This morning I get to meet with some former co-workers from my time in Milwaukee. Friends who have experienced along with me the brutal reality of mental illness and the challenges that places on society. It’s been eight years since I moved Nort’, kicking and screaming, to the Holy Land and away from my work in the inner city of crime and cockroaches. We did good work there. We made a difference, one life at a time, by serving this population of adults that are so marginalized by society. Hard work. Painful work. Amazingly funny moments in the midst of the challenges and the mental illness that sometimes seemed to characterize the personality of the company we worked for! So this morning I will connect with two of those women who share that history with me – to catch up on the real life history of our own making. I’m looking forward to that!
Then later today I get to re-connect again with several women who shared the lunch room table with me in High School. That was more years past than I really want to admit to. (my heart has not aged as fast as my body or the calendar would indicate). It seems a lifetime ago, and in fact it was. Silly me, I cannot remember much of those years in specifics and the details. I do remember feeling that with this group of young women, I belonged. Or at least they let me belong. Many rotations of the globe later we meet again and I realize that while a lifetime has passed for me and I am not the same person I was ___ years ago. Neither are they. Love, loss, pain – all mark our lives in some way, shape or form. In a way I am making new friends – not reviving old ones – because we are all changed. For better or worse life and our choices has molded us into who we are today – and each time we meet we get to understand those changes and celebrate our survival in fresh ways.
The pic above of me with Laura and Carol was taken at our first “reunion” in January of this year.
When you look back – do you see positive changes in your life? Have you allowed the challenges you have faced to grow you into a better person than you were before? How have you “improved with age?”Like fine wine or cheese – it’s worth sharing with others . . .