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first woman

For awhile I’ve wanted to write about some women that inspire me. These are women I know. Or have known. Not that I want to BE these women. But, each of them have certain qualities that I admire somehow.  They each have flaws – as do I. But, they also have traits that kind of keep me going.  Hopefully it will all make more sense once you read it.

I met this first woman about 18 years ago.  I knew her for close to 4 years.  She and her husband got transferred and moved halfway across the country.  Now, this was pre-facebook, so we didn’t even stay connected like people do today.  In fact, I think most people only had a work email addy at that time. Oh sure, a few people kind of kept up with them here and there.  I heard that they eventually had a baby, then there was a rumor that they moved again, then I heard there was MAYBE another child or two; and then recently I heard that they had moved overseas. I have no idea how much of this is true.  I have tried locating her and her husband via facebook. No luck. I’ve googled them – nothing. So, I’m just resigning myself to the fact that I probably won’t hear from her again. And, that’s ok. I kind of feel like she came in to  my life and made her impression – and that’s what she was supposed to do.  I think about her quite frequently.

She was like a Jane Eyre character come-to-life.  She was a hopeless romantic.  When I knew her, she and her husband were still newlyweds. But, I just know she is still in the newlywed phase today. Though some of her actions were a tad corny, they always made me smile.  She would often race home to meet her husband for lunch and set the table, add candles, and turn on soft music. Just for lunch. On a Wednesday. Or, she would pack a quick picnic lunch and when he got home she would usher him back out the door to feast at a local park.  I know she would often get up early to surprise him with breakfast in bed.   She was always mailing romantic little cards to him at work.  Things like that.  That was just her way.  I loved those things about her. Not that I do these things all the time, but I do know how important they are.  Sometimes I find that I need to remind myself to do things like this now and again.  Things don’t have to be “sexy”, but adding a touch of romance to everyday activities is awfully sweet.

She always saw the “good” in people. Part of it was her naiveté.  She saw the good in people because she really just missed all the other stuff.  She didn’t have a mean bone in her body.  Even when people were not so nice to her. She always shrugged it off and continued on without letting it bother her.  She knew that they had their own reasons for acting like they did.  She didn’t have to agree with their opinions or attitudes, but she didn’t judge or condemn them.  And, it wasn’t that sickening sweet attitude either, she genuinely felt compassion for all people.  I’m not like that. I try to be. I’ve TRIED to be. But, it’s hard. People tick me off and do something horrible to me, and it’s over. It’s impossible to gain my trust back. It’s never going to be the same between us. But, she was able to go on and not let it affect her.  Unbelievable. I admire the heck out of that. I know that there are times when I do let things consume my thoughts. And, that’s not a good way to spend my energy.  But, I do it. It’s hard to “drop it” and forget about it.  She was a master at that.  A very zen-like master actually.

In fact, when things would get crazy around her, she would kind of flutter her hands in front of her face and take a few deep breaths.  Then she could calm herself down and relax. She was always super confident that somehow, the chaotic event would be fixed. Either by God, her husband, her boss, her family or her friends.  Always. Just supreme confidence that it would always work out.  Not that she tossed things aside and took no responsibility, but she totally knew that she had a great support system that could help her get through anything. How am I different?  Well, I have a support system, but sometimes I kind of forget about them. Sometimes I don’t use them. I have the “I’m-a-big-girl-and-can-do-it-myself” attitude sometimes.  There’s nothing wrong with using your support systems – I need to remember that.  Yes, she could handle things on her own, but she was always aware that there were people who would take care of her should something go wrong.  I like that.

Those are the three things that I think most when I think about her.  Even though it’s been over 10 years since my last contact with her, I still think about her an awful lot. She was a good friend.  She is a good person. I know she came into my life to teach me things.  I’m still learning.

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