Saturday, November 28, 2009

Love, life and friends

It's good to be home, but my goodness, it was a strange, wonderful feeling being around old friends in a place I called home for over nine years. Today was just a continuation of the sensations of love that I've experienced over the last few days.

I had planned to meet up with some close friends of our family - Gailen & Sonna. Wow, it's hard to imagine how long we've been friends, but they were friends of my parents and we kind of grew up with their kids (ok, I was a lot older - hush!).

Last night just after I got to the party, I got a message to call their daughter, Mary - immediately. Gailen had had a stroke. That hit me hard. You know, it's one thing to watch your own parents deal with health crises and to deal with their deaths, but when something like this hits you out of the blue and it's happening to someone you love so much ... wow. I called Mary, she told me that things were going ok, but of course they were still worried. So, instead of planning to meet them for breakfast this morning, I decided to head for Mercy Hospital and just see them there.

First we spent some time with Mary and Brad at her house - caught up on their family stuff, got a chance to hug her and love her out loud and find out what was really happening. She warned me that her dad was looking a lot older. I think she wanted to prepare me. Ok, fine.

Then it was off to Iowa City. Yup, I remember hating that drive. All the idiots that insist that 55 mph is what they should be driving (ok, I know the speed limit is 55, but puhleeze! really?). Drove into Iowa City, had more memories of locations hit me and found the hospital. We got into the room and it was all I could do not to dash into Sonna's arms. Well, maybe I didn't restrain myself too much. She hugs GOOD! I hugged Gailen and realized that he looked great. Mary had done a terrific job of preparing me - I was expecting death warmed over and he looked just like Gailen. Heck, we've all aged! (well, not me - I'm still only 30 - right? RIGHT!)

We didn't spend a lot of time with them, the physical therapist wanted him to work with her ... right now! So, we hugged again and headed home.

I am so grateful that God afforded me the opportunity to be with this family just for a few moments so that we could all be reminded of how much love we've shared in the past and how God has bound our families together.

We move in and out of each others lives throughout these limited years we have together, and I am continually amazed at how love reaches across time spans and lives that we live to draw us together in important ways. I am so thankful for His love that transcends everything.

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