Tag Archives: kindness

This’n’That

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This morning’s one hour trip to the dentist reminded me of why I love Vermont.  Surrounded by mountains, I feel safest.  I’m more a mountain person than a beach person.  I love the energy, the feel.

While waiting in the dental office, the overly full waiting room held 8 of us with 6 seats.    I like to observe people without them knowing it, more than I seem to like talking to them lately.   lol.   Seriously, No longer an extrovert.    A woman, sitting with her son caught my interest.   I could see her watching others, watching this one man looking at who I assumed was her son.  When the 23 year old son was called in for his cleaning the mother and this man who was studying the kid, and whom the mom was studying spoke,  “Aspbergers” she said.    And then unfolded a devine intervention between the mom and the guy who was observing her son.  Apparently his employer has adopted 21 autistic children, and the mom (whom I observed), looked tired, frustrated.   She shared that her husband also has aspbergers, it wasn’t determined until her son was diagnosed.  I know this is how they have found people my generation’s adhd…..   only after their children were diagnosed.   It was an awesome conversation, I was enthralled in it.   I asked the woman what she does to cope, and she jokingly (i think) said “I drink heavily”.

After about ten minutes the mom and i were alone in the waiting room and we were discussing mental illnesses, the need for education on such, how vastly and widely the spectrum of autism spanned, and just how widespread it now is.

The mom spoke to me about how she and her husband are trying to get him motivated to find his niche.    She spoke of his intelligence, way above my pay grade!   And she laughed when she said “he’s also very lazy”.   But she said “I need to know that when I’m gone, he will be okay, and I know he can be!  It was a pleasant conversation while waiting to see the Dr.    The tooth I broke is going to cost well over $2500 to save.  Shaking my head.   May be putting a red light outside my door!  lol.

The last couple of weeks I’ve done my best dealing with one thing at a time.  I haven’t tried to multi task, I’m fighting off the normal Seasonal depression stuff.   Easily overwhelmed, so I take things one thought, one task at a time, and when that’s done, I go to the next.   Also have been doubling up on meds here and there (within reason, believe me, I’ve been on antidepresssants since I was 21.   I know most of them intimately, mins and maxes, and I’ve doubled up on D3.  I have a lot going on that I need to be my focus, and I’m actually craving physical exercise.    That’s a rarity.

Anyway,  all in all it was as good day.  I’m now ready for bed as I have errands to run again tomorrow.  Hope you had a nice day/evening, a renewing, refreshing nights sleep, and here’s hoping that your “tomorrow” is pleasant!!!!   Good night!!!

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Peeking in

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The moon lit up a path for my dog (Lilly) and I to walk tonight, our last walk before we retire from a challenging day, at best.

I stopped to peek in and look into my front windows.  What do I see?  What if I did not know me, what would I see?   Would I see the person I want to see?   Would I see a home that I would want to live in?  To welcome family and friends in?

Am I looking into the home of an honest person?  A kind person?  A caring person?   Or would I see an old, angered, manipulative soul?

Would I see the past scars of hardships?  Did the hardships shape or mold me in any way?  For the good?  Or the bad?   Would I see a person whose experiences brought her wisdom, does she share that with others?   Or would I see a woman whose outward and inward look feels beaten from life?    Or would I see the boldness and hardness or an embittered woman?    Would I see a happy, peaceful, gentle home filled with love, welcoming friends and family, or would I see a perfectly placed home, with name brands and picturesque shots from a magazine on Style?

Though the outside of this house is in need of scraping and love, is the inside, the core, the womb warm?  Does it hold true to the things and people I love?   Does it hold true to me?   To the people I have loved and lost?   Or am I living in a shrine to the departed?

Do I see artwork that is beautiful, and brings a smile to my face?  Or do I hear the poisoned tongue of self criticism, judgement, sadness?

Are there pets?  Are they happy?  Are they sad?   Are they fed?

Does it look like a home with a grateful soul?
Or want lists posted everywhere? Does it feel like the person who lives here has ‘enough’ or too much?

