Sunday, September 9, 2012
My Oldest Friend And A New Life Experience
In case you all haven't noticed, I have been on this quest to try new things.
I mean, variety is the spice of life, right? These new things I've tried...they've mostly been boring things. Things I can do from home or include my family in.
Trying new foods, science experiments...learning to whistle with my fingers. (which will be a really useful life-skill if I ever master it)
This week, I recieved a phone call from my oldest high school friend, Clint.
Before I tell you what the phone call was about, I feel like I need to tell you about Clint.
Clinton Randolph Hays.
My oldest friend. The first time I met Clint we were in seventh grade, and I was crying.
He leaned across to me, pushed his glasses up on his nose and whispered, "Hey, I didn't know if you knew this already...but you're crying and it's kind of loud.If you could just be a little less loud....that would be great."
I looked up, saw this serious looking face peering at me from behind his wire-rimmed glasses and then laughed.
Those of you who know me, know what kind of laugh I'm talking about.
I did my scary Phyllis Diller/donkey laugh. He then proceeded to tell me that it takes more muscles to cry than it does to smile, and "Trust me, I am an expert on being lazy."
That day solidified our friendship. From that moment, we were the best of friends. Now, I'm not going to say that we spent every waking moment together, talking about the intricacies of the Universe and spilling our guts to eachother every day because...Ewww.
Who does that?
We had developed the kind of friendship that could survive the passage of time, and weather through life changes. We didn't have to talk on the phone everyday or see eachother all of the time.
During senior year of high school, our lives were so separate.
I was busy working, and readying my escape into the big-person world. I was engaged.
Clint was working, but he was also taking his time to experience high school. Delighting in the joys of being an eighteen-ear-old guy with all of the potential in the world.
Our lives were different, but we recognized the differences and we just...didn't care.
We loved eachother for who we were, and how we enriched one another's lives; not for where we were or how we spent our time apart from one another. Sometimes, the only communication we would have in the day was a high five, delivered as we passed in the hall; Clinton's long arm snaking through the traffic of people, extending just enough to reach my short one.
It wasn't much, but it was enough.
Now, here we are, nine years later.
We've kept in touch through phone calls, dropping cards in the mail and posting silly photos on one another's Facebook walls.
Clinton has been there for every stage of my changing life. He was there for my wedding, my pregnancies, the births of my children and my birthdays. Always ready with a funny story or a Mother's Day greeting. Always returning my calls, or calling me when he needs advice. At the hospital when my son had surgery, getting us food and lightening our pressed spirits.
I think the thing that sticks in my memory the most is when my Granny passed away.
I had just opened the new jewelry store in Durant, I was working seventy hours a week and when Granny died...I just didn't have my wits about me to call anyone. The day of my Granny's funeral, I remember turning to grab some Kleenex , and...there was Clint.
He was there...without a phone call, letter or visit. He was just there.
I could wax poetic from this moment until the day I die about what a marvelous human being Clint is, but it would just make his head swell to unbearable proportions and...then his beautiful girlfriend might have to kill me.
Speaking of Rhiannon, I must be honest...
I didn't think it was possible for there to be anyone in the Universe that was as equally wonderful as Clint. I mean...guys, he's just good. My opinions on that were eviscerated when he introduced me to Rhiannon. The first time I met Rhiannon, I thought, "Well....she just might be one of the prettiest girls I have ever seen up close." We met, went out to dinner , and as we ate our meal, I couldn't help but notice the little, silent things they shared:
She pushed a napkin his way when he got food in his beard.
He began telling a story, and when he forgot the ending... with a single hand motion, she picked up where he left off.
I knew then...he'd found the one.
I don't think I could have hand-picked someone who was a better match for him. Clinton and Rhiannon: two of the most lovely human beings I have ever had the privilege of meeting.
This week, I recieved an unexpected phone call from my friend. He called to tell me that he and Rhiannon are engaged to be married.
I ,of course, let out a shriek that was at such a high octave, it's possible only dogs heard it.
Then...my oldest friend, gave me an opportunity for a new life experience:
He asked me to marry them.
Yes. You read that correctly. He didn't ask me to say a few words, play the part of photographer for his big day or ask to borrow my children for the ceremony.
He. Asked. Me. To. Marry. Them.
Through the tears, I managed to say, "Wow...I've never done that before....Yes...Yes, I think I can do that."The more I think about it, I'm wondering if I'm going about this new experience thing the wrong way. Should I actively seek out these experiences, or should I just wait for them to find me?
Either way, this experience will not only be something new...it is one of the greatest privileges of my life.
For the new life experience that awaits me, thank you.
For being such amazing friends, and a lovely hand-picked addition to my hodge podge family....I love you guys.