I had a moment last Saturday evening.
A very powerful moment.
A wonderful moment.
And that is saying a lot.
Because in the past two years, I have had some hellish moments. And they just keep coming.
Waves ferocious enough to knock me over. To pull me under. To crush me.
But I am trying to keep my head up.
And swim against the tide.
This moment last Saturday involved a woman who has become so dear to me that words cannot express her value.
I spent the afternoon in her home. My daughter played with hers, and I bombarded her house with my sadness, my anxiety.
You'd think she must be so sick of me. Talk about a downer of a friend.
But she still calls every day. She listens. And every word she says to me is said in love.
After an afternoon of watching football (let's hope there are better things waiting for the Horns next year, BTW), we went to a nearby park with her two kids and my daughter.
I watched my daughter being so happy with hers. I was so grateful for the opportunity to see her being a kid without any worries about autism. Her brother wasn't there for her to worry about, and, every now and then, she definitely deserves that. (Thank you to my wonderful parents for making sure that my beautiful boy was happy and well cared for that day. He couldn't have been in more loving hands.)
It came time to go home. My daughter wrapped her arms around everyone and gave good-bye hugs.
I reached into my friend's car to kiss both of her kids.
And it happened.
I have told my friend before how much she means to me. If she ever needs blood, a kidney, bone marrow, part of my liver .... its hers. And I have told her, if there ever came a time when her kids needed someone to care for them, I would gladly do it.
I meant it. I would do anything for this woman.
But, there was something in that moment, when I reached in and placed my hands on her children's faces and kissed them both.
I felt it. If there was ever a reason when, God forbid, their parents were not there .... and they needed someone ....
I would love these two beautiful children every bit as I love my own.
I am probably one of the LAST people she would choose for a guardian, given my own messy life and multiple problems.
BUT, man, would I love those children.
It surprised me just a bit -- this feeling that I could love any kids as much as I love my own.
But there it was.
A reminder that my heart is still working. And that it is capable of new love, despite all the beating it has taken.
It is a good thing to know.