Painful Joy

IMG_6399This is a dreadful photo of my “Love” rose that I thought had been killed by the power company digging up my back yard last summer.  It is indeed alive.  The sun and the colors are too bright at this time of day to get a good photo.  Later.

This morning I went to my home group.  After the meeting started, I looked over by the door and saw my friend Andy.  He moved away many years ago, but he and I have maintained a strange and wonderful relationship.  As he said today, we can go for years without seeing each other and just sit down and talk for hours.  We did that after the meeting today.  I wish I had had my 28 year chip with me, I used to always pass my chips to him.  I got sober in July 1984.  He got sober in May 1985.  And we have known each other for all of those years.

For some reason, I can’t even write that without crying, and I can’t even tell if it is because  I am happy or sad.  I know that I am grateful.  I know that I love him with a love beyond love.  I know that I am also sad that he lives so far away.   And we no longer talk on the phone or come visit each other.  We just run into each other at that meeting when he is in town.  And that that is sufficient for us.

We had breakfast this morning and talked and talked.  We talked about long term sobriety and what that is like for each of us.  We talked about relationships.  We talked about some of the odd behaviors we both display from time to time, and how we still have some weird remnants of compulsive behaviors.  (Nothing destructive or dangerous, but just odd little quirks.)  He told me I am the one person who never changes.  I look the same (thank you my dear), talk the same, do the same things, etc., and he still knows me.  He is the same as well.  He is doing different things, but he is still 100% the same guy.  We talked about what it is like to be around 60 years old.  He is 57, I am 61.  He is still a competitive long distance bicyclist, I was lamenting that today my friends will be running a half marathon and I will not.

We did not talk about our brief romance about 20 years ago.  Oh, it was divine, and then it wasn’t.  But even through and after that, we were still the closest of friends.  He once said we were “soul mates.”  He has another soul mate now.  I am his very good friend.

After he drove me back to the meeting place, we sat in the car and talked some more.  He told me how often he thinks of me, I told him the same.  I told him I was just talking about him yesterday – which I was.  I told him that when I see him, I don’t just see the grey haired man before me today, I see the young man with brown curls, as he was in 1985.

I told him I love him, and he held me very close as we both cried.  Great sobs.  Oh dear.  He told me he loved me, something he never could say before.  Lifelong friends, these relationships do something to me.

As I was writing this, I got a message from a friend I’ve known since high school.  He was the best man at my first wedding.  We have been messaging back and forth today.  I had exclaimed this morning “Why did anyone let me do anything (getting married at 18) so stupid?”  He said “Who knows why these things happen, probably not for a reason. ”  I agree.  I am not a big fan of the “everything happens for a reason” logic.  I can learn to accept things without believing that horrible tragedies are actually unrecognized good things.  Anyway, he went on to say, “I am extremely proud of how you managed to overcome all of that – from Bode Road (my first apartment) to a Masters Degree, nice family, sobriety, and everything else.  I am very grateful to have you as a dear friend.”

Why am I weeping at this?  I am not sure.  It is really happiness?  Is it sadness?  Who knows.

I think I shall go to my room and cry for a while.  And when I am done with that, I have a lot of stuff that needs to get done today.

Whatever it is, however, I will thank God for his abundant blessings. The readings at Mass today are some of my favorite of the entire year.  2 Samuel 12:7-13… about God’s forgiveness for David who had really really messed up.  He had sex with another man’s wife, then had the man sent onto the front lines of battle planning on his death so that he could wed Bathsheba (and Solomon was their son).

The 32nd Psalm:  Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered….

And Luke 7:36-50:  About the woman who is a sinner who has come to annoint Jesus’ feet.  Which includes his admonishment to the Pharisee, “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”  (7:47)

Grateful, happy, weepy, and a little conflicted.  It is good.  It is life.



This entry was posted in Friends, Gratitude, History. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Painful Joy

  1. Syd says:

    Those old friendships are priceless. I have a few but also don’t see the people as much as I once did. The class reunion helped though!
    Hope that you have a great Sunday, tears and all.

  2. Hope says:

    What beautiful friendships you have, Mary. A nun once told me that tears are a form of prayer. At which I just cried harder but I’ve never forgotten it.
    I’m not a fan of ‘everything happens for a reason’ either.

  3. Annette says:

    Awwww Mary, you are loved by long time friends, people who truly know you. What a gift.

    I do hang onto that things happen for a reason….I think that is how I make some sort of peace with my situation with my girl….something good will come of all of this! Even if its just our hearts changing and growing more compassionate.

    Bless your heart Mary. Cry cry cry….its cleansing.

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