Making connections

I met Kathy when I was about 20 years old. I always liked her, and we traveled in the same circles, but we never socialized one-on-one.

Time passed and I grew distant from the friends who connected Kathy and me, so I didn’t see her or hear about her life.

A couple years ago, maybe one or two, we reconnected. Though I don’t remember exactly how, I suspect that Facebook was involved. And I don’t remember how or why I told her my story, but she started to pray for me. And then, she had her prayer group praying for me.

You know how I am about prayer and its power. I was incredibly touched (and still am), and felt so much closer to her, even more than 30 years ago.

Recently she told me that she would be coming to Needham, a town relatively close to where I live. We made loose plans to get together.

Then life intervened and my schedule got crazy. I only had a sliver of time, so I suggested that I meet her at the airport for a quick hug and hello. She said no. She already arranged transportation and wouldn’t give me her airline or flight number, but I did know her arrival time.

No problem – I used to travel frequently and I can figure this out! I did have a bit of uncertainty – I wasn’t even sure that she would be flying in from Pittsburgh. But I kept picturing how fun it would be to see her and decided I would take the chance.

After driving to the airport (and figuring out parking – the lot was full!) I headed inside to wait. I brought a book to pass the time but I realized that I was too excited to read. Plus, I had to watch two escalators to make sure that I didn’t miss her, though I shouldn’t have worried. You couldn’t miss the influx of Pittsburgh Steelers apparel. (In case you aren’t familiar, Pittsburghers love our Steelers clothing, and one can purchase, and wear, a Pittsburgh Steelers outfit for every occasion.)

Pretty soon, there she was! We immediately recognized each other and then talked for so long that the limo driver called her cell phone to track her down. It was such a high to see her again, and I’m just sorry that we didn’t get a picture together!

This feeling is so fabulous that I want everyone to feel it! I hope you get a chance to connect with someone, whether you just met them, see them all the time, or haven’t seen them in 25 years. And thank you, always, for being connected with me. It makes this path immensely more positive to travel.

Love,
Marie

 

Waiting for Ig

Thank you for your prayers, both for the chemo working and for the session to be manageable in my life. As chemo weeks go, the recent one was decent. Regardless, I often reach a point in the middle of it all when I feel like it would be much easier to just give in and not go through all this. It is not that I want to kill myself. I just want the suffering to be over.

I’ve never been good at waiting for something to happen. I would often read the last page of a book ahead of time, and now I find that I want to peek at the last page of the story of my life.

In the meantime, my friend Ig came to visit. Basically, he had a 12-hour, overnight layover in Boston, but I was still thrilled that we would get even a bit of time together, and I didn’t want to miss a second of it.

When his flight landed, he texted his arrival and said that he would text again after he passed through customs. I estimated the amount of time he would need and drove to the airport.

After parking my car, I danced my way across the parking lot and into the terminal for international arrivals.

When I usually meet someone at the airport, I scan the sea of people walking toward me, looking for the familiar face. In the international terminal, however, arriving passengers get off their flight then go through customs in some unseen area, then pass through one door to officially emerge into the rest of the U.S.

I stood behind the metal crowd-control barriers and waited for my friend.

Typically, I like to keep busy while I wait. When I anticipate distantly future events, like vacations or special visits, I keep busy with daily life. When I wait for a shorter-term event – a red light, a doctor appointment, a phone call –  I distract myself by checking my cellphone, getting lost in thought or making a mental list.

Right now, though, I kept my eyes and mind focused on that door.

Passengers emerged one-by-one, usually pausing briefly before they continue forward and past the metal barriers to wherever they were headed. As each person passed through the door, my heart leapt with the possibility that it was him. When it wasn’t, my heart sunk, then immediately rose again with fresh anticipation as the next person passed through. In fact, each time my heart sunk, my anticipation rose higher, because with each person who was NOT my friend, I was getting closer to seeing him. It periodically crossed my mind that maybe I missed him somewhere along the line, but mostly, I stayed at-the-ready, focused on connecting with him the instant that he arrived.

Finally, Ig walked through the door carrying his backpack and luggage while I jumped up and down, waving and smiling like a lunatic.

I was thrilled to see him from the second that he arrived. In retrospect, I even enjoyed the uninterrupted, focused anticipation.

It reminded me of being in Brazil and going outside in the dark to watch sunrise. I loved waiting quietly as the sun slowly rose in the sky, watching the colors that meant the actual sun was getting closer, then greeting the day with my heart as the sun rose above the horizon.

As I think about the good feelings from simply waiting, maybe I can use that as I wait for the chemo to clear or for whatever is up next for me. To be honest, I am not quite sure how to use this. Maybe trusting that something great is in my future and I just need to watch each day the same way that I watched each person pass through the door. Maybe simply recognizing that waiting itself is a gift. Maybe some other way that I can’t see just now.

Thank you for waiting with me, for watching each special day, for recognizing the gifts, for trusting the unseen. Thank you for your faith in all that feels good and special and important, in my life and in your own.

Love and blessings,
Marie