In the 1990’s my life was a struggle. I was unhappy and I did not know how to remedy the situation I found myself in. I had three wonderful children that I loved above all else. I had lost my Grandparents and my mother and I was essentially alone and very lonely. I started attending the church my Mother-in-law attended and there I met the most amazing person. Her name was Kim and she was fun. She made me laugh and she let me whine about the unfairness of my lot in life. That was huge to me. No one allowed me to whine about the unfairness of life. Until Kim.
Kim had a nice mini van and she would pick me up and take me with her on her errands. I was finally free to move about the city. I loved every minute spent with this joyful person. She and I would laugh and carry on until it was time to go our separate ways for the evening. She had her husband and child and I had mine.
One day Kim came to visit and there was my grandmother’s purple vase. It was ugly to me. I do not know why I felt such a terrible reaction to it, but I did. So I was tempted to toss it out, except that it had been my grandmothers. That meant I should be bonded to it as I was to her. I knew this, I felt guilty for holding such negative feelings about an ugly vase.
Kim took the vase home with her and every once in a while over the next few years, the vase would be mentioned and I would shudder in revulsion. “Keep that vase, Kim. I want you to have it.” I would tell her. She happily kept it.
The thing about Kim and I was that when we first started hanging around together we made a pact not to lavish gifts on each other as was at least my habit. I would reward people for wanting to befriend me. I was a pathetic person then. I believe I have changed in the last twenty years. I do not feel so pathetic now.
My marriage fell apart and I moved across the country to lick my wounds with thousands of miles between my past and present. It helped so much. I became a more loving person. I became a calmer person and I became a happier person. I just changed. I took up writing and I found joy.
Twenty years later, I found Kim. She just popped up on Facebook with a friend request and I was so happy. I immediately informed all my children that Kim was on Facebook and they sped to invite her to be their friend too. The gang was back together electronically.
A few weeks have passed and we have been chatting on the phone and on Facebook and we are laughing like it is 1990 all over again. We have shared pictures of our grandchildren and remembered the late night walks that we would use to keep us sane in the old days. The walks that were accompanied by children and a silly cat and would sometimes involve policemen curious about the midnight walkers.
Today, a picture comes across Facebook messenger. There it is. The vase, my grandmother’s vase. It did not make me shudder, I was not repulsed by it’s image. I thought it looked rather pretty. I was surprised. It has grown pretty in the last twenty years. Perhaps, I realized, it had not changed, I had. I no longer was shrouded in negativity, I was no longer angry at the turns my life had taken. I was not unhappy in my existence. That beautiful vase that my best friend has in her home was the only gift I ever gave her. Today I told her when she wanted to send it to me, to keep it because I never gave her anything. Surprisingly she says “You gave me everything. The gift of a life long friend.”
That, Kim I was happy to give you along with my grandmother’s “ugly” vase.