Tuesday, August 2, 2011
We Walk Together For a Little While
Many years ago, on a cold December night, I stood on a sidewalk in Kingston outside the Grand Theatre waiting for my date. He was late. It was the last night of term before Christmas vacation.
“Cathy!” My brother James called to me from across Princess Street. “What’re you doing? There’s a bunch of us going to Coppers.”
“Can’t,” I answered, as he crossed over. “Got a date.”
“Ooooo,” James ‘ eyebrows went up. “That him?”
A good looking young man in a leather jacket was heading toward us at a rapid pace.
I smiled. “Yup. Don’t do anything stupid. I like him.”
“Sure,” James said, and threw his arm around me pulling me close.
“Getyourarmoffme!” I hissed. He just grinned until I pushed him off.
My date approached and I introduced them. “James, this is Brian. Brian this is my BROTHER James.”
Later, Brian told me he’d never felt so relieved. Much later. Brian and I celebrated our twenty-second wedding anniversary last Friday.
Now twenty-two years may seem like a long time, and it might be an eternity in a bad relationship, but a few decades are nothing, not nearly enough time together, in a good relationship, be it friendship or marriage.
We walk with each other for a short time only on this earth, and some day Brian and I will say good-bye. Sooner or later we all grieve or are grieved. But for that short walk we can support each other and love each other. We can embrace companionship and bear each other’s sorrows.
It’s easy to let conflict overwhelm us, easy to blame the people closest to us for our pain, easy to nurse the ways we are wronged. God knows I’ve done that often enough. But it might be easier still to forgive, let go, and fall into friendship and love, if only we would let ourselves.
Friendships are treasures that last beyond human breath, and outpace the beating of a human heart. May you embrace yours, and hold close the memory of those who are gone. Eternity and love belong to all of us.