As I walked away, I smiled.     This home is far from perfect, and most of the belongings that fill it have been previously loved.   I see a warm glow that comes through the curtains, and a cat that’s probably purring while she lays sleeping on a chair cushion.  I see artwork that was painted with bright, beautiful, happy palettes, pictures of loved ones loved in their prime, smiling, happy, and just enough dog and cat hair on the floor to say, yup, those animals have a nice life, and so does the woman who lives here.   She has made a lovely home for herself, pleasing to the eye, and yet comfortable, welcoming.  Swags that were given to her by someone she loves, belongings that have little monetary value and much sentimental.    Colors that offer soothing feelings, and a studio that is occupied and utilized daily.

In short, I see my “true colors” shining through.   And that?  Makes me a happy woman tonight.    Happy and very grateful for who I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going.

So now I’m closing the shades and shutting out the world, it’s time for my girls and I to cuddle and snuggle, and enjoy the plush comforter that will soon touching my skin, echoing my body.    I am a very fortunate woman, indeed.

 

 

Blessings

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This afternoon I had a video call with a childhood friend.  A friend whose life changed drastically after a tragic accident.    As I watched him talk, process, thinking diligently about answers or response, my heart sang with joy that this very kindhearted, intelligent friend of my bro’s is still the same person he was probably 40 years ago now.

I can’t tell you how nice it felt to talk to him, he had me laughing hysterically over things that I “forgot” he knew.  You know, when time divides you from your childhood and life happens, sometimes the hardest part of life, and you hear old stories, or see reactions that you haven’t seen in years, it’s sweet.   It’s nice to know that SOME things, some people do not change.

After we spoke I was smiling, thinking about the kid, the teenager he used to be, and my mom and I started sharing stories, and we laughed to our hearts delight.    I always encouraged my brother to hang onto this guy as a friend.    He was such a decent being way back when.

Most of us are aware of the crudeness, the blatant evil that exists now, how beautiful it is to me that while life dished him out some major hard balls, that he’s still the kind, caring, compassionate and wonderful person he was before life put it’s ugly talon’s into our flesh.

In a world where you only know what someone wants you to know, how refreshing, how sweet it feels to revisit youth, and share a laugh or two regarding things long since forgotten, or buried.

I haven’t had it nearly as hard, nor do I care to compare heartbreak with anyone, but I know for myself, I have tried to always remain kind, to remain uninjured, still “soft”, so as not to harden like leather that many people have had happen.    It happens.  Life is not a picnic for all, and sometimes it’s just damn hard to walk through a day with all the knowledge or what is happening in this world.

But today, tonight, I am smiling that this kind soul, who knew me long before the many depressions or hardships that has occurred in my life, and that he, too, is still “soft”.  What a delightful conversation, and as I watched his eyes move as he was talking, I was reminded, pleasantly of how philosophical he has always been.  Even as a youngster, he really listened, and he answered questions after processing, and in spite of all the hardships we both have encountered, we were still able to conjure up things from our long ago past, and laugh hardy.

What a gift the past week has been for me.   Spending time with good, kind, “real” people, kindred spirits.   I’ve been truly blessed with these experiences.

 

It’s Friday!

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Happy Friday to you!    Hope you had a week filled with peace, clarity, joy, and faith!   You define what your faith is!   But it seems in this world right now, it’s becoming harder and harder to believe that things are “going to get better”.     Maybe they will, but yesterday I met someone who really lifted my battered disbelief.

First, this person offered to me, free of charge, her painting stash.  She and her husband are moving, and she just didn’t want to pack it.   The minute I walked into her house I knew I was privileged to meet this sweet woman.    As we sat on the floor in her once dining room, with piles of “things” being packed, given away, I felt like I had known her forever.

She shared with me how she had a special needs child, who lived to be 24, many years past what doctors had predicted.   Love exuded from her as she spoke of him, it was an incredibly beautiful, and tragic story.

My curiosity arose long before I showed up at her door.     How many people do you meet who are openly giving, and offering of their treasures, and stories?   Have had dealings lately with a greedy person, so this was extra special to me.

With incredible grace and fortitude she shared her stories and excitement about a new chapter in her life, and I knew right then, I have received much more from her than the bundles of paint, surfaces and books she so graciously gave me.

