I was thinking today of the difference between a snapshot and actually witnessing an event. As Susan was showing me pictures of her recent journey overseas I was trying to see more then the glossy postcard image and attempting to imagine what the mud of the Dead Sea would feel like and how hot it must have been on that day.
When I first came to a new college as a transferring sophomore I met someone who became a close friend of mine. We had the best afternoon shopping at Aldi's and going to the laundry mat after cross country practice. I relished in doing the ordinary things that a girl growing up as one of nine children would have to do. That day was the start of more adventures and a treasured relationship. The next summer I met this person's mother and another friendship was formed. She was quilting with some sort of hoop I had never seen before. I was intrigued and asked her about it. She showed me how it worked and told me that being a nurse would allow me to do a lot of these projects on my days off. For a moment this wonderful lady allowed me to see beyond 2 more years of schooling and into my career. She also told me how making quilts was a great way to do something for her family in her spare time.
Over the years my conversations with Sharie included news items of her mother's life. One morning in 2003 I was driving to work in FL contemplating the possibilities of the day when on the radio I heard Barbara being interviewed! She was answering questions about a bombing that killed her brother in the Philippines. I can tell you that my work day attitude was completely changed. I recalled a conversation from 10 years before in a tiny apartment where this same women encouraged me to view my profession as only a part of my life.
When me moved to Ohio I was fortunate enough to live in the same town as my friend and her mother. When we were building both the garage and the house we would regularly see a van passing by the building site very slowly. We figured out it was Sharie's parents checking on the progress...sort of a contractor in disguise! When I saw her in person she always encouraged me to see beyond working full-time, building, and the other extra duties that life entailed and to celebrate the job that always mattered most to her...enriching the lives of children.
I had the chance for the past few days to reflect on how much this incredible life has meant to me. I have been reminded anew at how much friends' parents have influenced me over the years and what a treasure these relationships have become.
Now I am left with the snapshot as the first of my friends' mothers have gone on to Heaven. I see so much of this mom in my friend and count myself very blessed to know a bit of why she has become the person she today. I find myself tonight viewing my days off with a different attitude and wondering what pattern I should use on my next quilt.
I will miss you, Barbara. Thank you for investing your life so selflessly into others.
5 days ago