|Free Photo courtesy of Dover Clipart|
My long-time friend, Nancy Thysell, contacted me to let me know she was going to be in town this weekend for her high school reunion and wanted us to meet for breakfast today. It had been several years since she had been in Virginia and I really wanted to see her. But this morning I found myself dreading it.
Nan has been my friend since high school even though she lives in another state and we don't talk often. It's the kind of friendship that we just pick up where we left off whenever we talk or visit each other. But her mother passed away a few years ago and it's been just 6 months since my own Mother went to Heaven. I wasn't sure how I could handle it emotionally. Whenever I talk of Momma, especially with someone that is compassionate and sympathetic, I end up in a pool of tears. And I didn't want to do that with Nan who has her own emotional situation.
But I went. And as soon as I saw her precious smile and heard that friendly laugh, I was glad I did.
After we ordered, she told me she was planning to visit her mother's grave before the reunion tonight. She spoke so comfortably of her mother's death and settling of the estate and I found myself sharing about my own situation with Momma's passing and working thru preparing the homeplace to be sold. She let me talk about Momma, commenting now and then. And when I began to feel the tears forming, she tactfully eased the conversation over to her new business and began telling me about all that she had going on in her life.
For the next hour and a half, we ate and talked. But mostly I listened and was grateful for her kindness in acknowledging Momma's passing and her sensitivity to understand that I needed to focus on something else for a while.
Our time together went quickly. Then we both had to get on with our day. We joked that it would probably be another 5 years before we would do this again and touted the benefits of social media to keep connected in a way.
There in the parking lot at Cracker Barrel, I hugged Nan tightly as we said good-by, realizing that she was a physical link to our younger days – days when we have great expectations of life, days before life disappointed us, days before the grief and pain of burying people that we love.
Anxiety, pain, grief, tears, homesickness – these are all a part of this very rough road I am on right now. In this season of life, I remind myself how blessed I am that the Lord Jesus gives me strength, that my husband holds me and lets me cry, and that my family is there to comfort me. And I am thankful for interludes like this morning and a good friend that knows me well and cares enough to share her life with me. She refreshed my soul.
Shared in love,