Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pooh and Piglet

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart... I’ll always be with you.-- Winnie the Pooh

I spent a lot of time considering this post. I had an enlightening last 24 hours, to say the least. I may have gone even gone a little crazy for a bit, but I'm pulling back up nicely. I ran this morning to try and clear my head. My heart still laid heavy at my feet as I tried to pull myself down the street. You see, for the past five years, I have tried finding a specific card that was sent to me when I was in my freshman year of college. I had known, even at eighteen, that this card was very special and that I should keep it close. And for the past five years, I have tried to remember what the card said.

I received many letters and cards at the time. The internet was still very new so we still actually wrote letters to our friends. I thought about so many of these letters when I ran today and eventually, my steps got lighter as my heart began to drop some heavy weights. As I hit mile 7, I realized that my superglue and duct tape job on my shoes was not going to hold up much longer. I quickly focused my thoughts and dried my tears. I let the wind absorb and heal me, then headed home.

Last night I had found that letter, just by accident, as I found my oldest son's baby book. All packed tightly in a box that had been moved with my parents. I'm certain from their old house to their new, with a brief stop in a storage center for the past year. I had thought I was emptying old college books, financial ledgers, and junk, so when I came across the baby book, I was a little overwhelmed. As I flipped through the pages, I, of course, became a little teary eyed at the footprints, the little pictures, and the letters written to my son when he was only weeks old. As I put the book up onto my bookshelves, a long lost card fell from the back of the book.

The card simply showed Piglet and Pooh on the front, holding hands and walking through the woods. Piglet was looking up to Pooh, asking a question. My heart dropped as I opened the card, hoping. 

The simple inscribed answer seems, as if it was everything, then and now. To see John's handwriting again, as if he had just sent me the letter from his small room at the Naval Academy, as if I could write him back and hope to get it to the mailbox at the end of my hall before noon... as if he were right here, helping me get through another day, as he had done for so many years. 

I have found what I needed, when I actually needed it. If for even one second I have ever doubted that life brings you what you need.... If I have ever doubted that some people are just more than us... If I ever doubted that my friend was as much as I remember him to be... 

I am humbled and restored.

The strength to do, the strength to fight, to believe I can beat something than seems so much bigger than me. The belief that I can, and I will... 
My journey has never been from me, but from those who made me, and showed me, and loved me. So much of me now is because of John. He never doubted me, always believed in me, and gave me so much more than I could ever repay. So I pay it forward, that simple love and respect and friendship. That simple peace in the company of true grace. And I write him back, with as much excitement as a scared teen finding a piece of home. And I let him know:

I'm okay. I am surviving on my own here. I've made great new friends here, and even found a great love. You're words inspire me and get me through the tough times. I miss you more than you could ever know. I didn't appreciate how special our friendship was until you went away. I know you are happy there, being everything you were meant to be. I just wished it was somewhere closer to me. I hope it's everything you'd known it could be. I hope, more than anything, that you can feel my love from so far away. Remember when we held hands and prayed before we left? How you'd asked for God to protect me, and for me to know that I always have you and for our friendship to be forever? I remember your voice, and your hands, and our tears. It was so hard to say goodbye to you, but I knew that you'd always follow your dreams. And you still inspire me to follow mine. And when I can't find my way home, I know you'll find me.

I miss you and love you, my best friend. You are more than you know, stronger than you ever were, and as smart as you thought.


In tears,

1 comment:

  1. Beth, your writings are so inspiring and make me want to be a better person. You are such a strong woman, and should be proud of your accomplishments in life. - Stacey Unfried