Saturday, August 1, 2009

Being There

When I was about 10 years old a little girl came into my life. She lived down at the end of the street with her Mom and grandparents. She was a wild child, a free spirit and the spark of life to my quieter, more passive personality. She became my very best friend in all the world. I will call her "D".
At 13, when "D" 's Mother remarried, she had to leave and travel the world because of her new father's job. I saw her off at the San Francisco Airport every year with solemn promises to write and see each other again the following summer..., and that we did. She wrote about Holland, American schools, new boyfriends, wonderful adventures and her new life. I wrote her and told her about Junior High School, new boyfriends and life in Pleasant Hill, California.
Every summer "D" would come back to her grandparents house. I would wait for a phone call , hear her voice and then run to the end of the street to see her.
We would spend everyday talking about her adventures. She would show me wonderful new things that I had never heard about. When she came back ,one summer, from Kuwait in Saudi Arabia she brought "Cous-cous" in a bag and showed me how to make it edible. She had clothing that was so "European" and then...., there would always be something for me. She never forgot to bring me some beautiful thing from some interesting place in the world.
We wrote letters for 5 more years and every summer we would spend our wonderful, fragile time together sleeping in the backyard, sharing boyfriends, skinny dipping in her grandparents backyard pool and laughing our way through the hot summers of our teenage years.
My Mother became her "Summer Mom" and she became another child in our house. She still lived at her grandparents house most of the time but she loved being at our home.

"D" graduated from an air force base school in Northern Africa and returned to the U.S. We started college, got married and she went back east for a few years, then moved to Montana, became a nurse and stayed in the Big Sky state never traveling to another country again.
The story is long, the distance has always been far and the visits few, but the bond we forged so long ago has never been broken. We have stayed connected all these years and when she knew that Mom was dying ..., she came.

She drove from Montana, hoping to get here before Mom passed but didn't make it . I'm sorry she wasn't able to see Mom and talk to her. Mom knew she was coming and looked forward to seeing her other "daughter". There are things in life that just don't happen the way you want them to. It's sad but true. But, there was so much more.
"D" stayed for a week. She cried with us and laughed with us. She helped bring all of Mom's things home in her truck. She listened, gave comfort and told us things about our family that even we had forgotten. . She became a support system of love and humor..., and wisdom. My sister has always known that "D" was part of this family in so many ways. There are blessings that you just don't see in your life and then they arrive with arms open and you don't question them.
My friend was always there; in the summers of my childhood, in letters from around the world, playing in creeks and old oak trees and under a white parachute that bellowed on a green lawn in her grandparents yard (she knows what I mean)..., and she was there last week because she is my friend and we love each other.

She was there.
















She came home with me. Gave an old friend(the Prospector) a big hug; Met Carl for the first time. Fell in love with him and he returned the affection. and she settled in for a few days . She got to met the goats and Annibel, listen to the Coyote and Fox at night and take photos of bumblebees with me..., and sit on the porch. We talked and I cried; and she was there.....
We had two lovely days and then the familiar leaving. It would be a long drive back to Montana and her hubby that waited, their dog and chickens..., and her job.
She called twice on her way back. Now, she is safely home.

Thank you my sweet, sweet friend. I hope you know what this meant to me. Your friendship is a gift of memories and love. Like the Oak tree we played in as children, you gave me support to climb to a new level of my life, a place without parents and you did it silently asking for nothing.
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rose Colored Glasses


At the beginning of the summer I bought a pair of rose colored glasses. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them. It was an inexpensive impulse buy. My thinking was that someone needed a pair of these glasses to remind them to look at the bright side of life. Maybe my sister..., or Mom..., or a friend who seemed so down all the time. I thought it was kind of funny, in a comical way, to give someone a reminder that they should be looking at things a bit more brightly, more "pink" if you will...., and that it would possibly give them a laugh....
Then Mom died..., and my sister found strength she didn't know she had. Without the rose colored glasses, she reached down and found something inside of her that allowed her to do what she had to do. She found a well of resolve and fortitude that carried her through the last week and a half. She has comforted me, and let me cry with her. She is my little sister but she is older, sometimes, than me. She does not need the glasses now.
So, this morning, I put the glasses on and went outside. I realized right away that this "rosy" view is a limited one. It gave a warm, bright tone to my surroundings and made things look softer..., but not real. It was a false coloring of life.., a small illusion that I wanted others to see...., to give them a brighter point of view. I can see the difference, now. My vision without the "rosy" glasses is clear, and real, and without deception. Why didn't I see this before? Why was I always giving everyone Rose Colored glasses?
...., reality looks like this and it's all right. Do you see the difference?
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mourningtime

Just two days before I was called down to be near my dying mother I went to my Son's house and babysat my two grandsons. Maybe we are given some joy before we experience sadness so that a small part of this happiness lingers and gives us strength. My grandchildren will never know how much these images made the sorrow of my Mother's death, somehow, easier.
Life is a gift that makes death a memory and mourning into morning.
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