I needed this experience.  I really did.    I left her house with my car full, but my heart fuller.    I had just been privy on a special soul, a giving soul, a healthy, beautiful, kind and loving soul.    I thought how her husband obviously knew what he was doing when he married her!   She’s a golden nugget, so to speak in terms of treasures.   Such wisdom, such beauty, such kindness.   I walked away hoping I will never forget this beautiful experience.

Such beauty does exist, and I was fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of her generosity, both with many material items, but more importantly, her happy, peaceful, beautiful soul.

I hope you get to experience this, too.   It renewed my faith in mankind.  Yes, I said it, I’ve been feeling fairly discouraged of late.    She gave of herself with little effort and absolutely no airs about her.     I am very grateful for all!!!

Sadness

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Today was a challenging day for me.   As fate would have it, I learned that someone I care about is ill, very ill.   Further complicated by a parting of ways between us.  I couldn’t even remember the incident, or exactly what happened, I knew I was upset, but the “final” visit, I have no memory of.    When I learned of this, haphazardly, I felt like I was going to toss my cookies.    It doesn’t sound good, not at all.

I had also been inadvertently told that she had just learned of this last night, and was home from hospital today.  All I could think of is being left alone to think about what she was told.  I had a full list of things to do today, rose early to do them.  The list was set aside two hours upon rising after learning this news.

When you learn something like this, it really doesn’t matter what happened.  I think it’s important for each person to acknowledge and say what they couldn’t say prior.  And that was the case when I walked into her home, her bedroom where she was resting.  I didn’t know how or what I’d find, I just said a prayer for strength and courage and went and sat with her on the bed.  It’s a HUGE bed that she hates.   I wasn’t sure if she was happy to see me or not, but I grabbed her very soft hand and said “I’m sorry”.     She looked away.   “I have something to tell you”, I nodded.   What she shared next was one of the “moments” I hadn’t recalled, and a bit of it came back.    She expressed how hurt she was, and how she didn’t even want to address it or try to fix it with me.  “Friends don’t do that to other friends”.   I said “Your right, they shouldn’t”.

It wasn’t easy hearing how I had hurt her.   And sadly I don’t recall the incident she spoke of, I had thought our estrangement was just a mutual thing after a couple bad experiences.  I said the words that I needed to say, “I’m sorry I hurt you”.

I helped adjust her pillows, asked if there was anything I could do for her.  Asked if she wanted me to leave, “no, I don’t want you to leave”.     Then she shared another incident that hurt her and I guess the look on my face said what I didn’t need to verbalize.   It was nothing I had done, nothing I could do.   She said I’m sorry, I thought you had.

My mom showed up a few minutes later, I guess she knew where to find me.  I had dropped her off to get her car that was being serviced, the second $400 we put into it this month, and just drove away.     I didn’t know if I should go see her.  I wanted to.  But I didn’t want to upset her.  I just didn’t want her sitting alone with this news.   What happened between us didn’t matter, was unimportant.

She was very tired, and apologetically needed to give in to sleep.  We said our goodbyes.   I held her hand before I left and told her I would be in touch, and that she could call me if she wanted or needed something.   She thanked us for coming and said “Donna, I’m really glad you came”.    As I walked out, drove home, I felt numb.   But numbness isn’t really the word for it, if it hurts, its not numb, right?

This is a person who I had spent many hours with, driving around back roads, in my home, or hers.  She’s almost 20 years older than me,  I’ve always tended to have older friends.   We have shared with each other things we’ve never shared with another.   We were good, close friends.   I was frustrated with her about a few things that need not be shared.  I was even angry at one point.    It wasn’t until she had brought up what she needed to say that I vaguely remembered it.

I thought about the couple things that I had remembered, that annoyed me.   And I questioned, was she sick then?  Is that why she forgot to do what she promised to do?    And at that very moment I was reminded AGAIN, how important it is that we be kind to others.  We know not what will eventually unveil itself.   It never occurred to me that she was sick when this broken promise happened.   I felt like shit, for a few minutes.  I allowed myself to feel bad about that, but then I had to forgive myself.  I didn’t know.  And it wasn’t that I was unkind to her, although her words said it was a look I gave her.

We think we have all the time in the world to make amends, forgive, or fix things.   We don’t.   This was a blatant reminder for me of the things I take for granted.  And I’m a pretty grateful person.    But I guess I had more to learn.

