Thursday, October 26, 2006

Simply Being Present

What makes you connect with other people? What causes the kind of chemistry that makes lifetime bond? Instant friendship? In January, following the death of my husband, I found a Young Widows Bulletin Board on the internet. Yeah—technology is an awesome thing. I appreciated the forum of a bulletin board because, unlike a chat room, you could read and post in a more thoughtful manner. I was looking for a connection with those who understood the complexities of grief.

Following a few months of posting and reading—I decided to take the next step and meet a group of young widows (from the bulletin board) in Chicago. This group of remarkable individuals meets once a month for dinner and fellowship. I was amazed at the instantaneous draw of the group to my heart. I found myself captivated within their varied stories of love and loss, so very similar to mine.

Within this group of people I found no waiting for acceptance. They were simply present---arms open with unconditional acceptance to ANYONE sharing the journey. It was pure and simply absolute friendship, born out of shared suffering; a mutuality that was unshakable.

Each member has his/her own story. Each has something to teach me, when I open my heart to learn. In return I have become captivated by their love. I want to see the world through their eyes; understand this journey through their experiences and create a new story that resonates over the pain.

The ability to hold people in such high esteem after such a short acquaintance astounds me, but it shouldn’t. It is, after all, an answer to an unspoken prayer. God knows who I am. He knows what I need to survive and thrive. He knows that relationships matter in my life and that it is important for me to seek out and find those who share my heartsong. I have found them.

This I know for sure.


Pentha said...

They way I have put it is that "we know each other from the inside out."

We already know what each other's life-changing event is. Through reading the board, we know how each other has handled it, what internal resources we have drawn on. Only after sitting around the table for a while do we discover that we grew up 10 miles from each other, or that we both love Stargate SG-1, or that our spouses went to the same university.

All the superficial things that people talk about when the first meet come to us as an afterthought, additional information about a person we've come to treasure sight unseen.

It really is an amazing experience, and I am glad you have been blessed to have the Chicagowidowans as your new community. (I'm an honorary Chicagowidowan, since I lived there for several years many years ago.)

-- Pentha, wishing you peace today

Your Dad said...

It is a joy to see you do not exist. To survive is to reach for the thread, buoy, or anything. That reminds me of the man who fell over the cliff and grabbed a root that began to pull out. As he prayed he heard God say, "Leave it to me...let go". To which the man responded, "Is there anyone else up there?"

To exist is to use everything God has provided to enhance our condition and be empowered to accomplishment. God has given you courage to span the gap and reach for the impossible victories that bring peace to your heart/life. Sometimes quietly, sometimes in a booming voice he declares, "My peace I give to you."

I have been amazed at your walk with God and others (relationships)since that horific night one year ago. I have seen you take what life gives and battle back with courage and determination. I have seen you cry but I still hear your contagious laugh that lifts my heart. You are a daughter to be proud of (I know the sentence is not written well...I hear you saying, "So change it." "NO."

I love you and all that you represent. Just keep on caring for my grandchildren and yourself. I love you all.

mfisteach said...

Ah Dad,
You got me---tears are coming down my cheeks as I write this. I believe that a legacy (perhaps blessing is a better word) is set in motion by parents for their children that will last for generations to come. I am blessed beyond measure at the lasting legacy you have woven that guides, not only the lives of your children, but that of your grandchildren. By the way, there is nothing wrong with that sentence (except that it ends with a preposition--LOL)when it comes from the very heart of a man whose love for God and his family speaks strength to everyone around him. I love you.