I’ve been thinking about that phrase. I thought about it while driving for the past two days as we returned home from our vacation in Maine. It was the first trip I have taken in well over a year when I did not feel anxious to return to my home – my house. I felt very sad to leave.
I have tried to figure out why.
One reason is that two of our friends – a couple we have known for over thirty-six years met us there.
We arrived on Saturday at the house at Clarks Point in Southwest Harbor Maine. They arrived on Tuesday. By the time they had arrived, my husband and I had established our routine and true to my experience from our past our friends fit right in, comfortably, no adjustments.
When I first met my friend she and I were trying to figure out what we wanted to major in and do with our lives. She met my husband before I did. She had been in my life when I was dating other people before I met my husband. We had tried to learn to play the banjo together. She is a reader, subdued and calm, prone to heavy sighs and the sharp sarcastic wit. Her husband majored in marine biology. He is not the opposite of her, but is a contrast to her.
I saw pairs of salt and pepper shakers in some of the stores that were “non matchy matchy” pairs. My friends resemble that. They compliment each other very well but are a contrast.
While in college, after I had met the man who is now my husband and the father of our children, my friends younger brother died. I remember going to her house. He died in an automobile accident in Maine. He is buried there.
She has other siblings – one of nine children. Years later there was a second brother lost. Freak accident involving his car and a truck carrying cargo. Two beloved brothers gone.
Her mother is still living. In fact they brought her to visit some of the other siblings that live in Maine. My friend is nothing if not practical, purposeful, thoughtful.
I have not lost a sibling. I do not know what that feels like. I think sometimes my friend needs to talk with my daughter, or maybe as she does for me – listen. She is a very good listener.
The need to call my son occurred on a daily basis. My husband let me drive almost the entire trip. I don’t allow my mind to wander as much while driving and being responsible for passengers. Yet thoughts of our son came and thoughts of our daughter who I wished could have been with us too.
I am going to have to accept that every place on earth is a reminder. It is either a place where he has been or a place where I could picture him being.
I realized while with my friends how much our son would like them. He and my friends husband and my husband would have disappeared somewhere over the rocks to some pool or short climb to reappear flushed with their discoveries. My son would have fixed my friend her cup of tea.
So I guess maybe he was there anyway. So much a part of me and my husband as anything can be.
I wish for everyone someone in their life that though not related to, is as comfortable to be with as our friends are. We take up where we left off.
I don’t know what it is like after this life ends. I hope, oh I pray that when it comes it feels like that. Walking through a door to take up where we left off, to be embraced by the ones we love and have missed so badly.