There are some people close to me that like to joke about my love of people and making connections by tagging me a “friend collector.” Are you going off somewhere to collect some more friends? How many friends did you collect there, etc…? I really do love being and staying connected to others. My mom and grandma were friend collectors too so I come by this honestly.
Today I had a magnificent conversation with Ron from Broken Arrow, OK. Ron’s wife was here at CTCA for a follow-up visit her cancer is in remission. He and I were sitting together in the waiting room. Ron asked me where I was from I told him I grew up in Rapid City, SD he said he and his daddy would take their self-propelled combine from their farm in Oklahoma and head north up as far as SD and harvest wheat to help pay for the combine. He said they would be on the road 8 months out of the year harvesting for others while his momma and brothers ran their farm. Ron and I had that same conversation three or four times, each starting with him asking me where I was from. When I asked him where he was living now he said he needed to take his driver’s license out to tell me. It was such a human experience to be with Ron and his beautiful spirit today. I can’t explain it but the interaction I had with Ron energized me. Maybe because it’s my dharma or my purpose. There is something so pure about sitting down with; no agenda, no wants, being authentic and relating to another person just as they are in that moment.
That’s how I feel about the time I spend with my girlfriends. I have the most amazing group of girlfriends. Some girlfriends I have known for many decades, some girlfriends I have only known for a few years, but there is not a bad one in the bunch, they are all wonderful, beautiful, blessed gifts. As I am traveling this cancer journey with my dad, I am being carried by so many people but I tell you my girlfriends are definitely pulling their weight and more. If you have ever read the poem “Footprints in the Sand” where it states there are two set of prints in the sand except during the low times in this person’s life there were only one set of prints which it turns out is when the Lord was carrying the person. Well if you looked at the footprints along my sand it would look like there had been a mosh pit there during the low times. I am being carried by many.
Girlfriends are great, they are the people who REALLY know you and, as the saying goes, like you anyway. My girlfriends help me feel a little less odd in this life and remind me I am human. You know when you have those internal conversations with yourself when your mind is running away with things and then you catch yourself and harshly judge your selfishness, bitterness, guilt, shame etc…..well when I engage in that little game inevitably I will talk to one of my girlfriends and they will brazenly say out loud that which I only dared say internally. My girlfriends are like the sunshine that encourages my tightly wound petals to loosen and bloom to a comfortable flower.
Lately I have been reflecting on how, at this point in my life, I have been receiving more than giving to my girlfriends. It’s a strange place for me I am more comfortable giving than receiving, but my wellspring is quite low these days so it is the way it shall be for now, its temporary. In the past, when I was low on reserves and needed to take more than give, I went to my mom. I am not sure why but I never questioned that or felt guilty about it, it was almost instinctual. Since my mom died it has forced me to reach out beyond my innate comfort zone, mom taught me so much in life, but this was perhaps her last glorious lesson to me. So without mom to reach out to, now I reach out to my girlfriends, and while mom can never be replaced, my world is still a warm comfortable place with these lovely surrogates.
Thank you girls for the human experience we have; living, laughing, loving. You get out of my way when I soar and thankfully get in the way when I sink!!!