Wednesday, September 25, 2013
It was an unexpected invitation, given randomly (politely) during a wedding reception while transitioning from random small talk to purposeful catching up. Our real-life paths hadn't crossed in years, but we kept an eye on each other via facebook.
You know how it is.
But every year, on June 1, we wished each other a happy birthday. So, there was that.
And the other one?
Well, we knew each other ( a little bit) (but not really), about 18 years ago. And then nothing.
Until 5 years ago that is.
Our paths crossed in a care facility where I had signed out (from visiting my dad) and she had signed in (to visit her mom). She? Saw my name on the list and sought me out (probably on facebook) and invited me to coffee. We talked of helpless parents who were losing their minds and strong-willed children with minds of their own. And we cried. Alot. About them both.
And then there is me.
Me who is living in my mom's basement with all my crap scattered hither and fro. Me who, for the first time in my life, has worked for 9 straight months; 5 days a week, 8 hours a day with no holidays - and survived. Me who is in a new-ish stage of life, and still navigating my way around.
This is who God assembled for this vacation:
I love it when He plans a gathering.
Was God's gift to us.
And we all knew that.
So we took every day as it came.
All the rain at the start of the week?
Pffft. There was a reason for that.
One needs rain and stormy weather to get lightning.
And Oh My Goodness, the lightning!
It was a spectacular show of gargantuan proportions. And like, this show? Was as big as the heavens. So very lucky that I got to watch it from a rooftop patio with an unobstructed view.
And the next day?
But it didn't matter.
And the day after that?
Ask us if we cared.
Somehow, it was all OK.
(Which is surprising as I am a sun slut - I go places and ignore people, just to fry my face. And that's what I thought I was going to do in Mexico. But that's hard to do when there's no sun. So - we visited. And It Was Good.)
I learnt things (how to photograph lightning and make sushi) and tried things (standing in the ocean up to my waist whilst aggressive waves slammed into me) and let go of things (needing to touch the bottom of the pool) and talked about things and listened to others talk about things.
And I was grateful Every Single Day for the experience.
And then, one day, midweek, I got an email that saddened me. One of my favorite people at work let me know that he had accepted a job offer in Alberta and would be leaving. He was my 'go to' person that I counted on to show me how to do my job. He'd had my position in the past and was familiar with every aspect of the role. I knew I could go on vacations because he could effortlessly stand in for me while I went searching for the sun.
And now? He was leaving.
I felt like I'd been sucker-punched.
Silly, I know.
Then it occurred to me, while beach-walkingntalking with my friends on one of those sunny hot days near the end of the week, that God knew. He knew and provided David with the job opportunity because that was part of His plan for D's life. And He knew when D would be leaving. And He knew that this fall? With it's busy-ness for me in my department, that Sept 14 - 21 was the best (maybe only time) that it would work for me to take some time off. He knew I'd be rocked by the news, so He arranged for me to be in a perfectly wonderful location to process it all.
I guess He thinks I'm ready to stand on my own.
My safety net at work is leaving.
So this is what this week was all about.
God gently letting me know that I can do this thing.
He has equipped me to do the job He has provided for me.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. My book club. And the conversations we have. And the friendships we've developed. And the books we read. And I'm thankful for people who write books and tell stories. And I'm thankful that God loves creativity.
2. I'm thankful for the entertainment industry and the movies they make. I'm thankful for the friends I had dinner with tonight. And the history we share. And the transparency between us. And the hope and encouragement we can give each other. And I'm thankful that Kurt Russell has aged like the rest of us.
Kurt, as I see him every time I visit my dad:
and how he looks today:
(He looks a bit like Kenny Rogers, no?)
3. Lastly? I am thankful that my boy is coming home THIS WEEK. It's been a long time ...