This past week has been a nice one. I’ve taken a break from the house remodel, the chickens and yard work. I’ve spent precious time with family and friends, I was even able to say hello to a few high school classmates. What I’ve learned is this, people change. What you think you saw, that changes with time. They evolve in ways you could have never predicted all while maintaining some essence of who they were. We should rejoice in this and take time to truly get to know someone in the present tense.
Of course age plays a big part in this little revelation of mine and that is an inescapable fact we are all subject to. To me, history is history, we grow through our experiences as we escape the boundaries of what we once were. Whether it be family or long lost acquaintances, I appreciate where we’ve been and where we are. Looking back it’s hard to say we valued the time or small moments the way we should have or could have. To think of the numerous experiences, relationships and friendships I may have missed out on boggles my mind.
As I think of my graduating class of 1991, 65 people in total, I know I missed out on a lot. Maybe it was my own shyness, perhaps the pressure to simply fit in, even the simple need to play by the rules to please my parents. Whatever the reason, I look back now (25 years later) and realize I wish I knew you all better. To be able to take back time with a better eye towards the things that really matter, things would have been different.
When it comes to family I feel much the same way. The closeness, yes, I can cultivate that depth now but it’s hard to accept how much time has already wasted away. Our old foe aging comes into play and before you know it you are developing grey just as your parents before you. It puts things into perspective, age that is. I do wonder what life could have been like had I stayed closer to family, closer to home.
In this past week I have also seen how age and illness can change a person. It can change the dynamic of a friendship and of a marriage. Yet, in all its unpredictability, changes can bring with it something beautiful if we allow it. If we work at it, put in the time, practice patience and show our love for one another it can blossom. There is nothing more touching than seeing someone sacrifice willingly for someone they love.
It’s in these reflections I find a renewed appreciation for my life as it stands today. I value the friendships I have back in North Dakota (and Minnesota) and I look forward to nurturing new friendships with our farm neighbors. Even closer to home, I’m thankful for my husband. At times I get on your nerves and you on mine, in the end, we know we are there for each other. And my son, I hope I’ve shown you a childhood full of love and our closeness can be viewed as a result of that. I look forward to many more years keeping my friends close, family closer and developing a better awareness of those I will meet one day.