Life is filled with expectations. We expect our children to obey us. We expect to live better than our parents. We expect that there will be a tomorrow. But, in the blink of an eye, that all can change.
There are no guarantees, no warranties; just time. Time. A word often referred to as "flying by much too quickly." Oh, how true.
Twelve years ago I was just graduating college. Filled with energy, dreams, and dare I say a little ego, I happened upon my first place of employment. I quickly became surrounded by a group of people who would turn out to be some of my greatest friends. Of course, I did not know this at the time. But then again, aside from those little nuggets of knowledge acquired in college, what do we really know about life in our twenties? I was daring, rebellious, and eager to move ahead.
During this period, I met Bunny. A nickname of course, but the only name we ever used for her. Bunny and I both shared a love for shopping. Our conversations always included bragging rights about our latest bargain purchases, sale prices, and of course, QVC. But when it came time to talk travel, Bunny sent me to her mother.
I'll never forget entering the travel agency for the first time. I was greeted by Ann. A small petite older woman; Ann was full of surprises, including her energy level. The old cliche: "Never judge a book by it's cover," could be inserted here. Despite age, Ann moved around that office faster than Jane Fonda on caffeine. Not only did she book my trip to Vegas, she took the time to tell me where I should eat, shop and go site-seeing. That was the day, client became friend.
Over the years, our group moved in different directions. There were job transfers, promotions, weddings and new babies. Through it all we did our best to stay in touch.
Our monthly dinners were often our best chance at catching up. It was at one of these dinners that I learned Ann and I shared a love for all things sweet. I once ordered a piece of chocolate cake. Shocked by it's size when it was brought to the table, I knew there was no way I would finish that thing.
"I'll share that with you," Ann replied from across the table. That poor cake didn't stand a chance. With style, Ann finished the remainder of the dessert.
Last Christmas, my husband and I threw a party for family and friends. When I spoke to Bunny, I asked if she would bring her mother as well.
As I was tending to my guest during the party, I was greeted by a bright red poinsettia. Behind the poinsettia stood Ann with the biggest smile.
"Thank you, thank you for inviting me," she shouted. She gave me a big hug then began to mingle with the other guest.
About an hour later, I found her amongst friends, sharing stories. She brought life to every gathering.
Like I mentioned earlier; things can change in the blink of an eye.
Yesterday morning the sun shined brightly, the phone rang, and my heart dropped. The news I received was devastating.
We head out to our destinations everyday with the expectation that our journey will end at home. I do not know all the details, nor did I ask. But on that day, Ann and her husband journeyed out. But to say they didn't return home is just a matter of perspective.
Often, home is referred to the place we lay our head at night.
But what about eternity?
In my mind, Ann and her husband did indeed return home yesterday.
While most of us get a chance to meet new people everyday, I think we can all agree that only a few leave a mark.
Ann, you left your mark. My dear friend, may you fall in love with your new home. And may you have been welcomed like you would have welcomed any one of us........with bright red poinsettias and a slice of chocolate cake.
For My VGNO Friends:
4 Places I Go Over and Over:
1) The Gym (Yes, 6 weeks straight and counting)
2) Out of My Mind (Hey, I have kids)
3) Target (need I explain)
4) Window shopping at Coach
4Places I Would Rather Be:
4) Disney World
4 Things I Have For Breakfast:
1) Egg and Cheese Sandwich
3) Pop Tart (Guilty Pleasure)
4)Donuts (To celebrate going to the gym)