This morning I am thankful for all the complicated beauty that comes along with having people in my life, letting people into my heart and saying yes! when people invite me into theirs.
Specific gratitude today for:
My friend Maria. It’s her birthday. When I first met her, more than 23 birthdays ago, we sorta hated each other. I was like, “HEY WORLD! ARE THOSE YOUR BALLS? WELL THEY’RE MINE NOW!” Maria did not find my brashness charming. I thought she needed to come out of her shell and spent countless hours lecturing her about how and why she should also grab a handful of world balls. Oddly enough, she did not find that charming either.
Many fights ensued. Loud ones, but more often than that, quiet ones where I imagine Maria wished my death with a manner of creative brutality that I’m sure would’ve both impressed and terrified me had I known what she was thinking.
But at the core, Maria and I resonated with each other. We were both always asking big questions. We both appreciated creativity, artistry, black humor, and people who colored outside of the lines. We just moved through the world in different ways.
When Maria got pregnant while we were still in college, she asked me to be her Lamaze coach. Looking back, I was an unlikely choice. But I drove home from college every week to take classes with her and then I was there when her son was born on Thanksgiving Day.
Since then, we have an unbreakable bond. Maria is 1/3 of my Life Advisory Board, the three friends who know every wonderful and horrible thing about me.
I am blessed, blessed, blessed to have this woman in my life. She has enriched my existence on this planet in ways I can’t even put words to. So thanks, Power That Be, for another year with my amazing friend.
Another friend is going through some complicated grief. I haven’t seen her face in years. We weren’t great friends back when we were in each other’s orbits five days a week. But somehow we’ve bonded over the years. Our communications are brief, but often soul baring. I’m hurting for her today, but I’m extremely honored that she would reach out and let me bear witness to some of her story.
I’m going to visit my uncle — my godfather — in the hospital today. He’s had a precarious week. My cousins, who are practically brother and sister to me, have spent a long and awful week schlepping back and forth to the hospital, doing lots of worrying and lots and lots of waiting. Thankfully, my uncle is doing well at the moment and hopefully the worst is past.
This uncle is my dad’s brother. My dad has been gone a while but I can still see traces of him in my uncle. I can remember my childhood, when things were secure, the family was solid, and I had a sense of where I fit in the world, in the shadow of these powerful grownups.
Earlier this week I had a dream that I was in my grandparents’ kitchen. Although I didn’t see them, I knew my dad and my grandmother (who passed years ago) were there. I felt like they were telling me, “Hey Trish. We know what’s going on. We got this. We’re on it.”
So if that’s what they were trying to tell me, let me just say thanks Dad. Thanks Grandma Sammer. I appreciate the visit. Thanks for looking out for Uncle Bill.