So, I decided I needed to go to bed, and I opened my bedroom windows.  We are being plummeted with rain.  Rumors are there was a tornado 40 miles from us.   I laid in bed, realizing, I needed to write about this.   It’s all consuming.    And now I’ll go crawl back into bed and listen to the rain fall, and think of what perfect weather it is for this day.   It should be a dismal, damp, wet night both inside and outside of my home.     Because today was a hard day, and I’m very saddened by what I have learned.

That’s all I need to say.  The rest I will wrestle with myself.    If there’s someone you care about and are at odds with, rethink it.   Is it really that important?  Do you have both sides?  Is the silence worth the loss of time?    Only you can answer that.

Grateful I went to see her.   If you want to say a prayer for her, I’m sure she would appreciate it.     Goodnight.

 

This, too, shall pass…

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Someone I love deeply is under fire.    Undeserving, but not unexpected fire.    As I read the comments, I thought about who this person is.   What a good person he is.

When you were little, you were so kind to others.  You’re intelligence showed at the age of 3 when you and I were driving to Town at dark, and you were humming “Twilight Zone” as you looked at the sky, and smiled.

Well, the time you stole the money from your friends and brother, that was more out of madness, and I’m sure we can all look back on that and laugh.  It was corrected.  You were feeling pushed and didn’t like it.  I want you to remember that time.  How old were you?   There is a huge difference between then, and who you are, with what you are currently facing.  For one, you know right and wrong.  You may not like them, but you are a law abiding citizen surrounded with those that know nothing of the person you are, or who you will be by the end of this.

The stabbing lies, the vindictiveness, I’m shaking my head as I’m thinking about it.  Dear soul, you have been swimming with the likes of vultures, with that heart of gold of yours.  You are by far one of the nicest, kindest people I’ve ever know.  I am so proud of you, every day.   I was so disappointed with what you settled for, but I’ve been there, too.  And I’m sure, no, I have no doubt, that the spitting and vicious attacks will continue.  Why?  My dear child, it isn’t about you.  It isn’t about you at all.  It is about them.  You just were “throwing pearls to swine”.   They didn’t value you, they raped your kindheartedness, stole not only every cent you ever made, were given, but celebrated their own victories on your earnings.

I am so relieved to hear that you are making changes.  I am proud of you, again.  I’ve no doubt this decision was the hardest one you’ve ever made in your life.  I know why you stayed, and one day they will, too.   And hopefully they will not fall (more than they already have) to the likes of these, I hesitate to even call them “people”.  Perhaps one day, they too will be relinquished from the evils, the spite, the lowest form of beings I have ever known.  And I’ve known a few.

So, when they go low, you go high.  There were many things I didn’t like about the Obama Presidency but I will say, this?  This has stayed with me, and I’ve packed it away to pull out for the very times that you are walking through right now.   You will get beyond this, because of who you are, and all of us who love you, and will help you find your way out.

Never ever ever ever give up.   Even when you feel like it, and I’m here to tell you, my dear child, that you will want to.  There will be days the snakes have surrounded you, and the evil will be so strong that you’ll want to not fight, but you will.  You will because of the very two reasons why you stayed.  You will never give up on them.

I love you more than I can say, and I am sorry you are in pain, and in this place, but I am so proud that you are here, that you are finally here, and even if for this one evening you feel your own worth, I promise you, you only recognize 1/200ths of your worth.  You’ve been told and mistreated so, you haven’t even a clue as to who you are, or what you are capable of.  But you will.  I promise you.  You will.

The past is the past, and it will sting for some time, mostly from the likes of those who only know how to piss, moan, bitch, and steal.   Leaches, really.    How many times have you EVER treated anyone like they have you????    And my wish for you is, you will never know this, and I don’t believe you ever will, because of who you are.

So you rest, and you do your best every day, in every way.  When they start pissing on you, you ignore, and remember the two reasons why you will always be the better person, with morals, standards.   You are a good person, and some part of you knows that.  Some part of you recognizes that you didn’t deserve this treatment, nor to be in the likes of these snakes.  Because you have walked in courage the last few days.   You will never, ever regret walking in courage.

