I don’t know how to begin. I started the trip with unmet expectations, and suddenly, things ended with surprises beyond my wildest dreams.
Maybe I’ll work backwards to warm up to the rest…
The trip home was easy and fast – exactly 13 hours with stops. I drove the first 5 1/12 hours looking through foggy, tear-stained contact lenses. (One of which I apparently lost forever when I tried to clean it in the car. I’ve worn lenses since 9th grade – first time I’ve ever lost one.) Trying to hold the tears back was like tightening a leaky faucet handle as tightly as possible, yet still the drips came anyway. They flowed consistently and insistently, along with the accompanying feelings, which switched from sadness to frustration to gratefulness to complete, all-consuming, intense, gut-wrenching pain.
I do not know how to tell the story…
I’ll start with the high-school band reunion, and the most important connection that I made there. One of the first people I saw was Tricia. She ran to me with open arms, crying in her sweet voice, “Lisa! Is that you?” I haven’t seen her since 1982. We had been friends almost from birth. She was a year younger than I, and I never expected to see her there. As we hugged, the first round of tears came – for both of us.
She was a beautiful woman now, with the same sweet disposition I remember.
Now, here’s the interesting part…
When we were very young, some stupid girls at Girl Scout camp decided to pick on Tricia. I’m ashamed to say, I did not stick up for her, but instead, joined the perimeter of the group. It was a serious thing that they did to her, and I knew it hurt her deeply. I had always felt bad about that.
Anyway, on my list of amends to make for wrongs I have done, there is Tricia and this incident. I figured that someday I would look her up and write her a letter of apology. What a perfect opportunity to look in her face and tell her how sorry I am.
She was beautiful and warm and gracious and said thank you.
It fascinates me that this was so similar to the situation with my mother, except that I remembered my part in it and wanted to apologize. But the healing that came in that moment was powerful and amazing.
So unexpected… so incredible… so powerful… this thing called forgiveness.
Thank you, my darling Tricia, and may life always be good to you.