Friendship and passion …


Friendship comes in many forms—family, pets, people we know, and people we used to know. Losing friends is hard but the natural way of things. Friends move away physically, mentally, or emotionally. Friends grow apart. Friends pass away.

I lost two friends this week.

My Siamese cat, Emily, lived with me for 14 years and, yesterday, I had her put down. She had been ill for some time and it was best for her, and for me as well. My house feels so very empty.

This morning, I learned that an old friend from college passed away a few days ago. We were best friends back then and we brought out the best, and sometimes the worst, in each other. We both drifted away over the years. Maybe because I thought she made crazy life choices and I’m pretty sure she thought I was a stick-in-the-mud.

She dated a friend of mine in college. One of the kindest, most honorable people I’ve ever known. She dumped him for another guy. I chalked it up to immaturity. We were still friends but, looking back, maybe that was the beginning of the drift.

After a while, she married the new guy and settled into what seemed to be the perfect life. A few years later, though, she left him. I knew what happened, the event that finally drove them apart, but can remember trying to figure out what was at the heart of what went wrong for them and I couldn’t so I chalked it up to selfishness. We were still friends but drifting further and further away.

A few years later, she reconnected with my friend from college. They got married and had a couple of kids and I was very happy for both of them. He’d won back the girl he loved and she seemed to be at peace with herself and very happy. She adored being a mom. She loved her children and would move the world for them. The marriage, unfortunately, didn’t last. I asked her why she left and she said she needed passion in her life. I chalked that one up to pure stupidity. I just didn’t understand.

A bit later on, she married and had a third child and seemed to finally be really happy. We drifted further apart, however, and over time just lost touch completely. I’d think of her from time to time and wonder whatever happened to her. If they were still together, how her kids were doing, where she ended up living? The usual kind of things we all wonder about old friends that have drifted away.

A few years ago, she found me on Facebook and we reconnected. From her Facebook posts, I learned that she was not well and that her marriage was in trouble. We made plans to get together and, when I visited her, we spent a couple of hours sharing our lives since we’d last talked, some fifteen years earlier. I’m glad that we had that time together. It was the last time I saw her.

Since that visit, though, we kept track of each other on Facebook and that’s how I found out this morning that she had passed. We hadn’t been close friends in many, many years but it still breaks my heart that she’s gone. That her children have lost their mother.

Back when we were close friends, I would tell her ridiculous stories just to hear her laugh. I loved the way she laughed. She was one of the most vibrant, alive people I’ve ever known. She was intelligent, capable, curious, creative, adventurous, free-spirited, exuberant, and she loved her children, always.

She had a passion for life that I will never fully understand but maybe I’m beginning to.

She was full to the brim with passion and I will miss her, always.

Never a dull moment … sort of


Just when you think life is going to keep rolling along with no wrinkles, you wake up to another rainy day. No worries. Seasonal Affective Disorder is really just a myth, right? If I keep telling myself that, I might start to believe it.

Back to the story …

Driving to work yesterday—rain pouring down like it has absolutely nothing else better to do—my windshield wipers decided to take a rest. Yep, they got stuck. Wouldn’t move. Wouldn’t go swish-swish-swish. Just about when I started to panic (driving 60 miles an hour on a two lane road in pouring rain with no windshield wipers is enough to panic this girl), the rain eased off to a fine mist. I could see through that pretty easy so managed to get to work with no bumps, no dents, and no angry motorists along the way.

My boss is one of the most understanding people I know. When I told him I needed to leave as soon as the rain stopped so I could get my wipers fixed, he didn’t even blink, just said okay and be safe. He is a jewel.

Back to story, again …

So, I take care of some work that I really needed to do and head out to get the wipers to swipe.

It took an hour and a half for the service rep to tell me the wipers work fine. Nothing wrong. All is well, no charge. I thank him kindly, get in the car, start the ignition, and turn on the wipers—it had started to rain again.

What did the wipers do? Did they work? Nope, they got stuck at 2:00 o’clock.

I hadn’t even left the parking lot so drove right back into the service bay and showed them the wipers wouldn’t wipe. Two and a half hours later, I need a new wiper motor and they can have one in by Tuesday. It was Friday. So, three-plus days of no wipers, in rainy old winter.

I love being at home.

I hate being stuck at home.

Adding insult to injury (wiper motor = big bite into budget), I no longer have an excuse to not clean my house.

In other words, bored out of my gourd.

Yikes!

Regrets and reprieves


Ever wonder about what might have been?  I don’t very often but in the last few weeks have indulged in a romanticized trip down memory lane.

A friend from college recently mentioned via Facebook that a mutual friend from back then wasn’t doing very well. You see, the mutual friend was tucked way back in a cubbyhole in my brain as “the one that got away.” It’s a really long story and I won’t torture you with the details except to say that I always thought it was my own fault. I’ve carried around regret for years and, from time to time, wondered what might have been—until my friend and I took our conversation offline (yes, people do still have conversations outside of Facebook) and I learned more.

You see, I’ve always believed in fate, that things happen for a reason. Maybe not the things I want, much less the reason I want them, or when for that matter, but there is always a reason. As a result, I’ve pretty much strolled through life going with gut instinct. I learned early on that over-thinking big decisions leads me down the wrong path. Doesn’t matter what the decision is about. Whether it’s to pick up and move across the country or what color car to buy, if I over think it, it does not work out well for me. (I still, to this day, can’t fathom why I bought that gray car. I hated it. I hate gray. Yet, it seemed like such a good idea at the time.)

I digress.

Hearing more about our friend, and how he’s conducted his life, brought an end to my little excursion down memory lane. You see, it turns out that if the “one that got away” hadn’t, I would have gotten what I wanted at the time, but would have regretted it year after year after year. That regretful reality would have been so much worse that my regretful “what might have been” illusion.

Which leads me to reprieve.

From where I sit now, it looks like that fateful day, regretful though it was at the time, was my reprieve from a lifetime of disillusion.

Moving forward

This happy camper’s big decision today is whether to go with dusting first or running the vacuum. H-m-m-m, my gut says read my new book.

;)