My friend and I saw each other the other day for the first time in many months. I had looked forward to seeing him with nervous anticipation. I was nervous about what it would be like after so much time had passed. I was afraid that we would be different...that conversation would be a struggle. I couldn't have been more wrong!
From the moment I saw him across the room...sitting at a table in our favorite Mexican restaurant...I felt comfortable. We talked. We laughed. It was as if no time had passed. We were able to pick up where we left off. That really did something for my heart and soul. As I've said before...I don't have many friends. I may be nice or polite or even friendly towards people...but I only let a few "special" people into my life...my heart. I have missed my friend like crazy. Something reminds me of him almost everyday...a song...a trail...an exercise...many things trigger memories. He's gone and won't be back...I settled that with myself a long time ago. He's happy where he's at...so I will put MY feelings aside and be happy for him too.
I don't know if I'm really dumb...or if I'm getting really old...or if I'm just very perceptive...but I seem to be learning more and more about life these days. After worrying about and anticipating our meeting for no reason...after having a lunch that was heaven to me (good food and one of my favorite people to share it with)...after driving away...still smiling 5 minutes down the highway...I realized that people may leave us physically, but if they are truly our friends...they never really go away because we keep them in our hearts.
When my friend called me a couple of months ago and said he was on his way "home" from Taiwan...I immediately thought that he was coming back...here...because I thought of THIS as home. When I realized that he was referring to a place very far away...a place he now calls home...I have to admit, it made me a little sad. I understood him staying there, but couldn't handle him calling it "home". The word home means a lot to me. Home is a familiar place...a place filled with people that know our stories...our history. Home is a place we can come to at the end of a long, hard day...for rest...a safe haven...a place to recover and renew. Home is a place where we can be our true selves. Our home is a place where we can rejoice when something good happens...we can sing in the shower...and jump for joy on the bed. The walls of our home keep our secrets. It is our sanctuary.
What I realized the other day, was that...when I am with my friend, my soul is relaxed and my heart is at home. His mailing address is not what matters. What matters...is that regardless of where he lives...or where he calls home...I'm secure knowing that a part of him is always here with me. If he wants to call Montana home...it's really okay...because he is always at home in my heart.