shared many stories of his experiences at the lodge and respects the discipline required to continue his life of recovery. He has had nothing but positive experiences to share. This is definitely not what I am used to.
I would like to convey my sincere thanks to both of you and extend these thanks to all of the supporting staff at Serenity for the guidance, understanding, sponsorship and friendship they have shared. I know many of the names of the support staff but hesitate to mention them because I don’t want to leave anyone out.
Serenity Lodge is truly a gift to the community and the gift of life for those in need and suffering with addiction, nothing short of a miracle to offer. Residents learn to live life on life’s terms, how to gain back self-respect, build confidence and not only recover but live a life of recovery.
After more than 20 attempts at recovery my son, I, and my family found “Serenity”, a new beginning and “real” recovery.
The thoughts behind this message are especially warm and true and words cannot express the special thanks this brings to you.
Thank you for all that you are and all that you do.
Truly blessed and forever grateful,
Tina Grimes and family
Dear Father Martin’s Ashley
This is just a small note to thank you in a big way.
In my darkest hours of despair fate and the grace of God somehow lead my son, myself and my family to Father Martin’s to begin the journey of healing.
Although at the end of 28 days my son still did not realize the commitment required to continue his journey, your outreach of help extended far beyond our 28 day stay.
After a brief absence from Father Martin’s Ashley relapse found its way back into our lives. I again called out to Father Martin’s for help. Your caring staff took the time to evaluate the situation, provided guidance and recommendations that would change our lives.
At your suggestion my son returned to an inpatient treatment center, Clearbrook Manor. Only this time from the seed that was pl.anted and his impulsive response into relapse he knew the only way to lead a life of recovery was to completely surrender and commit to something more than 28 days. Although still not focused on the level of commitment required he was ready to take the next step.
Through divine intervention Clearbrook introduced my son to Dino from Serenity Lodge. My son made a choice that changed his life and the lives of everyone in his family. After the arranged meeting with Dino from Serenity Lodge to discuss admission to the extended care treatment center something clicked and a phone call later he called me excited about his future with Serenity Lodge and anxious to begin his journey at Serenity.
What has happened at Serenity Lodge is nothing short of a miracle. It is difficult for me to put into words the transformation that has taken place for my son, both physically and spiritually, as well my family and close friends who have lived with addiction in our lives. Serenity and the staff that have nurtured my son’s broken spirit have reached a part of his soul I thought I would never see again. I knew something special happened the day my son met with Dino that afternoon but had no idea where it would lead. It is truly the first time in over ten years I have seen my son happy. He is maturing, living a healthy life and continues to progress every day. Serenity has helped me let go, heal and make decisions with my brain and not my heart, not an easy feat.
When my hope turned to hopelessness, my despair into desperation Father Martin’s Ashley opened the door that ultimately led us to Serenity.
Thank You for everything you have done for my son and my family. I would like to send a special thanks to: Becky from intake for taking the time to go above and beyond to assist me in finding resources, Rebecca (personal counselor) for not losing patience and giving up, and Kristine Hitchens from family services for an event I will always cherish. Kristine was able to communicate with my son and get him to talk and open up in a way that I had never experienced. I felt his pain, remorse and helplessness. This helped me understand his feelings in a way I never really understood. For this I will always be indebted. And to Father Mark for Mass in the Chapel – I still visit from time to time. Not as often as I would like but when I feel down I always make time to Sunday morning Mass in the chapel for a “real” spiritual awakening. I go in sad and come out rejuvenated.
Tina Grimes and family
Dear Dino, April 2017
A year ago, I was blissfully ignorant of the train wreck that was on its way… now I am forever grateful that fate ( and god) guided us to serenity lodge. God bless you and scottie and the entire team for the work you do with these young men.
I am writing this letter to thank everyone at serenity lodge for the amazing job they do in helping all those young men suffering from addiction find their way back to living a healthy and happy sober life. I can only speak from my own experience. My son Gregory Jacobowitz was offered a chance at a new life thanks to Dino from serenity, and Joe and Stan from clearbrook manor giving him the guidance that he needed in order to take that next important step towards a sober happy life. The change in him is amazing . The staff at the lodge couldn’t be more in tune with the emotional and physical needs of all these young men. Greg has learned to deal with his issues by finally working through most of the 12 steps and I thank mark his sponsor and Scott for walking him through his darkest times and into the light. Gregory says he is the happiest has ever been . he is at peace with a lot of the issues that brought him to addiction and hopefully he will continue on that road to recovery. As we all know watching someone you love struggling with addiction is very scary and extremely painful because we are all powerless. Serenity Lodge and everyone there from staff to all the other young men struggling all have each others backs. I cant say enough how grateful I am that Gregory was able to have this experience at serenity to help him move forward positively in life. As he gets ready to leave I have nothing but gratitude for all of you there. He will be leaving with positive goals and I think a much deeper respect for all of you as well as himself. I feel blessed that this is happening and thankful to you all he has chosen to stay in Pennsylvania. he has a wonderful sober support system up there and probably for the first time has true positive friendships and I thank you for that.
This is just a small note to thank you in a big way.
In my darkest hours of despair fate somehow lead me to Clearbrook where new I ite began.
You were persistent but caring, compassionate but direct and understanding but firm with your guidance and direction. Where others would have given up and not tolerated difficult behavior you were determine to not feed into these actions. Of course it is always easier for the addict to be able to say. “Ifs not my fault, they kicked me out.” Fortunately that was not an option this time.
In just two short weeks I was able to visit with my son on family day and already I could begin to see the cloud lift. He himself expressed his gratitude and said he was grateful you put up with his ‘”crap.” Then he smiled and said, ·’Yeah, Lou stays on my butt.” And I have no doubt that he wore Anna’s patients thin. But somehow through it all a miracle happened. My son made a choice that changed his life and the lives of everyone in his family. After an arranged meeting with Dino from Serenity Lodge to discuss admission to the extended care treatment center something clicked and a phone call later he called me excited about his future with Serenity Lodge. He was anxious to begin his journey at Serenity and on some level I am sure Anna was glad to see him head out the door.
What has happened at Serenity Lodge is nothing short of a miracle. It is difficult for me to put into words the transformation that has taken place for my son, both physically and spiritually. as well my family and close friends who have lived with addiction in our lives. Serenity and the staff that have nurtured my son’s broken spirit have reached a part of his soul I thought 1 would never see again. I knew something special happened the day my son met with Dino that afternoon but had no idea where it would lead. It is truly the first time in over ten years I have seen my son happy. He is maturing, living a healthy life and continues to progress everyday. Serenity has helped me let go, heal and make decisions with my brain and not my heart, not an easy feat.
When my hope turned to hopelessness, my despair into desperation Clearbrook led us to Serenity.
Thank You for everything you have done for my son and my family.
Tina Grimes and family