In the land of two of the most atrocious mass killings in recent history in the US, I swear we have all been kinder to one another over the last few days. In all of my interactions over the weekend, everyone (with the exception of the guy behind me at the green light I failed to respond to within .0000005 seconds) has been looking straight into your eyes and asking how you are. Not the meaningless mumbles we are used to, but the real, caring you can feel.
I went out by myself on Saturday morning and propelled myself to a nearby trail and took a trail run. It was glorious. I meant to sign up for the running club before Saturday morning, but was so busy, I never got around to it. Now I am back to wondering why I would pay $200. when I am flat broke to belong to a club – especially when I can step out my front door and be at a beautiful trail within 2 miles. And I can go at my own pace, and get the meditative benefits that you don’t get when you are chatting…. although I LOVE to chat. So, the jury’s still out on this one.
After the meeting yesterday I had the most profoundly odd experience. I stayed inside and chatted (see above) for almost an hour after the meeting. Then I went outside and saw an old man with a pug dog. I smiled and started to walk to my car. He said “I know you.” in sort of a creepy, I can see your heart, kind of way. I asked him “how?” And he said, remember the day you got on the back of my Harley and we rode around, went to your house in Lafayette, and then went to a meeting? Oh! Yes! I do remember that day! I didn’t remember his name. But he has been praying to find me for years.
He wanted to make an amends for never seeing me again after that day. We spent a lovely day together and then he just disappeared. He said it was because he was terrified of me. Frankly, I never gave it another thought, but he has been thinking about this since 1989! He remembered my children and asked about them. He knew that I married an Australian man and moved to Canada. He knew an awful lot about me – and I didn’t remember his name.
We sat outside and talked for a while. As we talked, I cried. It was amazing to talk to someone who really hasn’t seen me since 1989. Someone who is my age (well, 4 years older) and is reconciled to the fact that he is dying. We talked about aging. About how life is weirder than we ever imagined. What it is like to be sober a long time. He has stayed sober too, over 28 years. I told him “I will be celebrating 28 years on Tuesday” and then cried. I don’t know why it seemed like such an incredible miracle when I was talking to him, but just seems normal every other time. Maybe because from the perspective of my 1989 self, this is entirely impossible! And all the rest of the last 23 years were just impossible too. I forget that.
We went out for breakfast. He called last night to thank me for the morning we spent together. I am not sure how I feel about that. But I know that talking to him yesterday felt like a gift from God. It would take another twenty minutes to write down all the reasons for that.
So I will just thank God for his interventions in my life. And I will quote the same scripture our president did last night. It is highlighted and underlined in my Bible, but I was glad for the reminder:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away. ~~ Revelation 20:4