Step into my garden…
On Thursday, I spent a couple of hours with two friends — one new and one I’ve loved for nearly 20 years. Just Audrey and Fiala accompanied me. Between we three moms, there were seven little girls playing together, mostly very happily, and eating lunch while the mothers enjoyed conversation, truncated by hugs for scraped legs and correction for bratty behavior and determining to where one’s child had run.
I really like the new friend. And, she has a very unique life story.
The thing that has stuck with me, though, is this: It was her first time ever — EVER — to meet up with other moms. Ever. She has been seriously ill for pretty much her entire adult life; at one point, only about two years ago — while pregnant with her second child — she was given two weeks to live. She pulled through, obviously. But, she has literally been on the edge of death, where every day finds her in literal survival mode, rather than, “Oh, with whom should we lunch today??”
I’m quite an introvert. I could happily live down a five-mile dirt lane and only see folk when I came into town, contentedly spending the vast majority of my days in the presence of only my immediate family. There’s enough here at home to keep me busy, pretty much forever.
However, God has called me into relationship, outside my immediate family, and that’s a good thing.
I find myself often reminding my son Grant (the one who is high-functioning autistic) that he doesn’t live on an island by himself; he lives in a world of people, and there’s no use pretending that others don’t exist.
Perhaps there’s more of me in Grant than I’d care to admit.
BUT. I can say with some triumph that I have learned — had a revelation, really — over the last fifteen years or so, that we truly were created to be interconnected. Independence is not the most exalted status. Interdependence is, where I help you, and you help me, and we bless each other. Where we carry each other’s burdens, and exult in their joys, as well.
So, on one hand, I don’t find myself going stir-crazy when I’ve not left my home for days on end. I’m actually more peaceful under those conditions… like a mini-vacation from reality. But, on the other hand, I do understand that even if it’s my “natural” tendency, isolation isn’t healthy for anyone, and I need others, and frankly, they need me.
With those thoughts tossing around in my mind, it felt significant to be a small part of this young mom’s “coming back to reality” as she recovers. She well-understands the need for relationship; it’s just that she has literally been unable to concentrate on forming friendships, as her time and energy have been severely sapped by long-term, profoundly serious illness.
I just felt… I can’t quite articulate it. I just feel the value of relationship, of friendship, of time spent together, how incredibly important it truly is.
I hope we get together again, and soon.