And when you have your doubts (and you will), you remember those who love you, and you lean to them to remind you of our worth, your strength, and what a beautiful, amazing person you are.   Some of the best times of my life were with you.    I love you.  You’ve got this, and when you feel you don’t?  We’ve got your back.

 

There’s another storm a

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Dragged my butt out of bed this morning because my cat was persistent.  I was dizzy, my head felt separate from my body, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to even get down the stairs.

An unproductive day bothers me.  I feel the need to accomplish.   But carrying around severe clinical depression in a knapsack on my back, some days I have to give myself a break.  Sometimes getting out of bed is the one and only accomplishment I’ll get done.   I have friends, friends who understand the talons of this disease, and encourage me to do the basics.

So when I was able to make it to town to get milk and a few groceries (We are in between storms here in Vermont, and I should’ve shopped LAST week!), I was thrilled with myself.  Managed to get the garbage out, and then took a three hour nap.  Cold medicine helped me lift my head from my favorite couch pillow, and I felt well enough to paint.   Happy!

The market where I went to get milk, bread, basics, there was a woman my age who was working.  She was friendly, pretty.   We spoke briefly on the impending storm, and she mentioned she had to shovel her drive and walkways.   I comically shared with her that Winter, three-four years ago I had a plow bill of about $450, and I figured I’d have to sleep with my plower to get the bill paid off.   She did a huge belly roll, surprised that I said that.  “I have no one to plow, my husband died in July”.   “I’m sorry, I said”.

Normally here, I would offer a brief  pause in my day to listen, if she wanted to share.  I wasn’t feeling well enough to stand there much longer, so I wished her a good day and drove my ass home.     All the way home I was thinking about her.  Man, she’s still green with her loss, that is a hard hard trek.   But she was working, was very friendly, KIND, and I said a prayer for her.   So many friends are experiencing loss right now, or serious serious illnesses, life threatening.   It’s hard here in New England in Winter.  I can go all winter without seeing my next door neighbors.  It’s just the way Winter is.

As I was painting tonight, (working on farm animals, not my forte, but I want to get good at painting them!), I thought again about her friendliness, her kindness, and somehow, some way, I will do something kind for her without her knowing it.   She so deserves that.  Facing such pain and changes in life, for her to be MORE than civil, is, in my book, awesome.

Now I’m going to go finish this Rooster, and then head to bed.   I’m finding that I don’t want to go to bed.  I love my bed, I truly do, and my bedroom is pretty.  But I’m finding it harder and harder to get up.   Need to boost up my D3 intake, and get outside, in fresh air, no matter the weather.   But today?  Today I think I did very good, given how crappy I was feeling.

Kindness is so contagious, and in her circumstances I dare say “courageous”.

 

Quality peeps

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I’ve made mistakes in my life… but, if you learn from them, are they mistakes or lessons?  I’ve been in relationships I had no business being in, friendships with people who were incapable of returning it.   I have been burned badly by people I once loved, and I’ve chosen a partner well below my class.  I know that sounds awful.  I know it does.  But trust me, I have so learned from all of these.

But one thing I am really good at, now, is choosing quality people to surround me.   I have very good people in my life.   I realize this more and more, when I hear things that go on with friends, and others.  If I have chosen you as a friend, into my heart, into my life, I see beauty, authenticity, and trustworthiness.   I no longer dip my toes into the sea of selfish souls that can suck the life out of you.  Been there, done that, ain’t interested in going back there anymore!

Seriously, I am good at reading people’s energy.   I have loved some of my friends from the first time I met them.   Likewise, I have gone out of my way, WAY out of my way to avoid dark, selfish souls.

If you are my friend, there is not much I wouldn’t do for you, if you are first helping yourself.  And when you can’t do for yourself, I will do for you, too.  But I’ve learned boundaries and borders.  I can spot a user a mile away.    I prefer to have flawed, kind people in my life.   I love people who have been to hell, and clawed their way back, who accept their shortcomings, and are not afraid to show them to me.  Who also possess the quality of being able to see beyond themselves.    People who love nature, animals, and cry at something cruel presented or witnessed, and laugh at themselves, first, and then others.

I believe you can only truly laugh at others without vain, if you can first laugh at yourself.  I am pretty good at this, and my friends?  They are too.

