A Slice of Humble Pie, Ala Mode

Published March 8, 2009 by glaumland

Today has been a good day – a day of worship, celebration and insight.

Church this morning was very nice. Dear Hubby went so we were able to worhip as a family. It does make a difference to have him there. A new Bible study for parents & grandparents started and we had a good turnout and discussion. And we had some nice visiting after services.

Then off to celebrate my baby brother’s 40th birthday. It’s funny how my birthdays don’t bother me as much as my brother’s. The funnier thing is how much his birthdays freak him out, and only his daughters’ aging and dating is causing more male pattern baldness. Luckily, he still has lots of curls to comb down over the shiny parts.

But in all seriousness, I am very proud of my baby brother. He is definitely one of the kindest, most generous and loving people I know. And although we may not have seen eye-to-eye sometimes, I can see how God led him to the life he has for that very reason. So Happy Birthday, Little Brother, & God Bless You for many years.

My parents hosted the birthday party today. Besides Mom & Dad, my family, Baby Brother’s family, we also had Baby Brother’s In-Laws (very sweet people – he was really blessed), and my very best friend and her family. We had lots of good food, ice cream and a Powercat Cake, and gave Baby Brother a hard time with the cards and presents. A very pleasant and relaxing day.

Now, to my insight moment. I met my BFF in high school, and for about 1 year we were inseperable. I’m not certain what it was that brought us together, but for some reason we formed a wonderful friendship. We had many exciting adventures together:

  • the night we spent sleeping together in a wheelbarrow waiting for her mare to foal (didn’t happen that night).
  • the night we camped down by the river 1/2 mile from her house. Not only did it rain, but her dog got skunked and then crawled into the tent with us. So we packed up and went home for warm soapy showers. And bedtime.
  • the times we went shopping: for dresses (hers was pink and mine was heather); for sweat pants & shirts when they first came out (hers was pink and mine was lavender); and she was sharing enough to give me some clothes from her closet.
  • we were in plays together, and really enjoyed our times on & off stage with all of our special HS friends.
  • we’ve been fishing together, and once went to visit her grandparents in Parkston SD. That was a heck of a trip, and even now I am cuddled up in the pink wool sweater I bought there at a sidewalk sale. It’s a little ratty now, but good for chores and cool nights.
  • there was the sailing vacation on Milford where we learned that you should only buy quality marshmellows for roasting. I’ve never seen anyone eat so many hotdogs as she did. Then we had to drive 2 hours home on a hot day in a little car with no A/C and black interiour. We were red for days.
  • the was the time we went to Gage Park Amphitheatre to hear Terry Gibbs in concert. Way fun evening.

Oh there are so many more wonderful memories. I need to get them written somplace, maybe I’ll make some scrapbooks for me and my BFF.

But there were some challenging times as well. Her parents were going through a really bad divorce when we met. I think that was one of the reasons she was so drawn to my family. (Of course, my folks adopted her right then as one of their own.) But I know that the pain and isolation caused her to grow up too soon and face independence and self-reliance too early.

We tried to room together in college, but our paths started to diverge, and I couldn’t really understand or cope with that. At first I was upset with her, for not following the path I thought she should take, and then I figured that I must be letting her down. Looking back, a lot of that fell on me. I was jealous of her easily made relationships with others. I was still intimidated (as I had been from the beginning) of her: she was always too together, too cool, too smart. I could never figure out why she would want to be friends with me. I couldn’t figure out what I had to offer her. I wanted so much to please her, that I didn’t know how to be myself to do that. Sometimes she would ask my opinion, and I would just respond with what I thought she wanted to hear. It made our friendship very awkward. I know a few times I jokingly made some deragatory comments that turned out to really hurt her feelings. And I was mortified, because I was just trying to lighten the conversation. So now things felt even more awkward.

Eventually, we began to drift even further apart and for several years lost contact almost entirely. We finally came back together almost by chance; I was moving back into the area and ran into her mom; she was still here and coming out from some difficult times. We had a few wonderful months were she got me sewing and we did some quilting together. But then her baby boy came along and she had some health issues. I remember once visiting her, when the baby needed a diaper change, and she asked me to do it since she was in terrible pain. And I hate to say I refused. I just couldn’t do it. But I couldn’t tell her why, that I thought I had just had another miscarriage (and we’d already lost 2 babies). The thought of picking up her boy made my guts and heart clench and I froze up. I know she was perturbed at me. But I didn’t have the words to share with her. And just one more time I let her down.

And so we drifted even farther; her life became settled and mine became difficult. Times passed, and amazingly enough, my parents somehow got back together with my friend. They had always loved her like another daughter, and things just clicked. They also enjoyed playing “grandparents” to her two children.

And finally, it happened. We came back together and it was like a deep sigh. It was like having my sister back. But as wonderful as it had been to be together, she is still too cool, too with-it, and too smart. I’m still intimidated by her and longing to be respected by her. I had promised to invite her over several months back, but hadn’t keep that promise. In doing some rearranging of the house, the place looks like a trainwreck. Not only that, but I’ve been challanged this winter with my fibromyalgia, so many days I do more sleeping that accomplishing anything. Truly survivor mode. And so, I was too embarassed not to have the “perfect” house so I never invited her.

As we were sitting and chatting today, something was said about her coming to visit me. I mentioned how messy the house was, and she replied that she thought I was spurning her. OMG! My pride and embarassment was keeping us apart. Finally, as she was departing, I mentioned once again how it was my messy house and not any attitude toward her that had prevented an invitation. And she said something about finding humility and not letting embarassment prevent a fabulous time together (maybe even cleaning).

So this led to my Ah-Ha moment, where I figured out my best friend doesn’t like me because I’m cool, or smart, or with-it. My sister loves me because I’m family. So I’m looking forward to spending some time with her soon, cleaning, quilting, nature-walking, or just sitting & chatting. By eating some humble pie, I’ll get a big scoop of ice cream on top. What a cool lesson that is.

Until next time…

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