Saturday, September 11, 2010

Project 365: Day 42 - Three Women........

I was in forth or fifth grade when I met my best friend. We started a new church and I found it odd that my mom decided to go to a church that was on the other side of town. I guess it was because my aunt went there, but still, it was clear across the county and it irritated me because it meant I had to get up that much earlier on a Sunday. I forgive my mom for that now, because from those early morning rises on Sunday, I met an individual that would remain a part of my life until this day, twenty eight or so years later.

I didn't know it then, but this person, we will call her K, would become one of the most important people in my life. She would make me laugh and help me cry. We would badly damage our hair together with store bought color at the age of eighteen. That day would make me laugh and make her cry. We would fight over boys in church and cover for each other when one snuck out (mostly her). We would piss each other off and after a cooling down time, realize that we could not do without one another.

K lives a very different life from me. She is happily married with three gorgeous children. I'm not saying that her life is perfectly perfect, but she is much closer to it than I am and I envy her. There is grace in everything she does. She has an amazing way about herself and she is forgiving beyond all that I have ever experienced. She looks at me with non-judging eyes and those eyes are exactly what I needed at this phase of my life.

I was a senior in high school when I became unexpected friends with the next person that would have a major impact on my life. We will call her J. I was hanging out with this funny skinny guy at school and he asked me out on a date. It wasn't until much later that I found out his girlfriend, J, attended another school. What a jerk. J's family moved into my school district and we instantly became friends. Of course, I knew that her motivation was "keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer", but that did matter. What developed has lasted almost twenty years.

J married and divorced that "jerk", but not until they brought two great boys into this world. She is an amazing single mom, but we are not alike. She is far stronger than I am. She has endured a long, drawn out, heartbreaking divorce. And she came out on the other end much stronger than when she went in. I'm not quite sure that I'd still be standing after what she has gone through. But she is and I look upon her upright body in awe everyday. I stand close to her so that her strength will transfer to me. Not quite sure why she stands so close to me. But I'm not arguing.

An early summer evening put me on a path by a lake that bumped me into the next person to make an impact. Actually, we just met three months ago, so I'm not sure how this chance encounter will really play out. But right now, all I know is that I'm fairly new to this town and fate brought me face to face with another single mom in my neighborhood, when I knew no one else.

M, we will call her, has an amazing three year old son and was never married. Her single mom-dom is the result of a short lived relationship that has ended with being forever bound to that man through a pint-sized train conductor. Like the others above, we are not alike. She did not have to endure the heartache of a failed marriage, while I did not have to endure a man that was never there to begin with. I look at her as a door. A door that leads to, well...... I don't really know right now. But, to my delight, she is a writer like me and we have ideas. Grand ideas that may come to fruition or they may not. But our common thread of single parenthood has brought us together for a reason. I look forward to the possibilities.

Each of these women have touched me in different ways. One born from childhood events that I had no control over, one from a desire to keep an enemy close and one from unfortunate circumstances that led me to move to a new town. I did not seek these women. They found me. And I will forever reap the benefits from these chance encounters. Thank you ladies.

42 of 365: At lunch today with M and her son. (I have not asked for permission from M to use her son's picture yet, but he was there next to the boys).

Good Night All!