If I’ve chosen you in my life, if you are my friend, I want to thank you for being who you are.  For showing me, proving to me that good, quality, kind honest people still exist in this world of turmoil and dismay.  Thank you for sharing your obstacles with me, and for being my friend.   It is because of you that I am able to face another day in a sometimes very difficult time.   To know you are loved, liked for who you are, flaws and all.

We may not speak or see each other for years at a time, but you are always with me, carried safely in my heart, my thoughts, and prayers.

I’ve been truly blessed, but it also comes from experience and making better choices for myself, because I deserve the best life has to offer, that’s why I chose you!

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, my friend

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We were so young when we met.  My God, were we ever that young?   The first time I met her she came to my house with my brother.  Dressed classy, wearing a very wide brim hat, my brother introduced her as his date.   I laugh when I think of this, because I know her very well know.  She has this one look where she puts her head up in the air, as if daring fate to come get her.    At first I thought she was a snob.  I suppose that is why I laugh when I think of that face.

A disastrous marriage to my only brother, two sons that have brought so much joy to my life.  A friendship that has spanned over broken relationships, deaths, 30 years.    She was more than my sister-in-law, she was my friend through so much.   The laughter, the tears, the fears.   We have helped each other walk through some very painful parts of life.   And more important than that, we have LAUGHED our way through it.   Things that you never thought you could joke about, become humorous with someone who knows you like a book.

As years came to be, and she shared of her childhood, struggles, I grew to respect her more each passing year.   It isn’t easy for someone who has been walked over, to stand up and fight back.   But she has.   Stereotypic essential relationships that should have gifted her with confidence, esteem, and overall sense of self respect delivered exact opposite, or was meant to.   I witnessed things over the years that made me so sad for her.   But also, made me love her all the more.

After the divorce, and a bitchy evil “step mother” stepping into the scenario, I was summoned more than once to cease my relationship with her, after all, we were no longer related!    But that only served to set my heels in deeper.  Why would I sever a relationship that was essential to me?  Why would I sever a relationship based on lies that were being told about her?   More than once, more than a handful, I got into shouting matches with my family.   I was the bad one, for keeping up the relationship.   Shaking my head.    Yet it was this woman who stayed up with me ALL night, for months on end, playing Literati, helping me walk through some of the hardest times of my life.  No, I guess we were no longer related, but we were friends.  I know we will always be friends.

I have seen her shape from a broken uncertain soul, into an amazing woman.   Now a grandmother, she and her husband took a plunge and moved across country.  I encouraged her.  It was time.  Always a mother, she would still be available as she was when near, and this day and age of technology, a phone call can now be face to face, expressions inclusive.   But it was time for them to do for themselves.   I don’t think it was an easy decision, given the level of family commitment they have, but it was a good decision, for all.

I’ve watched my nephews mature.  They are GOOD human beings.  I’m proud of them.   Was she a perfect mother?  Why YES ( 🙂 )…. who EVER is perfect?   It’s impossible.  We are designed to be perfectly imperfect, she, no exception.    For whatever she would do differently today, she taught her children to NEVER GIVE UP.   It is okay to take a couple day sabbatical, but then?  Then you get up, and you start over.   Defy the powerful forces that had great potential to tear flesh, break your spirit.   Put your head up high, and walk however you must towards self love, acceptance, success.   Stick that nose up in the air if it helps you walk through fire, whatever it takes!    This is why I smiled at the beginning of the blog.  That snobbish look she can give, I know what’s behind it.

She has walked through fire.   She has taken my hand and walked with me, through fire.   I am in awe of her strength, and the person she has become.   I’m proud of her and what she has done with her life.  She is courageous, intelligent TO A FAULT.   I don’t care if her last name has changed, or where she is in the world, she will ALWAYS be my sister-in-law, and she will ALWAYS be the mother of two beautiful souls that I love dearly.   I am grateful for her existence in my life.

