Goodbye vs. Coffee
Her boy and I made faces at one another while I waited for her to open the door. She welcomed me with these bare feet, fully equipped with spiffy green toe-nails.
Saying goodbye to a friend – never easy.
You might wonder how someone who lives an hour away and stays of facebook can be a friend. She’s lived over an hour from me for over 2 years, and we’ve seen each other face to face less than a dozen times, but her moving? – I don’t want to think about it…I don’t want to cry.
Ironically, some of my closest friends have shared very little of actual space and time with me.
In my experience, Friendship has more to do with the proximity of our hearts than geography. Her heart and mine abide in the same territory, and I’m pretty sure they did before we even met.
This knowledge – it doesn’t take away the tears. I suppose that’s okay.
Tears, they mean that we feel – that we’ve had something worth holding – that we’ve a gift to count. It’s the loss of sensation that presents the strongest threat.
Confession: I debated going to say goodbye. I even decided last-minute. Me-time has been sparse lately with sick kids and stressors pushing in. I always crave a cup of coffee and some silence with a pen/book/computer/paper (some or all of the above).
I knew the solitary Barnes and Noble option would mean missing that last hug. I wouldn’t get to see her newborn babe. I wouldn’t get to say – “goodbye” to her face…but what if I couldn’t face the day w/o time to recharge?
It was one of those decisions where the upper senses stand in opposition to the lower ones.
- the comfort of pizza versus healthier foods
- the rest a nap could give versus exercise
- TV versus going outside
- plugging in with my kids versus an electronic world
I’m pretty convinced that it will NEVER be easier to order a salad at McDonald’s. The quarter pounder will always be calling my name. And I wonder why this is. The things that are REALLY good for me…the things that my soul craves, I rarely chose them over the things that smell and sound and look and taste good right in front of me.
Even now, I hack away at a keyboard while kids run wild, dishes and laundry are piled high, and dinner time is minutes away…or should be. (The kids will be raiding the fridge and begging me to open cheese sticks soon.)
I am SO often powerless to go with my upper senses.
You might assume some nice things of me. You are likely wrong.
When it comes to those choices that feed my soul for the long-term over my short-term comforts, my choices are usually poor.
The forever tyrannical urgent versus the eternal*? – Tyrannical urgent has the winning record.
These battles forever take place in the subconscious – and though they are waged over valuable ground that needs defending, they are usually surrendered in silence.
Today I opted for the long-term.
Seriously, DON’T pat me on the back. I ain’t so great….I promise.
And a side note on that:
We are all forever painting everyone flawless or flaw-full – building walls between selves. I’m continually battling the thought that no one else can inhabit my “stratosphere of broken” – that particular level at which our flaws and scars lie.
…and this is another UNTRUTH that isolates and holds us back from better things and richer friendships.)
So, back to my little goodbye adventure. Why did I ever even debate it? Time of quiet in the car, of chatting on the couch, the time face to face with a friend – it did far more than a lonely cup of coffee, and BONUS, I got to have coffee with her!
My lower senses always tell me that there is more satisfaction in doing something for myself, in something easy, in the things that take little effort?
Lies. lies. lies.
The harder fought, hard won, long-distance hikes – those are the ones that give the best of both worlds! The sights and smells and sounds echo into our future and reverberate in the present. If my friend had not made those many hike to see me – I wouldn’t have had the tears – I wouldn’t have had the gift of this friendship – a friendship that will endure the miles.
Here is to the hike! …and how to fine tune those upper senses…to make the better choices, that always happen to be harder? – still figuring that out…still praying…still reading.
*and one thing I need to clarify – when I talk about the eternal – I don’t mean lofty things. I’m learning that the eternal can be in a load of laundry – in serving the people I live with. The eternal is every bit in the ordinary – in the slower and in the simple.
Having said goodbye to the same person … it stinks … so GLAD you got to see her one more time. And so glad you connected in the first place. I just wrote a post about community and you and her were two of the women at the forefront of my heart as I wrote.