“Just chill out, you’re in Key West for God’s sake!” said a friend who is facing an extraordinarily difficult life transition, and who, for reasons that only a good friend does, put his turmoil aside and heard what must have seemed such petty concerns on my part.
He pointed out all the good things that exist in my life–from my kids to my great guy to my total flexibility to do whatever I please–be it to stick out the current Key West adventure or to make an eventual move that takes me closer to family and the friends I’ve had forever.
He provided me with the proverbial slap in the face. Yesterday was the predictable meltdown day. Yesterday was the low after the elation. Yesterday was pretty damn miserable. I wrote about it and tried very hard not to burden anyone else with it, then did anyway, as evidenced by my friend’s concern and comments to me.
At the end of the predictable meltdown day, my great guy surprised me by walking through the cottage door two days early and very late at night, tired and exhausted after working all evening and then driving three hours because, “You were upset. I needed to be here with you.” He drove back up north to work again today. He’s making dinner tomorrow when I get off work.
I often write about my moments as they are unfolding, as I did yesterday. But I almost pulled yesterday’s post because it is, in retrospect, as bitingly personal and painful to read as it likely is eye-rolling-get-over-yourself material for my readers. On the other hand, my blog is my blog, and sometimes I selfishly pull my readers along to wallow with me.
The gift my friend gave me was his frank appraisal of my reality. The gift my great guy gave me was acknowledgment, understanding, and love when I would have completely understood had he acted otherwise.
I will miss my kids this Thanksgiving, scattered by distance and bound by work as each of us is. I will miss my oldest and dearest friends who say every day they will welcome me back into their fold at any time, any day. I will also miss my friend who helped shake me out of my self-imploding angst. I just want him to know that, and that I thank him and the few and special others who give a part of themselves to me when I need to hear from them the most.
I won’t be eating turkey. I won’t be with friends and family. I will be working.
But thanks to the gifts of friendship, family, and one very special guy, I am thankful for it all.