Monday, October 6, 2008
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
11:22:16 PM CDT
I bumped into an old friend from High School on Mother's Day weekend. To me, he looked exactly as he did all those years ago. And at that moment, it seemed like it was only yesterday that I was so young and naive and full of hope and dreams.
We did what I suppose everyone else does when they bump into old classmates, you know the "how have you been?", "who do you still see from school?" It's all an invitation to open a flood gate of emotions.
Very few people around me knew of the hell I had to face in my life back then. For me, it was an embarrassment. I didn't want the other kids to know how hard I was fighting to appear normal. Normal in my mind was a loving family in a stable environment. I felt like a freak.
Oh, I'm sure there were times, like when there was a mandatory performance for Accapella choir and I had to walk 4 miles to get there late because my parents wouldn't take me to school, let alone be there for the performance. I"m sure the other kids were wonderin' what the deal was. Although, looking back, I wonder if I did such a wonderful job at hiding these secrets as I thought I had.
It's a very sad feeling when you believe you are the only person that suffers in this kind of pain. It's a very lonely feeling and I pray to God everyday that my children will never feel that. I continually do everything within my power everyday to make sure it doesn't.
Feelings like these leave you extremely vulnerable and in a hell that appears to have no way out. My salvation came from my prayers and my faith, but most of all, it came from the friends I had around me and their families.
In high school I had a very close friend named Karan. There wasn't anything particularly unorthodox about her family neccesarily, but still there was always love. I"m extremely thankful that her family allowed me to pretty much live with them and never made me feel uneasy or unwelcome. They simply treated me as one of the family, and that was exactly what I needed in my life. When I was there, a lot of the fears went away. The fear of the neighbors hearing my parents screaming at each other, or the embarassement of wonderin' if a friend had heard my mother ranting over the phone in a conversation.
Karan had a way about her. Always calm in chaos, always the light at the end of a dark tunnel. There were lots of other kids that looked up to her like I did, but I think she may have sensed that I needed her most of all. There wasn't anything I couldn't talk to her about, and never did she look at me badly because of the way I felt or thought. Even the most horrible things didn't seem so bad when she was around. It was just her personality, and I'd fair well in my life if I could be more like her.
At one time we lived with Karan's older sister on the west side of town. My running joke of it was that you had to lock the door just to take out the garbage, but the truth was, it wasn't that much of a joke. I know it probably wasn't too smart to go out walking late at night there, but that was always the time for us to share our hopes and dreams. It was almost as if the stillness of the dark, or the shadows of your breath in the fall air had cast a spell of peace upon us. Karan also left me the love of Duran Duran and I can recall spending lots of afternoons spinnin' 45's and thinking of better tomorrows.
When Karan enlisted in the Army and left my life that comfort zone went away. Her family had moved to Kentucky and I haven't seen them since, but every year I send a Christmas card hoping someone will write back to let me know everyone is well. I don't know what ever happened to my beloved Karan because sometimes life carries us away from the things we should hold onto. I only know that there is an emptiness that I carry with me ever since she left. I do know that she married at least once, and she has two children, a girl and a boy. I only hope and pray that she's living in the happiness I feel she deserves.
It never stops amazing me how God brings people into your life when you seem to need them the most. You don't always realize it at that time, nor sometimes do you appreciate the gift, but it always seems to work in an awe inspiring way.