Sometimes out of nowhere, life throws you a curveball. I guess that is when we know what we are made of. Last weekend, I got to see what a young women I adore is made of.
Let me start from the beginning. We met at the library...the three ladies...the Tuesday Boozeday girls. We had decided a few weeks earlier to go see our friend. When I say "friend", I mean a young woman who is at least 20 years younger than us and mentored our teenagers through tough times. Sure, we consider her a friend but I think to her, we are middle aged moms...and we are. We wanted to see her, see how she was doing after the losing the love of her life in Afghanistan last September. We hadn't had too much communication to speak of but still asked her if we could come. "Sure", she said "but don't just say it and then not come." Okay, we thought over cocktails at lunchtime...we can do this...let's go. Our boozeday consisted of looking at airfares and layovers and making a decision. Finally, we decided when and how. "Book it" we said to Sheryl, thinking that maybe we shouldn't go...but she did.
Last weekend was the travel time and we arrived at the airport and she picked us up. I was a little nervous, to be honest. What will she be like...I thought...how does she get out of bed everyday? I saw them on the day they were married and I have never seen two people more in love.
We hugged hello and got in the truck..."What do you want to do, girls?" she asked. We settled on dinner at a karaoke/sports bar that she and her husband had been to. After we ordered our food and a pitcher of beer, we all began to relax. She talked about her love and the times they had come to the bar and the things they had watched on the TV. She had a twinkle in her eye when she spoke of him and their times together. She is so proud of her soldier.
We finished dinner and left for their home.
It is a lovely home and everywhere you look, you see the man of the house. His shoes are in the hall, the notes he wrote to her are still on the fridge along with pictures of them. I had the honor of sleeping under a quilt made of his combat fatigues. She loves to be there...among his pictures and their memories. That is not to say that it isn't hard...because I will tell you...just being there in the memories stung me at times beyond words. I found myself walking away or wiping tears so not to ruin the mood. I can only guess how it is for her.
But she is so real. She is wounded and I can see her ache for him...for a different outcome of the story. Right now, though, it is not to be. So she gets up in the morning, makes her french press coffee and reads her bible. The sun shines in on the table and I swear, you can see the path to heaven...and he is there...I am sure. But, right now...there is no changing what is, so she goes about her life honoring his wishes and her love for him.
We were in the bookstore browsing after having a great lunch in the sweet town she lives in and I had an amazing thought. I was thinking about me and my trials and things I think are a problem...and then I looked across at "our girl" and smiled. She is perservering in the suffering only we can hope we don't ever feel...the suffering of a love and what could have been...but she goes on...she makes her coffee, puts one foot in front of the other, and even has a big belly laugh at times. I can be sure it is not easy.
As the weekend was coming to a close, we were sitting on the porch when a song came on..."It is well with my soul" and the ladies said they liked the song. In my head, I disagreed..."How can it be well when things are so hard?" I thought. Then our girl, who also said she loved the song...said it helped her through...that she is not alone and someday will see her love again. While I wish things were different, I have decided to live in the hope as well.
Thanks so much ladies and "our girl" for a wonderful visit...may we all be bold and live in the hope every minute of every day!
We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,