My husband and I were on the road a bit this weekend, saying goodbye to two sets of friends who are leaving the area.
Friday afternoon we went to an open house for a couple who are moving out of state to live with their adult son.
We’ve known these folks for almost twenty years, and though long stretches go by where we don’t see each other, when we do get together again it’s as if no time has passed. They and their adult children are practically extended family.
And it’s not just us–wherever they go, these folks seem to gather friends around them and create family. Their house is one of the most open, comfortable places I know, and it’s always an honor and a pleasure to be invited there. D and D, you will be missed!
Another Day, Another Parting
Saturday evening, we drove a couple of hours to gather with another group we belong to in order to say goodbye to the group’s founder, who is also leaving the area.
The group used to meet about once a month for dinner, either potluck or in a local-to-them restaurant, though meetings have become less frequent in recent months. Last night we all chipped in for food from a local Italian restaurant and met at a member’s home. After we enjoyed the food, we adjourned to the living room for quiet conversation.
One thing I love about this group is that it’s made up of intelligent, well-informed, creative people. Topics ran a gamut from computers and technology, to politics and current events, to newly discovered and potentially undiscovered species, to funny things our kids had done when they were little and our pets. Everyone had something interesting to offer, and everyone listened to everyone else.
Another thing I really love about this group is that they are so at ease with my blindness. They’re quick to take it into account and offer a hand getting around the house or let me know who’s in a room if I’m not sure, but otherwise, it’s just a thing about me, and I’m no different than anyone else.
They’re also very respectful of my personal space. It was very disconcerting, especially when I’d first lost my vision, to hve people randomly come up and hug me or grasp my hands. Frequently, I hadn’t noticed them coming and had no idea who they were. Folks in this group check in before throwing an arm around me or offering a hug, which lets me get my bearings and accept it gratefully.
A Measure of My Progress
We started getting together with this group about three or four months after my surgery and vision loss, and because they meet at regular but infrequent intervals, I can look back over our gatherings to gauge my progress over the past two years.
The first time we met them, I was very dependent on MrH, both generally and emotionally. I hadn’t quite gotten the hang of moving around independently, and needed someone to guide me wherever I went. Being in a room full of people was exhausting and overwhelming, just trying to keep track of people and follow conversations.
Last night, I moved from one room to another, though I did get some guidance moving through narrow areas and around the coffee table. (I didn’t have my cane out at the time, either, so the guidance was very helpful!) I ended up sitting next to MrH in the living room, but I’d have been comfortable if we hadn’t, or even if he’d been in a different room. He did bring me my food and take away my dishes, but if he hadn’t been there, I’d have been comfortable asking for help.
Admittedly, I’ve been in the house multiple times, and I knew everyone who was there last night. But I could also sense a real change in my own confidence and abilities. I’ve come a long way, and they were a part of it!
R, I’m so glad you founded the group and that we’ve gotten to be a part of it! I’m glad that we’ll all stay in touch and probably get together again, but it will not be the same without you, and you will be missed.
A Day to Recuperate!
That was a lot of driving for MrH’s arm, and he was sore afterward. The good news is that he was less sore than he’d expected to be, and seems to be recovering more quickly. It seems healing is taking place, just slowly.
We’re taking it easy today, catching up laundry and running a couple of short errands. I’ve got writing to do (Ha! When don’t I?) and a story that may finally be falling into place. There’s an audiobook to finish, and craft projects to work on.
And tomorrow begins a new week…
How are you spending your weekend? Have you gotten stuff done, or just chilled out? Any exciting plans for the week ahead?