I knew I would have a struggle sleeping tonight. Lots of thoughts fly through my head that won't allow my mind to rest enough to lull it to the area it needs to be.
Strangely enough, the surgery itself is not the main focus of my thoughts even though I do wonder just how much of a struggle my next few days will be walking as one of the surgeries is on the side of my leg right at the articulation of the knee.
Instead, my thoughts seem to fly between conversations of the day and a movie that Trinity and I watched this evening.
This morning was one of those mornings when many friends showed up. Today, however, they seem to arrive all at the same time. I walked out to the counter and found RL sitting there with a cup of coffee so I sat down and joined him. R and I used to see each other almost weekly back in the early Jake's days as he was one of the first to help me with the marketing of the product.
I have always found him to be a very genuine good man. And our friendship is one that I believe he would not hold any thoughts away from me that he might have. He asked me how I had been doing and I felt led to share with him my struggle with the cancer. He shared with me two stories. One good and one....not so good. The not so good involved a man who had some under his hair line. A mental note to myself was immediately written to insure that Margo checks out that part of me very thoroughly on our next meeting.
We talked of our families and generally got caught up with each other since our last meeting while he ate his breakfast and waited for a call from a mechanic who was working on his car.
Jess, the chaplain for the Band of Brothers, was one of the other friends and shortly, I found myself sitting out on the deck with another cup of coffee in deep conversation with him. Jess is another friend who I find so genuine. He talked about a variety of topics and he shared with me his leadership thoughts from his time in the fire dept. The one thing that bugged him the most was dishonesty. It was the thorn that hit him the hardest. "I don't have any time for liers", he said, and he confronted them without holding anything back. I shared with him how it is the thing that I too deal with the hardest except instead of confronting the issue, I tend to just lose my trust in them. Direct confrontation has always been a bit hard for me. I always try to do things to get them to see the lie and hope that they learn from my patience. I remember pondering on how much better his direct approach was for the situations and wondered if I could change my ways of handling that issue in the future.
Judy needed to take me down to pick up her new car from the shop and I remember being deep in thought of how fortunate that we are to have so many good friends around us. Many of our customers are so much more than just.....customers. They share their lives with us, their dreams and their pitfalls. Their laughter and their tears. There are some days that I can go without seeing any of them and then others, like today, when so many of the close ones that I love so much seem to show up and I end up spending my day on my butt with a cup of coffee in my hand. Do you think that may be part of why I am struggling with my sleep tonight? The coffee, I mean.
After finishing off the evening, I went home with a couple of steaks and bbq'd them for supper along with some fresh corn, fruit salad, and cottage cheese. A glass of dark vegie/fruit juice washed it all down as Trin and I prepared to watch a movie that she had gotten called 'To Save a Life'.
What an incredibly impacting movie. One that should almost be mandatory for all high schoolers and soon to be high schoolers to watch. It deals not only with teen suicide but with relationships and peer struggles. I remember as I watched it how much things have changed but have remained the same. As I watched, I remembered struggles of my own during those years that all though they did not define who I am right now, certainly laid out cornerstones of my thoughts and ways of dealing with things.
It was the end of the movie that hit me the hardest, however, and I had to share that with Trin as it impacted me so much. The main character in the film had impacted someone so much that that someone had shared that he had saved his life.
I sat their with tears welling up in my eyes as I recalled a phone conversation from a man that I knew back in high school. He was one of my brothers close friends and had been in our house a time or two.
He had called me up looking for my brothers phone number and we had chatted about our lives since High School a bit when he began to share some things with me. He talked of bullies that had affected him adversely back in those years and told me how he dealt with that later in his life by calling them up and forgiving them. I remember wondering just how those guys were affected by it and immediately thought of one who would probably still not get it. Then he hit me with it.
"You know", he began, "You and your brothers probably don't realize it but you saved my life.". He went on to tell me how unhappy he had been back then. He said that he had often thought of just ending it. "But Marvin and the rest of your family opened your arms and your house to me. Your accepted me for who I was and invited me to join your youth group at your church who did the same.".
I shared that with Trin and told her that you never know how much something you say, something you do, or the way you do it might affect someone. That can go both ways, good and bad. I don't mind being the encourager, but I can only hope that nothing that I do will cause someone to trip up.
So, I guess I have left the day before and enter the next one, both apprehensive for the next few days but extremely blessed for the friends and experiences that the day brought me. When I think of the past few years of my life, even though their have been trials and tribulations, that word seems to flash across the pictures in my mind like a large flag waving in the wind. "BLESSED".