As typical, I sit here with a sign from above.   I am laughing, because I smell birthday candles.  I have actually gotten up and looked around my house to make sure there is no flame anywhere.   I bet you I know who is sending you birthday wishes from the other side!   The same person you drove 3-4 hours in bad weather to say goodbye, who adored your boys, too.  Or maybe?   It’s the person who I know loved you deeply.  The woman who I know you loved dearly.   I know when she died you were broken, felt like the truest form of love you had ever experienced had all been lost.  But it wasn’t!   You passed on what she taught you to your boys, and I know will, your grandchildren.   She exists in you, and no doubt, is very proud of you.

Thank you for all your love, support, friendship, hours spent listening to me.  Thank you for loving my art, for caring about my family in spite of all the difficulties in the past.   Thank you for sharing some of the BEST belly laughs I’ve ever had.    I am grateful for your existence in my life.  I am grateful for you.

On this day I want to wish you a very happy birthday.  You deserve the best.  You have fought your way through much, and you are still standing, as beautiful as ever, with the best looking legs I have ever seen on a real person!    Have an awesome day!   I love you, and I look forward to many more years with you and our “boys”.

He was my friend

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A childhood friend died last week.  A very kind, compassionate intelligent person.   I am saddened.

We grew up together, he was 2 years younger than me and his family lived just a couple miles away from mine.   We rode the same school bus to elementary school, and a very long early bus to and from high school.  We would normally try to find a seat near each other.  He was one of my favorites.  He had big hair, which hey, back then it was in style!  Not that he had much choice in the matter.  This was out sized only by the cutest grin he nearly always had on his face.  Whenever I would see him, he made me smile.  Whenever I have thought of him in past, I would smile.   When I think of him now I smile.  He was a love.

I remember one day on the bus we were in seats next to each other chatting.   There was someone a few seats ahead who had been by themselves the whole distance.  I saw him looking at them through the corner of his eye as we were talking.   He put his finger up in the air signifying “one minute” and with that I watched him scoot to the seat in front of the person who sat alone.   I tried not to watch, but I know I smiled.   Yep, I knew what he was doing.  He didn’t like to see anyone hurting, or sad, and certainly lonely.  I don’t know if this person was lonely or not but within seconds he had this person laughing, smiling, chatting.   I looked over at him and grinned, he winked.  A heart of gold, he had a heart of gold.   On one of our times waiting for the school bus when snowball fights ensued, he had thrown a snowball at a friend and a piece of that flew off and into my eye.   He didn’t take any satisfaction in the success of hitting his target, he was right next to me, his arm on my shoulder “Are you okay?  I’m so sorry, are you okay?”    Every day he asked me if I was okay until I finally said ENOUGH!    Caring.  He was a caring soul.

On our too infrequent passing’s, visits in the aisles of grocery stores, Walmart, Home Depot, we would stand for an hour or two each time “catching up”.  Audible laughter, always.   The last time I had seen him was at a Home Depot, he, his wife who we also grew up with, and we must have chatted for 2 hours.  It was great.  I remember walking away from that visit feeling good and taking comfort in the realization that he was still the very special person I knew from 25 years prior.  He still cared about others, he still was compassionate, funny, and he still sported that adorable grin that I loved.

The world doesn’t seem as warm or comfortable to me right now.   It was nice knowing that  he and others like him were somewhere out there in the world.   If it had been decades since we saw each other, we picked up where we had left off.  There was nothing artificial about him, he was genuine, authentic.   A few days prior to learning of his passing I was bombing around on back roads in my hometown waiting for a friend to get home from work.  As I drove by his family home I smiled and thought of him.  I had hoped that we would cross paths again this holiday season like we had so many other times.   I’m saddened to think that this will not happen, but even sadder to think that his family, his friends, all that loved him are now starting the difficult journey of grief.  Eventually the healing process will begin, varying times and lengths between all.  But I assure you, this man will never be forgotten.  His kindness, his quirkiness, that grin of his that I adored will always make me smile, and I’m reminded of the quote, I have no idea whose “They may not remember what you look like, they may not remember your name, but they will always remember how you made them feel”.   He made people feel important.  For me, his presence brought relief and comfort to a sometimes painful existence .

I pray for his family, his friends as they embark on life without him in it.  I pray that his children will always know how special their father was, what a good person he was, what a kind soul he was.   I will certainly miss him, but I will always remember that grin, the kindness and compassion he gave to others, and I will always be grateful I knew him.  To know him was truly, to love him.