A few days ago I caught up on the phone with one of my oldest and dearest friends, her name is Jeanne. Not long into the call she shared that, although she wasn’t seriously hurt, she had been hit by a car while riding her bike. Even though I have told myself a thousand times over–she is safe right now–let’s just say the knowledge that the outcome could have been vastly different isn’t lost on me.
Yet another reminder of how precious our time here is.
Jeanne and I met in Vermont at an all girls summer camp in 1976, we lived in cabins that were adjacent to one another, I don’t remember meeting her per se. No, my memories of that summer, and the years that followed, come back to me much in the way photos show up on a wall in a slide show cast from the light of a projector…
There we are fake microphones in hand singing “Sky Rockets in Flight” at the top of our lungs in a mocking and screeching way. Now I see us making our way into Lake Champlain, the coldest lake– to this day –I have ever swam in. Years later there we are riding bikes back to my house from the train station on a dark rainy night, no hands on the handlebars, singing “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” Then there was the time that we painted an elderly woman’s porch to raise money for a concert in New York City, but once Jeanne’s mom learned of the plan she vetoed it.
She would probably want you to know that her first near death experience was with me…I took her sailing. Let’s just say it was very windy and I was a relentless dare devil that loved speed. Can you see us tearing through the water sail pulled in so that the boat was heeling so hard it felt as if it would capsize? Yeah. She didn’t like that very much….
Now I see us in her room, tears streaming down our cheeks, doubled over in gales of uncontrollable laughter. We had just been asked to stop laughing. Which of course only caused us to nearly pee our pants we were laughing so hard.
Today she loves to remind me that I was responsable for corrupting her. Truth be told I feel kind of proud of that, I mean really could there have been a safer way to meet boys, drink beers and then go home where you can feel cool without having to continue your destructive path?
We never lived in the same town as children nor have we as adults either. Growing up she lived in a Boston suburb and I lived in a small bedroom community of New York City in Connecticut. Amtrak rides, phone calls and letters knit together a friendship that now has spanned a lifetime. Today she makes Boulder, Colorado her home while I am in San Diego, California and we still manage to talk on the phone until our ears are hot and throats are dry.
Lucky, lucky us…
This morning Jeanne sent an email. She told me she had first received it from one of her friends who lives in Peru, moved by the message, she forwarded it to Jimmy and me. And now I share it with all of you…
Subject: BE HAPPY.
There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.
“Today may there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.” -Author unknown
I couldn’t agree more. What about you?