people-who-stick-by-us for $1000, please.
roller-coaster-soap-opera-never-a-dull-moment-ever-changing life gifts us with people along the way.
some of them are in it – with us, as it’s said, for a season. we fill each other’s cups with the companionship of friends or loved ones, but time has a way of placing itself between people and proximity of place or heart push at the ability to spend time. schedules and responsibilities and changes interrupt the flow together and we drift.
some people are in it – with us – for specific reasons. they are colleagues, they are universe-drop-ins who walk alongside as we grow and evolve, in our work, on a walk we have chosen, a trail we have been set upon. they stop at waysides as we travel on and we lose touch.
others are just there. they may be constant companions; they may be in-and-out. but, whenever we wish or they wish, they are there and we are there. they ride the coaster with us, laugh with us, ponder with us, cry with us, get pissed with us, celebrate with us. we share stories, we share the truth, we share disappointments, challenges, impossible summits. it can be weeks, months, years and it is just as easy. they are touchstones in our lives and, likely, always will be. we spend time together and time apart, but they are never far away. they are our posse. and we could not do life without them.
we stopped on the trail and i sat on a bench, pulling off the boots that were making my feet beyond sore. jen offered her socks; she offered her boots. instead of rendering her shoe or sock-less, i used her bandaids. we loaded up my feet with bandaids and i didn’t tie the boots, clomping through a few miles in the snow, curling my toes to keep them from falling off. i whined about it and i apologized for whining about it. and i promised that next week – in our next hike – i would wear different boots. two times hiking in these was enough. we talked about feet most of the way back, for there is not much we won’t discuss – at length. brad yawned through my health insurance rant, but he listened intently anyway. we cheered with dark beer and brandy-old-fashioned-sweets at a neighborhood bar next to the railroad tracks. we made plans and talked about life and the previous week, another episode in the sitcoms and serial drama miniseries of our lives. right there, listening and caring. there.
we’ll have snacks at happy hour – though it will be followed shortly by a huge dinner together. but we all love to eat and the up-north gang does it well. we’ll talk about everything under the sun and we’ll laugh. nothing is off the table as we all age together, listing the things we are concerned about. we are an all-inclusive in-service about all that stuff, comparing notes, making recommendations, giving advice. it’s totally reassuring. we know who to call if – any time of day or night – there is water in the basement or if the tv antenna falls or if we need new tires or a pair of glasses. there. they are right there.
the perch a couple nights ago was done to perfection, as were the potatoes and cabbage slabs. 20 was in his glory; his wheelhouse includes fishhhh (as he says it) and cabbage. we eat together twice a week. every week. we take turns cooking and every meal includes wine and chocolate. he goes way back – 30 years almost – and his presence is a rock for us. through thick and thin he has remained steady. we keep track of the week by our mondays and thursdays together. there.
and there are those people – who can call on the phone from far away or across town – and with whom we can pick up as if no time has passed. we can laugh about the seinfeld episodes of mutual time, we can pine for time spent, we can rue how quickly time has passed. the thing we know – no matter what – is that they – and we – are there. whether we see them or not, no matter if it has been a long while, these people are always part of the very fabric of our lives and they are vital. they remember who we were, how we changed, what we went through. they know the gumption it took to get us to where we are now. they recognize us. they are from our elementary schools, our high schools, our colleges, our first jobs, our professional ladder rungs along the way. they are the people we met on airplanes, while shopping, at tennis tournaments, across the street. they are random and superbly unique and we celebrate meeting them – wherever it was. they are in our mind’s eye standing aside us through it all, whether in person or in spirit. their souls entwine with ours.
and then there are the beloveds. people whose dna is connected to ours in some way, people whose curve-of-face resembles ours, whose expressions we know by heart, without whom we would never be who we are. they are scattered, too, around the world and, though we wish – yearn – to see them often and more often, it is not so. nevertheless, they hold the prime spots in our hearts and are always right there, a breath away. our families.
so many chances to love, to feel love. so much time spent together. so much gratitude on the coaster.
people-who-stick-by-us for – well – infinity.
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read DAVID’s thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY
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