Thursday, January 20, 2011
These People Called Friends
Before he made his final choice, we both made a trip to Tuscaloosa. To spend the weekend. Meet with some of the Professors and fellow Graduate student potentials. Young men and women, who like Joshua, had been offered a wonderful opportunity and a scholarship. That Saturday, we were to meet them for lunch. It was a very casual and very friendly atmosphere. I had never seen my son in that type of setting, amongst his peers. So for me, it was something kin to, an outer body experience. Number one, they were all, including my son, so far out of my league. I sat and watched. And listened. My gosh, how intelligent my son was, how eloquent every day words sounded coming out of his mouth. My son, the writer. They all talked that way. Everyone at the table but me. I sat there and wondered, how he was not embarrassed by me. His Mama, yes, but so far behind where they all so obviously were. But, I never saw it. Never saw anything on his face that even closely resembled embarrassment. And if it was there, he was the consummate actor concealing it. He went to a gathering at one of the Professors homes that Saturday evening. I chose to stay at the hotel. This was his trip. Not mine. And when he came back in from his evening of pizza and mingling, I knew. I knew the University of Alabama had charmed my son right into their web of intelligence. He was so ready to become a part of, what appeared to be, a close knit educational community/family. A brotherhood/sisterhood of minds.
Sometime around mid-summer, it hit me. And it hit me hard. I cried every time someone looked at me. Everything was sad. Everything was part of a conversation that seemed to begin or end with, "this is the last time we'll do this". I was falling apart at the seams. A train wreck in motion. The wheels were coming off the bus and I could not stop it.
In August, I asked Josh about helping me set up a Face Book account. Something to where I could "see" him. Still know him. Maybe get to know some of his new friends. And his new beginnings. Be a part of his new and wonderful beginnings. He helped me put it all together. Downloaded some pictures. Helped me get it personalized.
Mid August, he was gone. Off to school. At first, I would get on Face Book, look around, see if he had made any comments. See if there were any pictures of him posted. Because it seemed as if from the very beginning, he had a brand new family and they all hung together pretty tight. They all seemed to just meld into one. And it worked. Their personalities all together as one, worked.
And the months passed. I gained friends, and found a lot of old friends. People I had not seen nor talked to in years. And then, I began to get on at night, sign on, for me. To see who I could see. These people, these old friends, slowly but surely filled the empty hole. My heart and soul were beginning to heal. Healed by the faith and medicine given over computer waves.
As time passed, I would become friends with friends of friends. People who I had known, but had never actually belonged to their circles in earlier years. It's very strange to me, that now, those seem to be some of my closet friends. The people, who besides all my home town folks here in Quincy, that I communicate with the most. I have learned about their children, their marriages, their divorces, their dating. Aches and pains, medical tests, and worries. And grandchildren, the wonderful gifts of growing older. Grandchildren. And they have learned the same about me. The last eight months or so, I have run the gamut with medical tests and procedures. And they have all, listened to me. Prayed for me. And checked on me. If I disappear for more than a day or so, they are looking for me. I have been with some of them through death and despair. Through the loss of loved ones. And all the while, we all seem to hang together. Lean on each other, through virtual reality contact. Someone is always there. When I can't sleep. When I am angry. When I am sad. Or when I have a funny story to tell.
And now, now I have this blog. That I would have NEVER thought about doing, without all of the wonderful finds of friends. Without their encouragement and cheer leading. I hope that I have been as much to them, as they have been for me. I hope that my words and solace have helped. I hope that my laughter has brought a smile when they least felt like smiling. My biggest hope, is that all of this will remain. Exactly as it is. That we will not let any of us just fade away. Because I need all of you now. You are part of my daily living. I cannot imagine life without you, nor would I want to try.
These people are people that I can now call friends. And I plan on always calling you my friends. I plan on always trying to make you smile. Trying to make you feel better. Feel better about yourself and your lives. And I plan on always needing you, and you needing me. Because that's what turns ordinary people into life long friends. And family. Life long family.