Last Friday night we drove into Spanish Fork Canyon for family night at Mark's scout camp. (Mark had a sunburned neck and nose and arms and legs. He got zero sympathy from his mother who sent him with a hat and sunscreen. Mark remember that part where you are super white and have red hair?)
It was great to see that kid though. I think he grew while he was there. Can a sunburn prompt growth?
When we were driving into camp, I saw Amy, who I knew in college, sitting on the grass. I pointed her out to Adam and he agreed that was her. Then I doubted myself because she looked so young. Then I kept seeing her from a distance while we were getting the dinner ready (Adam and I lucked out and were on the food committee...don't be jealous!) and I was convinced it was her. Finally, everyone was served and I went and found Amy.
I said, "Are you Amy Kondris?"
She stared at me, trying to figure out who I was, recognizing me, but trying to place me in the chronology of someone who would know her maiden name.
It all came tumbling back to her and we talked and talked and talked. We reported on college friends who are still connected with us. We tried to remember the names of people. I met her husband and kids and introduced her to our kids. She gawked at the size and age of Braeden and said he reminded her of Adam. We had a marvelous time reconnecting. We live in the same stake!
We told each other a brief synopsis of our lives. We've both have had little blips of unemployment and heartache in life. She told me about some of the friends she still is in touch with and about some of the good and hard times they've had.
It made me happy to see her, to reconnect and remember.
Later I was thinking about the old friends she mentioned, people I hadn't thought about in years. I thought about the college friends I am still in touch with. They also have had hard things happen at times.
Last weekend when Enoch and his family were in town, we all met up with Ammon and his family at a restaurant that is managed by one of Enoch's high school classmates. It was fun to see him. I was catching up with him and I asked him about his older sister. A shadow passed over his face and he told me that his sister had passed away a year and a half earlier.
I felt terrible.
I guess what it all makes me realize and remember is that life can be hard. The older we get, the more battered we can become. There are no guarantees in life and if you think someone else has a perfect life, you don't know them well enough. For that reason, I want to be kinder. I want to worry less about myself and give everyone around me a break.
Mostly I want to get to the point where I don't have to keep reminding myself of that.