Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Someone to Love

I went out to the lake today. I needed some time alone…in nature. I didn’t quite get that, there we actually dozens of people scattered on the causeway but I tried to separate myself and listened to a little music as I took some pictures of the still lake and the mountains behind it. I thought about a lot of things but my mind wandered across the cosmos. As I prepared to depart I came to rest on a familiar theme, I love far too much.

Throughout the last few years I have let my heart go to a select group of individuals. They have been heroes and have, for the most part allowed and accepted me as the person I am without the expectations of what I should be. I think Lee was the first of these friends. I truly felt welcome in his home and life. It was a very hard adjustment. I was just leaving a very delicate and painful situation with my parents at home. Next came Ryan, he was great. He gave me freedom and encouragement to act in the face of adversity. Jared was a true friend. He was able to share his love and devotion. After that, I felt kind of lonely for some time. Finally I found Charlie.

Charles was the most unusual of friends. He wanted to be with me. He wanted to share his life with me, his trials and successes. He showed me power inside of myself that I didn’t know I had and he saved me from a terrible destruction. We clicked. We served each other and we loved each other deeply. We made time for each other and cared about the things that were important to each other. When summer came Charlie was having a heck of a time securing an internship and I was blessed to find a place where both of us could live together and work together. It was the most amazing friendship which led to the most amazing summer of my life. However by the time November rolled around Charlie had had enough. It was shocking and I was crushed. He screened all my calls and ignored all my texts and emails. Finally, just a few weeks ago, he sent me a short email telling me he was no longer angry with me. It was just as shocking. I had been devastated as I had been unable to share the success of finding a job with the men’s lacrosse team and the pain of discovering I was losing a parent. I told him sometime later that I couldn’t just be acquaintances. I needed a friend, but he had to act. Two days later he called me and invited me to a dinner. When the dinner got cancelled he asked if I would run errands with him. I didn’t drop everything to go right then, though I wanted to and easily would have, but I stood up for my plans and I told him I’d be available later in the evening. We ended up going to Wal-Mart and we had a fairly normal conversation, but nothing too deep. At the end of the night he gave me a side hug in the car and I didn’t get out like I used too…again, though I desperately wanted too. However just as he left I mumbled, “I love you” to which he surprisingly replied, “Yeah! You too.”

Back to the lake today. I love too much and too easily. I don’t go in half-way. I would give anything for my friends. Even after all the pain I have felt by some of the ‘break-ups’ I would never hesitate helping one of these friends in need. But love causes a great deal of pain. Pain I would much rather go without. Is it true that “It is better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved at all”…? I think it is. I’ve thought about trying to control my ability to love, but it happens to be one of the attributes I like most about myself. I don’t want to give that up. I want to be accepted, but I want to love. I want to sacrifice. I want to serve. I want to give my all as Christ has given his all for us. I don’t understand why people are resistant to love at times. If I felt that kind of love, (which I believe I have from all of the heroes I’ve mentioned) I don’t think I’d ever try to give that up or walk away. But for now, I’m going to continue to love and likely this will lead to more pain over the course of things, but I can’t and I won’t leave this part of me behind in my pursuit of happiness and connection. I will keep looking for somebody to love.


*Names have been changed to protect the innocent

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Chase

Facebook has been a fickle friend lately. I have had many problems arise from content and messages relayed over the social networking site. As part of this, I decided to block and remove as friends over 2oo people from my network. Some of those have led to very awkward situations afterwards. However, there has definitely been a strange friendship formed that could prove to be very good.

Chase has been coming out of his shell over the last several months and I’ve connected and related to many of his comments on life, hormones, chemical balance, friendship, love and success/failures. As I have related, I have made several comments on his status updates and likewise he has responded and commented on my posts. We have developed a friendship of sorts even though before today we have never talked face-to-face.

However, today I was left by several friends and retreated to the back of the chapel. As I sat in loneliness, I looked up and Chase was sitting across the aisle and we made expressive content. I decided now was as good a time as ever to approach him, so I walked over and we talked briefly. It was kind of awkward, I’m not gonna lie, but it was good too. It was good to finally talk to a friend. After a few minutes I awkwardly left and talked to Ben and Alyssa. But when Sunday School started up I went back and sat by him.

The chase for a new friend hasn’t ended yet, but I’m hopeful to get to know someone with so much insight and someone who is brave enough to overcome the trials he is fighting in his own life as I battle forward too.

Go Big or Go Home

I have often used the motto “Go Big or Go Home” in my adventures and I think that there is a lot to be said by following this creed. However, tonight I was thinking about it in a recent bout with my mother. I walked in to the kitchen and my dad was cooking and I asked what was happening, he said, “Ask Mom!” I found out a pan of brownies was in the works. Now I love brownies. Probably a little bit too much. But I wasn’t too worried. Oh how little things change.

When my mom first found out that she had terminal brain cancer, during our initial conversation she told me that she was turning over a new leaf…she was going to eat fruits and vegetables, she was going to eat healthy and cut out of her life the sweets and sugar that has dominated her diet for close to 50 years. Initially my impression was, well, you’re dying, so why stop now, you might as well enjoy the last of your time here on Earth. I think she was trying to regain her life in an impossible way. So tonight, when the brownies came out, my dad didn’t just cut the brownies and served them, but took the whole pan and delivered it to the waiting lap of my mother. I asked her if she was eating it all and she protested inviting me to come and have some too. First she tried to cut the pan into three long sections before I stopped her and made her divide the pieces into smaller bites. She served my dad and me two squares as well as herself. As my dad went to take the pan away, she quickly grabbed a third piece, this making her serving close to 1/4 of the pan. I have always had a problem with the way my mom overeats, once yelling at her in a gas station to stop her from buying 5+ candy bars after having already consumed a dozen or so earlier that day. As I tried to take the third piece, all she said was “let me have my brownies.” I went and took the 3rd anyway and she almost burst into tears. This quite frankly infuriated me and I grabbed for the second square which sent her into a scramble with mostly demolished the brownie. After that she squealed and squawked before completely ignoring me. I took the whole pan and my brownies into my room feeling it was the only way to protect them and her. I returned and she gave me the silent treatment for close to 5 minutes as I just stood there looking at her.

It has truly gotten to the point where all she does is go big. Over the last several weeks we have had as many as 60+ people working on our basement to clean out the BIG mess she has accumulated over the last 30 years! Her excuses include, well I haven’t gained any additional weight since my last surgery…I haven’t gotten any more things since the basement filled up…it isn’t all my fault…I’ve been eating lots of oranges, like I said I would…etc., etc., etc. It’s making me sick and I couldn’t eat or enjoy any of the brownies myself at that point. I know this probably sounds ridiculous and like both of us are over-reacting and maybe we are, but it just gets to be too much. I am having a hard time being the parent over here, but that’s all I can do.

If my mom continues to go  big, she won’t have a chance of letting the cancer kill her, it will be something much more gruesome, much more quickly and she’ll be headed home to that great home in the sky.