Sunday, February 13, 2011

One of my friends got engaged today. She's a dear person; the guy seems really solid. And once I get past...this..., I'll be more happy for them.

Gimli keeps coming to mind, annoyingly. I've prayed that God remove these thoughts, if I'm not to be with him. I don't know if He's answering them or not.

Tonight, I attended an event at the request of a mutual friend of Gimli's and mine. My only connection to him was through Gimli, so I haven't seen him or his family for a year. I wondered...wondered...setup? Day before Valentine's Day? Reunion? How movie-ish that would be!

However, since my life is not a movie, that didn't be.

The invitation to the event was merely a reciprocal gesture of hospitality, repaying a kindness I had done for the mutual friend's wife and baby last year.

To go from talking with my giddily engaged friend (and trying to be happy!) to a room full of people which might include Gimli, all the day before Valentine's was a miniature perfect storm. My eyes were dry and I was composed; I had hung up with my friend just before I arrived--just before my eyes may have spouted tears and ruined my makeup. Then I remembered my grandma had called; since I hardly talk with her and she had made the effort to call, I decided to call her back quickly. I explained I only had a moment, and after a bit of small talk, I mentioned my friend's engagement. I asked my grandma to pray for my heart. If she heard me through her hearing aid, she'll understand. Knowing that she loves me, cares about me, knows how this hurts and how much I wish it didn't, made me start crying there in my car. It's easy enough to bottle something up; it's hard to keep it together when someone expresses empathy.

And still God takes care of me. I arrived for the event in the dark, in heels, on ice. I didn't plan well for parking, but decided to try an area I've always had "dumb luck" in. I drove to the end of the row; nothing. Going forward meant going over a snow-created ramp, over a sidewalk, and down with a thud on the other side. I debated how much trauma that would cause my tires and decided against putting them through that. As I shifted into reverse and looked behind me, I saw someone else's reverse lights come on. I paused. The car just a few spots behind me backed out and drove away. Other cars circled the lot like vultures hungrier than I, but I slid into that spot and had a much shorter walk in the dark, in heels, on ice.

I could have made a lot of different choices in life. Some I regret; others, I don't. I'm here, 35 and single on the eve of Valentine's Day, going to bed in my Valentine pajamas (bought before last year's breakup) with "love," and "be mine" on them as a reminder that I am loved by the King. And I'm wearing my "Virgins are hot" T-shirt as a reminder that I am a woman of integrity. Daughter of the King.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I talked to Ma today, and toward the end of our conversation she asked if I'd made any Christmas plans.

"Nope," I replied. "No one to make plans with...except you guys."

We talked about which day Christmas is, and about my going over to the padres' place for our family favorite of Blitz Bubble Rings and orange julius for breakfast. And a little bit later, she said that Gimli had been on her heart a lot recently.

"Mine, too," I said quietly. I had attributed it to all these anniversaries of milestones--holidays with him--and fantastic ones they were. Today, talking about Christmas with Mom, I was so glad we'd had Christmas at my place last year. I've worked through my memories of Gimli's being here and have had other people over. It's become my home, not my home with his touches. I haven't had as much time at my parents' place this year--haven't had time to take away Christmas memories in that home, had we been there last year. So this year, I'm grateful to be going home for Christmas--even if it is less than a mile away.

"You have?" Mom asked.

"Mm hmm. I finally defriended him on Facebook, too."

"When...when was that?"

"Sunday, I think. Yeah. Sunday."

"Hmm. Well, he's been on my mind since Tuesday or Wednesday. I've been praying for him a lot. I've been praying that God would soften his heart. I don't know in what way, but..."

Really. About a month ago, I started praying that God would soften my future husband's heart toward me.

Then Mom seemed to switch gears.

"Remember when I was talking with P the other day, and you called, and I told P that I'd call her back, but then I forgot to? Well, she called me the next day, and, you know how she's so direct... She said to me, 'Are you mad because I'm going to be a grandma before you are?'" [P's daughter-in-law is pregnant.] "And I said, 'Not mad... Sad...'"

And the tears burst out of my eyes. I'm sorry, Mom. I'm sorry, Dad. I know that you love children and would truly be the best grandparents in the world. I'm so sorry...

And...I couldn't make a sound. Couldn't let my mom know how that hurt, and how it hurts me that they hurt, and how it hurts me to know that they never say anything like, "When are you going to get married and give us some grandchildren" because they love me so much and...don't want to hurt me.

Mom went on. "P said that if I had grandchildren, I wouldn't spend time with [the littlest children in the family of our friends who have 11 kids]. And they need that--they need 'in-town grandparents.'"

"Yeah," I agreed, managing an even tone.

"And you're the one who introduced me to them."

Oh. I have given my parents grandchildren. Thank You, God, for that gift, and thank You for that realization from my mother.

