I lost a friend this week and her passing caused me to stop and reflect over the many ways our lives had woven a tapestry in the last 25 years. We attended the same church while we were raising our children and K often commented that she wished her son would marry my daughter. In later years she just wished her son would marry anyone's daughter! We often tried to fix him up with first one and then another but he was shy and it never worked out. (Looks like he does have a serious girlfriend now. 'bout time!) When I returned to Texas last year K was one of the first to greet me and welcome me home.
There's a group of old friends that go out to eat every Sunday night after church and K and her husband were always there when she felt physically able. We often laughed and talked about events from our past and she was an appreciative audience of my silly side.
Driving home from visiting with K's family the other night I remembered something that made me laugh out loud. Another of my embarrassing moments I had not thought of in years!
Shortly after my ex and I divorced, the kids and I were invited to join several other families that were camping over the Labor Day weekend. These other families had trailers, campers, RVs, etc and were very experienced. K's daughter and new son in law came out for a day and brought their ski boat that could easily hold 8 adults or a dozen kids! Throughout the day, everyone was in and out of the water, having fun skiing and Mike patiently took a group out, brought them back and headed out with another load.
When the big innertube was tied to the back, I decided to take some pictures of my kids being bounced across the lake. Soon it looked like too much fun to pass up and the teens reluctantly let me take a turn. I had gone on that run as the only adult supervising the young ones while Mike drove the boat and had not intended to get wet again. I had changed into clothes that were the mode of the day, jean shorts and a big shouldered tshirt. (It was the early 90s and it was the days of bangs that defied gravity and designer tshirts in every color with coordinating earrings the size of half dollars. Anyone remember those?)
My young teen took pictures that preserved his mother making a fool of herself and after a few batterings from the wake, I had raccoon eyes from my mascara running and I looked like a drowning cat. But I was having a blast and laughing so hard at my feeble attempts to stay on and "ride the waves." Finally, I lost my grip and Mike dutifully came back around to pull me from the lake.
As he trolled up slowly so that I could swim over and climb aboard he tried to say something but he was a bit tongue-tied and stammered that he thought I had "lost something." Mike pointed next to me in the water and there, a few feet away, were two massive shoulder pads that had worked their way out of my oh-so-chic shirt and past the lifejacket. They were the flesh colored foam ones that were large and rounded on one end and tapered to flat on the other end. I could tell he was embarrassed, not certain of what he was witnessing from this friend of his mother in law. I scooped them up laughing, tried to squeeze out the water and show him, "They are just my shoulderpads!!" With a beet-red face, he just nodded his head, "Yeah, okay." and turned away.
After Mike and his new bride headed home that evening I shared the story with K and the other adults around the campfire. No one enjoyed my tale more than K. She would be pleased that I remembered and shared it here.
16 hours ago