Sunday, May 3, 2015

Finding old friends and laughter. Thanks, cancer, for teaching me some potent life lessons

Paula Williams's photo.
My weekend rocked. I picked up a friend at the airport on Friday afternoon. Paula and I are both from the tiny town of Bishop, California and we have not seen each other since I graduated from high school. It's been some 29 years since we last hung out but we did re-connect on Facebook. I am envious of her life sometimes. She travels the world extensively and her photos make me green with envy. Anyway, several days ago she messaged me that she was coming to Salt Lake City for the weekend so I picked her up. It was awesome seeing her again and it was like no time had past. It sounds so trite but its true. There is something about growing up in such a small town-- ties run deep. Very deep. We went to Temple Square, saw lots of couples getting married, walked through the Visitor's Centers, the two tabernacles, and then toured the Beehive House (Brigham Young's home).

Several hours later, we met up with another former classmate, Beth. William also joined us and we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in the city-- Mazza (yum!). And then we took some photos, laughed a lot, and said goodbye. I went home that evening feeling all shades of warm and fuzzy. I am so lucky. I have so many friends all over the country and in many parts of the world. I truly love them. I am surrounded by love, friends, family... love. Joyful, simple, no-strings-attached love. I have somehow crafted a circle of friends and support that people dream of. I must be doing something right. Not to go from something happy to something dark, but it is in such stark contrast to the garbage my ex-husband, Rob the Great (Alcoholic) used to try and feed me when he would often tell me that I had no friends and that everyone hated me. I knew in my gut he was insane and trying to hurt and belittle me so I had less of a chance of leaving him. But I always wondered if maybe there was some truth there. And then I'd remind myself that I did have many friends. I did I did I did. Friends that actually knew me really well and like and loved me. I had to tell myself that again and again and again. I don't need to do that anymore (thank goodness!) but I often smile at that reality. Truth, honesty, goodness, kindness-- they go a long way.

After dinner, William and I went home and spent the rest of the weekend relaxing and having fun. We went to soccer games (Siena scored two goals!), a college rugby championship, a leisurely walk to Starbucks, a power walk, catching up on TV, and sleeping in. It was peaceful and the weather was spectacular.
Liz Lizette Smith Nielsen's photo.

Today, my new baby niece was blessed in church and we went to my brother's house for a family party. Delicious food, hanging with my amazing extended family, and putting fresh sheets on the bed this evening. Does it get better than this? Not really. I am happy, blessed, and grateful for every single day I have on Earth. I take none of it for granted. Thanks, Cancer, for one potent life lesson.