And thank You, God, for the things my parents know and feel but don't necessarily say. But thank You for these glimpses that make me realize how much they love me.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I did it. Defriended him, I mean. We haven't talked for about 11 months. We've emailed twice. Facebook was only a painful reminder of his existence in a look-but-don't-touch format.

This fall has been the anniversary of so many things with him. I enjoyed him SO MUCH. That makes the anniversaries so much harder.

I re-read his explanation email to me from last January, and wonder if he was saying that physically, I wasn't good enough for him. But I had asked him about that during our breakup conversation, and he had said no to that along with other things.

If it was a God thing--if he just didn't have a peace from God about us--it was easier to take. But I don't see why God would bring us together then take us apart. Did one of us sin in the first place? Did he pursue me without God's go-ahead, thereby making us wrong from the start? What if it was just the wrong timing? But after eleven months...I start to doubt that. It sinks in that...he's probably not coming back. And oh how I loved him... Oh how I loved being with him... Oh how I loved every part of "us..."

And every posting of his on FB was a pick and a peel of a scar. It wasn't facing reality, like I'd hoped it would be by leaving him on the list. It just...prevented healing.

So I wrote him an email this afternoon, explaining why I was about to defriend him. It was a nice email. Then I did the smart thing and pushed "save" rather than "send." I cried some more. Took a nap. Woke up. Checked Facebook. Went to his profile. Stalked his wall a little more. say...goodbye...? I left that tab up and went back to check my FB newsfeed. All posts covered, I returned to his page. Bottom left--"Remove from friends." My pointer hovered over it. I paused, cried, prayed, held my breath, pushed the button.

"Are you sure you want to remove Gimli from friends?"

This time, I knew he was already gone.



Sunday, October 17, 2010

High school friend's mom passed away last week. High school friend was a girl then...seems to be a guy now... Missed the visitation today since I'm home sick.

Checked Facebook this morning while I was missing church, and saw a former student's update: another former student has died. I quickly went to his page and saw tributes written on his wall--so it _was_ true... I checked his sisters' pages--condolences were written there. I quickly texted the oldest sister and asked her to keep me updated on time and place for the funeral. "Will do," she responded. Oh dear... So it's true...

The only news reports of fatalities are of someone crashing into a light pole; speed and alcohol are factors...and yes, I can see those applying in his case. There's still no name published, but...

He was the kid who, as a freshman, made me feel that he would protect me from anyone who attacked me; that's a big deal for a young, white teacher on a reservation. His little sister looked up to me, his big sister befriended me, his younger brother confided in me, and his mother somewhat adopted me. I sat with them at the last funeral I returned to the rez for; they'd made a space for me and waved me in, even though my entrance was late. I still remember getting the mom's brittle, damaged hair in my mouth as we hugged.

The first reservation funeral I went back for was for this student's best friend. That was nine years ago; another car accident.

Much heartache.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I have an urge to be productive...or something...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Well, so much for that "I'll be in contact" deep-and-meaningful look; when I went to Albi's last night, Texas was on a date elsewhere! So be it.

I'm afraid I ruined potential connections by being overly concerned about the weather--which was, to my credit, not good last night. Sirens went off and everything. I checked online resources (including Facebook) via my iPod for updates, and most likely alienated the girl beside me. My apologies!

It turned out to be a good evening, with a bit of flood-watching and people-watching-flood-watching going on. I corralled one of the guys into wandering downstream a few blocks with me to see the water's impact there, and got some interesting shots of the clouds that kept moving along to the east.

Other highlight of the evening was listening to conversation about getting cows on a schedule and artificially inseminating them, thereby having their calving season down to about three days rather than the four month range that would occur naturally. While there's debate about whether or not it's really healthy for the cattle, it's a lot like knowing the plumber will visit between 2-3pm, rather than "sometime this week."

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Albi called tonight and invited me to dinner tomorrow. She and her husband are having guests; dinnertime is 6:30.

At church on the 4th of July, I ran into Albi and her husband, and Albi's best friend and some strange guy. I reminded Albi of my get-together that night, and she asked if they could bring strange guy along. Sure! I was very much into a "the more, the merrier" sentiment that weekend.

When they arrived, I had already forgotten strange guy's name and had to ask for it again. However, I was high on hostessing and had no problem with awkwardness; what a wonderful sensation!

Later, when I ran into Albi on the balcony, she pulled me aside and said, "So--are you seeing any of these gentlemen?" Nope. "Well--have you met my friend [Texas]? He's really quiet, so you'll have to go initiate something."

I don't initiate. If the guy's not willing to, why bother? And if he's not able to...why bother?

We stood on my balcony to watch fireworks, and I found an open spot between a new Baptist friend and Albi's husband. On the other side of Albi's husband was Texas. The guys on either side of me were conversational and relaxed. It was such a juxtaposition of guests in attendance that night, with my front hall being filled with sandals and cowboy boots.

