It was a bit unnerving, since we hadn't seen each other in person for almost fifty years! But my nerves calmed down when Cindi saw me, watching for their arrival through the truck stop restaurant window, and waved excitedly to me as soon as they pulled up to the gas pump. We immediately got a warm hug from each other and then enjoyed a leisurely, chatty lunch, catching up on our lives, but mostly reminiscing about our junior and high school days.
For me, there was a touch of sadness though, mostly in anticipation of our meeting, because I would be facing it without my husband. It just didn't seem natural or fair to share an event like this without him by my side (he's been in a long-term care facility for almost a year now). When Dean and I were young, we had often talked about spending our retirement traveling across the country like my friends were doing. I wasn't sure just how it would feel to see them "living our dream".
But as Cindi shared some of their own life disappointments, my unsettling thoughts were totally forgotten. God has a different path for each of us. It's designed just for us, not to make life difficult or messy as it sometimes is, but to make sure that we stay connected with Him.
After fifty years, I still felt a connection with Cindi. It was almost like yesterday that we sat on the grounds of our junior high school, eating our lunch, and trying to figure out how to navigate the perplexing world of seventh-grade education. I was not used to my sister's absence (she was a grade behind me), so Cindi's friendship that year helped me fill the gap and survive what would have been a very lonely time indeed.
Amazingly, Cindi has done it again, by breezing in to help me survive another time in my life that I feel totally disconnected with someone who I have come to depend on, maybe a bit too much. What a merciful God we have to give us friends, who know just when to show up and know just how to cheer us up.
|So good to see you again, Cindi (on the right). It was like we'd never been apart!|