Saturday, October 17, 2015

Coming Home - Trying a little harder

I came back on Tuesday from my trip.  I took extra clothes thinking that I might stay a few days extra and see other family but after the weekend it seemed like it was time to come home.

It was a good visit with my friend there is not too many people you have known since 1st grade and the years seem to wash away once I arrived. She is thin and nervous just like she was when we were kids managing all the details of every moment.

Because of the situation she never stopped moving.  I didn't want to impose given the situation but she seem to enjoy having me there.  I am pretty low maintenance as guest go and I bring anything I might need for my personal comfort including my pillow.

I listened a lot about all her mothers illnesses and how many times they thought she wasn't going to make it. Recently she had had a come back and the week before her death she renewed her drivers licence, got a pedicure, had her teeth cleaned and a mole removed from her face.

I guess she was preparing for a trip.  Isn't that always the way? You hear people say "I saw her just last week and she looked great."  But none of us live forever and with each passing day it seems more real to me.

Coming back to a pile of work and thinking is this what I am suppose to be doing? After hearing the kind of person my friend mother was it made wonder what would be said about me. First I don't think there will be such a crowd.  I remember after my own mothers death there were such crowds that they had to close off a few extra rooms to hold all the people and the flowers.

My life has been pretty small and because I have lived in the sickness of my own story I haven't been too giving at times. Other times I gave too but mostly to escape the thoughts and emotions that were always brewing inside just beneath the surface. Earning my right to be alive.

I still have time to put myself out there if I really want to be more give more. It is never too late to change. It is never to late to be someone different.  I recently saw an interview with Jimmy Carter in his 90's and he said he thought the secret to his own happiness and the longevity of his marriage was that he and Rosalyn regularly decide to learn something new. He gave the example that he put his first pair of skis on at 60. I thought that was encouraging.

These days with work I feel that I have no time for really much else.  Of course this is just in my own mind because I spend many hours a day watching TV and not much else. I like it and it calms me but it is just another way to medicate myself.

Sometimes I think this idea of making a big difference is just another mind trap. Something to keep us from just living and enjoying the moment and the people that are right there in front of us.

I have realized that I do want to get out and meet new people. People that are open to change and want to learn new things and have fun. I am not sure how to go about finding them but I think I am going to try a little harder.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Summers Past - Gratitude and loss

The mother of my best friend in grammar school died this past Monday.  She was also the best friend of my own mother. My mother and my best friends mother were polar opposites just my friend and I are polar opposites.

We ended up together because of our mothers and because we went to the same kind of Pentecostal church. When my mother got sick my friends father was in the process of divorcing her mother. Something back then in our church just wasn't done. She never remarried because she believed that it would be adultery in the eyes of God. This didn't phase my friends father who immediately married his secretary.

When I left home at 16 my friends mother let me live with them.  There were six of us total all working and all with our own cars. Except her little brother who was still in middle school. I slepted in the garage that I shared with a car and several cats. I did have a bed and my own refrigerator. I also had a washer and dryer conveniently located at the end of my bed.

Even though she was strict in her beliefs she also was a live and let live person.  She did lecture me about staying out all night on occasion.  I usually was the last one in and the first on out. I had a boyfriend and a full time management job at the local Hardees.

Who could blame me for not rushing home to the car waiting for me. Truthfully I loved it. It was true freedom for me not having to deal with the emotional abuse from my stepmother. I could just live and work in peace.

It was only for one summer and by the end of that summer the relationship with my first alcoholic had ended. I thought it was true love for us both until he decided he needed a second girlfriend. I was devasted as always and decided I needed a geographical cure. I  packed up my truck and moved south. Where I have been ever since.

I am grateful for that summer and I am grateful that she took me in without hesitation. She was loving and generous.

I didn't stay in touch over the years because that how life is sometimes. I have spoken to my friend in the last few years. I did cry when I got the message it made me think of all that has happened over the years  a collision of the past and the present.

I decided to go out of respect and my friend has ask me to stay with her and her family. It feels weird but somehow right that I go.

It makes me want to believe that there is more after this life and maybe she is now reunited with my mother after 40 something years.