Thank God for friends

I had a great Memorial Day weekend. The workweek got long. I like the company, I like my co-workers, my bosses are great, but we’re on a very aggressive product timeline and I’m trying to contribute without slowing everyone else down. I spent seven hours in the office Saturday to get as much behind schedule stuff done as I could. I’ve learned quite a bit of stuff these past three weeks but I have only begun to scratch the surface. For success as a new hire, one needs to endure some short-term pain to get long-term gain.

Today was an example of where friends come in. I got to catch up a bit during a large landscaping job with a friend I hadn’t seen in about fifteen years, though we’ve exchanged emails and IMs through the years. It’s funny how we picked up as if the last time we had seen each other was last week. That’s the most wonderful part about long-time friends. Thanks, Kell! It was nice meeting her husband, Darren, and seeing her daughter, Amanda, too.

Tomorrow is a tough day. It would have been our 24th wedding anniversary. I’m going to work tomorrow and start hammering away on a complex project I’m a week behind on completing. It sounds like thunderstorms are forecast for tomorrow afternoon and evening, so I might not get to the cemetery, either. Lightning seems to like the spruce trees near Lucy’s grave. I think she’d rather wait for me to join her from natural causes rather than from ten billion joules of electricity running through me (and yes, I had to Google that piece of trivia). We normally would go to Don Pablo’s or Romano’s Macaroni Grill for dinner, especially since our anniversary falls on a weekday and we both have to get up early the day after. My guess is many people thought we were a boring couple, but we enjoyed spending time together. That was our gift to each other: time spent together. It meant more than anything we could buy. We had to share our week with work, but we tried to spend as much time together during our weekends. They were precious to us.

It’s been nearly two months since Lucy died. I know I’m slowly healing and I hope the others who love her are feeling some healing, too. She was a very special woman. As I wrote in her eulogy, it took time for me to get the courage to ask her out. The more I got to know her, the more it seemed right. I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t getting my hopes up only to find she didn’t feel the same towards me as I did towards her. It seriously damaged a wonderful friendship decades ago when I saw what I wanted to believe, and I didn’t want to go through that again.

Perhaps that’s why I remember so many seemingly trivial details about our relationship. Our first kiss took a while because I didn’t want to mess up a good thing. I could see how happy she was when we were together and it took a bit to be sure I was the one making her happy. So much for my above average observation powers, eh? I believe in wasting no opportunity, but some opportunities require more care than others, none more so than l’affaires de cœuer. (If I butchered the French, it’s been about 35 years since I ran through a French Berlitz class. My Spanish and Latin are slipping badly and I have totally forgotten what little Norwegian, German, and Danish I knew.)

I’m grateful for those of you who read this blog. I have no idea what the future holds for me. Some of you have lost a spouse and have found love again. Perhaps that is in my future, but Lucy will always be special to me no matter what. Some of you are in long-term relationships and/or marriages, and my hope is that your happily ever after lasts for many more years. Others are battling health issues, or being a caregiver for a loved one, with a great deal of dignity, good humor, and courage and I hope your battle is fought on your terms. Some of you have loved ones serving in the military and are enduring a long separation, and I hope your loved one returns safely so you can keep going with your happily ever after.

The common thread is that love gets us through life. Love is a priceless blessing that someone shares with you. I find inspiration, strength, peace and hope in each of you. Thank you for sharing that with me.

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