Friday, July 23, 2010

The Intangible Gift of Knowing There

Tuesday, July 20th, the day after my big day, I was going about my life in the usual manner.  I think I may have been cleaning a toilet, or some other inane but necessary task, and the doorbell rang.  Figuring it was a neighborhood kid looking for some company, I let Liam take care of it.....
But there she was- a woman whose friendship I have coveted for a long time, someone I have yet to get to know very well, but someone I know, deep down, is going to be a big part of my life.  We've had a few treasured conversations since we met eighteen months ago.  And we are walking similar paths, parallel ones- right next to one another, me leading the pack only due to my experience on this trail before. 
So, in all of her beauty, she stands there, arms engulfed by a wondrous bouquet of flowers, holding a bag of FORTY candy bars.  But the invisible gift came in her words.  "I'm sorry- I know I'm a day late.  You turned 40 yesterday and I meant to come by then or call but I didn't remember until last night. "  And as you sit there, perplexed by how this could possibly be valuable to me, in any way- I will offer you what she didn't say.  She has ADHD.  Just like me.  And I could have cried on my porch, just to behold this person who knows what it is like to spend every moment of  life forgetting things, losing things, in chaos. 

In all of my friend's insecurities and confusion, however, lies a most remarkable woman and mother, who parents her children with amazing passion and intention.  Not by the books, but by her enormous heart.  And her instincts have served her well and the gift of her brain is that she takes not the easiest road, but the one where she travels with fervor and excitement and grace.  And these children of hers are already the product of her gift/her nature- they are all independent and smart and unique.  Free to be kids, unfettered by unnecessary rules and fears. 

Sometimes when we tell truths- we place freedom in the hearts of others, to tell their own truths and to live a much more authentic life.  I am thankful for that in every flawed but fabulous friend whose imperfections I hold as their greatest strengths.

For everyone who thinks I am crazy, there is also someone out there who takes what I say and holds it as a doorway to themselves.  And for this, and this alone, I reveal it all.


Anonymous said...

what a wonderful story, you are both kindred spirits; as you are aware mental illness is still such a huge social stigma - especially in suburbia- the person with mental illness doesnt want to shunned or labeled so the person remains silent.
we are out there also Judy.....

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Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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