This Mother’s day was quite wonderful for a change! It was the first real day I could get out in the New England warmth and uncover all my flower beds. I tugged and pulled away all last year’s old growth, decaying leaves and twisty vines and let the fresh new buds and greens breathe and face their happy selves towards the sun. Two out of three of my daughters have made contact (which may be a record), and my youngest even gave me a lovely scarf. She and I walked on a local trail with all the pups, including her new puppy (my grand-dog) and it was great.
But the real highlight of my weekend was spending time with an old and dear friend.
Sometimes, like with our gardens, we have to clear away stuff that isn’t of any use to us anymore so we may grow again. And sometimes it takes drastic measures or distance or even a shaking up of something to see the forest for the trees. Such was this friendship.
I met this friend close to three years ago at a relay running race. I was the Captain for the EMT’s and he was a Transition Area Captain. My job is to hop from one transition area (TA) to another to make sure my EMT’s are there and all set. When I got to this particular one, where he was captain, I was standing near him (unbeknownst to me) talking to my EMT. He was kneeling hammering in a tent-peg. Almost simultaneously I looked down and he looked up and he said to me: will you marry me? And I said: yes. This without ever have spoken a word to each other before in our lives.
It was a funny, but telling, moment. From there we laughed and spoke and got to know each other for a bit. And I then moved on. At the end of the race, we talked a lot more and found out we had a lot in common. He was due to go into the Peace Corps in a number of months. I had intended on going, but circumstances lead me to be unable to do it. There were other things too–we were kindred spirits!
By the end of the race and night, it was like we had known each other a lifetime! When we had to part ways, there was a quick kiss goodbye and a promise to keep in touch. Which we did, and became best friends.
The next months though were challenging. He questioned going into the PC because of our relationship, but I was in a very bad space emotionally. Sadly, I wasn’t as good to him as I should have been and he decided going was the thing to do.
In the two plus years he was there, the communication became sparse. Our lives went on. But soon after he left I had my accident. And of course, everything happens for a reason.
He learned a lot while he was gone, mostly about himself. And I’ve learned so much about myself too–much due to my accident. This weekend was so interesting for both of us. I know I wondered if he would notice any changes in me, but we are close enough and the gap of time made it obvious. And I certainly saw he had grown too.
It is so wonderful to have my friend back and to know that sometimes the good things stay just under the surface ready to grow again once you rake away the stuff that was weighing it all down. And that true friends are willing to see the heart of who’s inside of you, help you fertilize your soul, forgive the weeds that may tangle up your psyche now and again and throw sunshine on the days ahead.
Happy Mother’s Day!