Amy, Linda, Char, Class Reunion, and Bob Seger

I had a conversation recently with a young, newly married friend who told me she wished she could know everything God had in store for them.
I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.
On the way home, my iPod shuffled to a song I forgot was loaded. Don’t you love when that happens?
Makes you smile or takes a bit of your breath away.
A couple hours later the invitation to my 35th (WHAT????) high school reunion appeared on Facebook.  I picked up my iPod and listened again.
The familiar guitar/piano riff started…and I thought of my young friend.
It seems like yesterday. But it was long ago… 
Thirty-five years? It can’t be true. My band sweater still fits. Okay, it is a bit tight. But you get what I mean.
I see my friends on Facebook and at the grocery store – and if I close my eyes, I can still see us in the cafeteria, on the basketball court, playing in the marching band…
Caught like a wildfire out of control, til there was nothing left to burn and nothing left to prove
Crazy kids.
We thought life would only get better and easier.  And we thought we could control it all.
Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then…
I think of my friend Amy Horne. She recently marked her 20th wedding anniversary. “Celebration” is a bit strong, under the circumstances. What would she have done of God had told her in 1992 that four months shy of 20 years of marriage, her beloved Tommy would be called to live with Jesus? 
 Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then…
I think of my friend Charlene Shaw. She would rather be celebrating 25 years of marriage than preparing for divorce court after enduring her husband’s numerous affairs. Would she have made different choices in 1987 had she known it would come to this?
 Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then…
I think of my friend Linda Kalafatis. She devoted her time, her energy, her heart to Ohio State Buckeyes Softball for 16 years. She won more games than any Buckeye softball coach ever has and probably ever will. She put life into the program, made it successful, groomed young women into students of life, as well as athletes. Then she was fired. Would she have made a different choice in 1996 had she known her loyalty would be rewarded this way?
Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then…
I think of my dear friend Nancy who is battling cancer for the second time, of my beloved sister Kelly who had her son ripped from this world at 19, of my financial situation that hasn’t been resolved for 3 years. Every person from my class, every person I know over 40 could tell a story just like this.
How about you?
Who  or what comes to mind for you? What is on your “That isn’t what I expected” list?
No, my young friend. You don’t want to know what is ahead. God has a reason for only showing you a few steps at a time. You will know when you need to know.
Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then…
Life gets easier?
Yea…that’s a lie.
It never does. In fact, I think it gets harder.
But it does get better – maybe because we have better tools. Maybe because we learn.
Well those drifter’s days are past me now, I’ve got so much more to think about 
Deadlines and commitments, What to leave in, what to leave out…
We do learn, don’t we? Just not what we thought we would learn.
We learn that people die too soon or they get sick, people promise to stay then choose to leave, employers are unfair, money causes grief, blah blah blah…
But we also learn that God is good, that life is tough but family and steadfast friends help us be tougher, that we may lose speed and mobility and hair, but we don’t have to lose heart.
Thirty-five year reunion? No big deal. I am happier, smarter, wiser, more confident, more ME than I was in 1977.
Not because life got easier.
Just because I learned the keep moving- and keep smiling- in the storm.
I’ll bet you did too.
Against the wind 
I’m still runnin’ against the wind 
I’m older now but still runnin’ against the wind 
Well I’m older now and still runnin’… 
Against the wind 
We will talk again soon!

BP 🙂