After Albi's husband and I had caught up a bit, I felt the need to include Texas in the conversation. I got him talking, heard his accent, and loved it. Albi's husband stepped back a bit to allow for face-to-face communication, but was still available to moderate the conversation. He provided security that way, and it made me feel closer to him than I ever have before. I think, really, he reminded me of my favorite uncle. :)

When Albi and her entourage left that night, I invited Texas to my Bible study since he's still semi-new in town and doesn't have a large social group. He looked at me, said with confidence that we'd be in contact, and _looked_ at me. It seemed to be an "I'll follow through with you" look that made me smile and feel gushy inside.

I hope he's there tomorrow night...and if not, I look forward to meeting new, fun people anyway!

Wonderful Night

I got creative in my online TV-watching earlier this week, and selected a show about America's museums. One feature was on the Museum of Natural history, which I recognized as being in "Night at the Museum." Since "Night at the Museum 2" is in my Netflix cue, I decided that it should be watched, and soon. I invited my Bible study friends over for this evening, and changed the event from just a movie to games and a movie, and then added a supper beforehand.

I put a couple chuck roasts in my slow cooker, added cream of mushroom soup and whatever seasonings smelled good, and let the slow cooker have at it. The breadmachine from my 90-plus-year-old friend was employed to make dough, which I later fashioned into rolls and baked. One friend brought frozen veggies, and two others brought fruit salads. Good stuff, all around. One of the salad people had asked permission to bring another friend along, and the other friend brought a 2-liter of pop to share. Later, another of the guys brought a case of Mello Yello. I think it's sweet when guys bring a token item. :)

As an early arriver and I were extending the table to put leaves in, I got a call from my old friend Gibson. He and his family were in town; was I available? While his wife had a meeting, he brought their two kids and himself over to join us. Little F was cautiously inquisitive about things in my apartment, but did no damage and didn't throw himself (or anything else) off the balcony. They were here for about two hours, and I would have been quite fine with their staying longer. It's so, so good to see friends raising their children right--"right" in this case being "well-mannered in a semi-stranger's home." F even bonded with me a bit by playing with a toy turtle he found and placing it on my head while I was eating. I told him numerous times how happy I was to have him in my home. When he and his dad left with his baby brother, I asked F for a hug. He nodded solemnly then reached out for me. As I stood after our embrace, Gibson gave a smile and told me quietly, "He was goin' in for a kiss." And I'd missed it? Poor kid! So I asked him for a kiss on the cheek, and he willingly obliged. I smiled all the way back down the hall. It's such a blessing to be liked by your friends' not-quite-three-year-old...and to like him, as well!

The meal was, honestly, fantastic. After eating a bit, I told those at the table that there was more meat, etc. One piped in that they knew, and had been partaking of it. :) Out of two chuck roasts, I hardly have any leftovers. Though my tastebuds are sad, that makes me smile.

We played some Mario Kart, watched the movie, and then those who were left gathered around the table for a game of Pente. It's a game that's chess-ish in thought and checker-ish in pieces. The rules are simple, but the mastery is more complex. I inherited it from another 90+ year-old friend, and wish I could tell her that I have yet to introduce it to someone who didn't quickly love it. The best part in the three games we played happened when we began to table talk. One of the guys played a move that would allow me to win if not stopped. The person next to him missed it. Then the coughing, aheming, and veiled references began, and were directed to the last remaining player before it would be my turn. She sat for eons trying to figure it out. I eventually asked her what the greatest threat was, and she identified a technique I was likely to use to win. Then I had her stand up and look at the board from different angles. At one point, she pointed right at the critical spot, without seeing what she was supposed to be stopping. The guys began creating arrows with their unused pieces, and making all sorts of game references which half clued her in and half drove her crazy. Eventually, she discovered the move. We all sighed and exclaimed, and the game moved on. During the rest of that round, one of the guys deliberately set up moves exactly like that almost-unseen one, just to see who would catch and stop it.

The friend that one of the guys brought is soft-spoken and kind-faced. His contribution to the evening was the Diet Coke. His skin and hair are much darker than that of most of us Midwesterners, and our friend could frequently be overheard explaining slang and cultural references to us. His accent was definitely non-native, and he commented once that his English was not so good. After being together for four hours, one of our friends looked at him and said, "So, are you from another country?" The rest of us couldn't look at each other; I may have dropped my head to the table at that point. Our guest handled the question with great grace and answered that he's from Iran. It is, indeed, another country.


I'm still FB friends with Gimli but have been debating it lately. I don't want to react out of anger, which is why I haven't removed the threadbare connection. Tonight, I found in my newsfeed that he'd posted a video which he was in. I clicked "play" and...I still don't understand why...why it didn't work out. I had forgotten how he talked, how he moved, what his lit-up eyes looked like... I remembered his broad shoulders and strong arms around me. Maybe I'm still FB friends because it hasn't hurt enough to be over. I haven't felt the piercing pain that would give me a conclusion. It's probably just that he's nice and I'm nice, and hopefully some day we'll be able to have a casual friendship.