Monday, May 19, 2014

The Day That Should Have Sucked

I know some great people.  Here is a story about three of them.

Wednesday should have sucked.

I got a short night of sleep. I wasn't in the mood to work. I had what the professional people at Mayo call an "exceptional" patient (i.e. draining and difficult to work with) and when I took my car into the shop that morning, what I thought was going to be a one hour, $150 tire change turned into a $1500 bill and a 24 hour period without my car (during which I needed to get to and from work somehow).

Wednesday was my favorite day last week.

My dear friend Gretta did NOTHING but serve me all day.  First, she woke up earlier than she normally does just so we could go out for breakfast before my shift started at work.  Sweet.  My plan was to drop off my car, let them change my tire while we were at breakfast and then pick up my car before my shift started.  But when I dropped my car off for said tire change, it became clear very quickly that my car was going nowhere fast.  I made a last minute call to Gretta who happily drove out of her way to pick me up and take me to breakfast.


We sat at breakfast for close to two hours laughing, eating and talking about weddings and communication and friendship and how hard it is to change our behaviors even when we know they are destructive.  An altogether delightful and invigorating conversation with this gracious, funny friend.

I mentioned my unfortunate car situation and she immediately offered to pick me up after my shift (at 11:30pm).  So we said "see ya later" and I headed to work.

A few hours later, as I tried to take care of car issues over email in the midst of a busy day with an "exceptional" patient, I realized that due to my earlier-than-usual morning, little miss Penny was going to have a VERY long day in her kennel.  I texted my helpful neighbors and neither one was available to help.

Enter Gretta.

Ten minutes later she is headed to my house last-minute to rescue my poor pup from her full bladder.

I rode the high of our breakfast convo all day and got through my potentially crummy patient situation with more energy than I normally would have.  And then, when my shift was done, 15 hours after she answered my first cry for help that morning, here came Gretta and her fiancĂ© John to give me a ride home.

Great, right?

So there I am in their car telling John about all of the ways Gretta had served me that day, trying to express how blessed I felt, and THIS happens:

The other half of the backseat flies open and there is an arm reaching out of the trunk.


So I scream.

Not gasp.


And then I realize it's Erin.  In the trunk.

Laughter ensues.  Obviously.  And we ride the rest of the way home talking about our days, acting as if it is totally normal that I have to look behind me into the trunk any time I want to address Erin.

We arrived at my house much too soon.  I can't exactly explain why, but sitting there in that car with those dear people was one of those moments in life where my joy felt so palpable and intense I was almost afraid to feel the full extent of it.  I was tempted to let the sadness start creeping in - Gretta leaves Rochester in two weeks when she gets married and Erin's future in Rochester is unclear - but I'm done with missing out on what I have now because I'm too busy thinking about what I've lost or what I never had in the first place.  So I just let the intensity of that happiness creep in and I sat there absorbing it.  In fact, I told them I wasn't ready to get out of the car - that I wanted to sit just a few more minutes - and these three lovely, tired people served me once again by sitting there (well, Erin wasn't sitting so much as laying) in my driveway for just a few extra minutes letting me feel happy.

"Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are."  -Marianne Williamson

Yup, I like these ones.