New Year Resolutions
I think every woman makes the same resolutions each new year: 1. To finally get the weight under control and 2. To finally get organized. We may throw a few other claim-to-fame ideas into the mix, but essentially, these are the two that matter. But, as my dear, sister-friend Meg quoted from another wise soul, "We speak our theology every day." We are what we say; we are what we do; we do what we believe will work for us, even if we consistently do the wrong thing (like eat the chocolate).
So, though I would really like to loose " hmm-hmm-pounds," what I really believe matters in life is to "bear witness" to the lives of those I love. I actually love those words, to bear witness. I believe time spent well means doing nothing but sharing with a friend, listening for the hum of melody in their lives. Even if the details become lost and tangled, the emotional commitment to be present in someone's life has been, for me, the meaning of life.
Then, you know what always happens....you think you are being there for a friend, and you find out that all along, they've been holding you up - just like when Bette sang "Wind Beneath My Wings."
Chanticleer, our kitchen rooster (our only rooster), came to live in our house during one such moment. Dear, sister-friend Jennifer lost her father last spring. His death was unexpected and sudden. We always thought he would be there taking care of Jennifer's mother, for he was the healthy one.
When Tommy called to tell me Larry had died, I knew it was time to get in the car and go to Atlanta. I thought I would only go the day of the funeral, staying with another friend who lives closer into town for the night. Tommy quickly let me know he wanted me at their house, and it was a time to say yes. Just so you know, Jenny has been my telephone buddy and spiritual confidant for twenty years. She's married to a high-school friend, but after she and I bonded, there has been no separating us! But....she lives way outside the Atlanta perimeter. For those who are not familiar, it can feel like she lives in another state. As I have traveled to Atlanta frequently for work (Interior Design), she has been satisfied with only three visits in sixteen years. For one of those visits, we were evacuating Savannah because of Hurricane Floyd with children, dog, and in-laws in tow! I really sound gracious, don't I? Luckily, they come home to Savannah most Christmases, but still.... Staying in Atlanta became about convenience.
I pulled into their drive at about 9:00 pm with the full intention of being helpful. But at 2:00 am, when Jennifer and I finally hit the sack, I knew I had just failed miserably at friendship 101. I should have made sure she was rested for her day ahead. I should have cooked. I should have ordered flowers! Instead, we laughed and talked until we knew we were punishing ourselves, and exhaustion would be all we could remember from a very important day.
If someone loves to bear witness, you can become an event connoisseur (funerals and weddings). Larry's funeral was one of my all-time favorites. A Lutheran minister, he was honored by many peers who spoke beautifully about the man and his calling. The hymns were all sung in four-part harmony by parishioners. The clear glass, full-length windows looked out into the most beautifully kept private garden where birds flitted all through the service. I hope Jennifer can even remember it; she had to have been so tired!
The next day, we got up and headed down the highway together, but in two separate cars, to go to Scott's Flea Market. This event happens the second weekend of every month, and yes, it is as good as rumored. Jennifer had wanted to go for a long time. I love to go, but it can be a luxury to make the time. I usually do so alone when I'm shopping for a client. I get too distracted if I'm with a buddy. Well, this day, Jennifer and I focused together on MY client. She played design assistant, and I discovered what I had been missing for all these years. I got all my work done, and we each came back with a prize. She purchased a watercolor of a hunting dog, and I purchased Chanticleer.
And this morning, Jenny called me, in tears, to tell me how proud and amazed she is that I've finally decided to try....to begin. You see, we've each always shared this goal. It's because of soul-sisters like Jennifer that I finally summoned the nerve to throw caution, and words, out into the cyber-wind. By the way, Jennifer is laugh out-loud funny, and I hope this will prompt her to tell a tale or two........maybe she has another savvy friend who can set her up - like an Erin??????
I was really stumped about what to write today until she called. I'm not sure anyone but Jennifer will read this, but she needs to know I love her and for you to know too. - Katherine .....oh, Ann Voskamp. I'm really a horrible speller!