Maybe THAT’S what the Mayans were talking about! Smart people if that’s true. :P
TGNYY: The Greatest New Year’s Yet!
Since last Wednesday (one week from today), I have been in Kentucky with some amazing friends. It started when three of my friends and I jumped into a car around 10AM. After driving 12 hours, “playfully bickering” through six states, passing 783 semi trucks (actually that one I made up) and stopping only at four stops for food, gas and… well… you know, we arrived at our destination. We tried to predict on
the way down how much fun we would have, but little would we know how our own human thoughts could comprehend. Even just the enjoyment of one another’s company would become hard to fathom. Some friends were gained, while other’s were reinforced, and even with such amazing things happening all around us every day, the power in friendship would become evident in each of us.
I’m not sure how many people all together at one time… close to 35 approximately. THIRTY-FIVE! In ONE HOUSE! All being cooked for and cleaned up after! We all helped of course. And all though I can’t say there was enough hot water to go around for everyone, there was nothing short of an abundance of love and care for each other.
Here’s an example: Saturday afternoon we all went to the park to hang out. Many of us organized a touch football game — boys and girls alike. Little did we know one, small 3-second play would change the mood of the whole day. As we were defending what would be the last touchdown of the game. The ball was handed off, three of us guys went to push back the receiver from crossing that line and scoring and as that happened an arm came up and popped me just right in the mouth… just at the right angle to break off a tooth I had just repaired earlier last Spring.
It was actually my cousin, one of the ones who came down here with me. He felt terrible, but what was left to do? Oh yeah… there was still a game to play. We finished up the game and decided to end at a draw: 14 to 14. Everyone was concerned and worried about me, but I assured them it was OK and it was only a broken tooth… not a bleeding head (although looking at the medical health care program, bleeding heads appear to be easier and cheaper to fix).
ANYWAYS, later that night I was visiting with some people around a campfire and a friend and my cousin came out and asked to talked to me. We walked to a dark corner of the yard, just talking and then out of no where my friend places a wad of cash in my hand and says “It’s not much, but it should help.” I was so grateful for it and their generous sacrifice. See, it wasn’t JUST them, but EVERYONE here that got together. I couldn’t believe it.
Of course this was New Year’s Eve so we stayed up ‘til Midnight and celebrated with a big bang! Actually… five or six or seven big bangs! One of the guys made dry ice bombs and through them into the pool. It was pretty sweet. We made “green fire” (methyl alcohol and boric acid) and shaped “2012” to look like a digital clock.
We also had people playing the bagpipe and trumpet and shooting bird shot out into the sky. Overall, that alone would have made it one of the most fun New Year’s Eves I’ve ever had!
I had planned to go to the dentist on Sunday afternoon and right as I was rushing out the door that same friend pulled me aside again and said “There’s more.” WHAT? Are you KIDDING?! Sigh. Now this is getting to be ridiculous (In a good way of course). I mean, I love it! I can’t believe it! But WOW! Just wow.
Basically here’s my thought,
(If that applies to you as well, feel free to tweet it out to your friends by clicking the link)
I went to the dentist, but when I left everyone was eating and most left during the time I was gone so I didn’t get to say goodbye, but I really wish I could have. Especially after each of their sacrifices. Insurance couldn’t cover it, so I literally wouldn’t have been able to pay without their help! This made me even more grateful. We often don’t know who our real friends are until we need them the most. But the story gets better…
Later that night the same friend pulled me aside again. “I have one more thing for you Aaron,” she says. She handed me a hundred dollar bill…
Yeah. Those are my thoughts. Have you ever been so taken back, so surprised, so caught off guard that you literally had no words that could describe your feelings, no words that could equal your gratitude for the magnitude of what was given to you? I can honestly say at that moment I was. She told me it wasn’t from her, but didn’t tell me who gave it to me. I couldn’t even think you DID. I had some thoughts, such as maybe her parents or something, but no one was that well off here to give such a generous offer! Besides my friends and cousin who came with me and her, I hardly knew anyone else. Could it be one of them? Maybe… but not likely because they’re all broke like me!
I know money doesn’t make life better. I’ve never put any weight on it, but it does seem to help. And when something like that is given to you, not even face to face, but by someone else expecting nothing in return, it warms your heart. It showed me there really are people out there, some I barely know, that care about me. Once again, I’m now challenged to expand my horizon of friends. To step out of my comfort zone and build more close relationships with those I hardly know. That is how true friends are made… AND kept.
Later she did tell me who gave it to me and I must say, it wasn’t anyone I mentioned above. I was completely surprised at who it was. I owe them a great debt and if I can’t return the favor in money, I will return the favor in friendship and help of any other kind that I’m worthy of.
People like that come few and far between and I met 30+ of them all in one weekend! The time here is not over yet, but it will come soon. I have enjoyed so much the new friendships I’ve made and those that I have continued to build. I’m so grateful for those in my life who truly care and show it in so many ways. There was so much that was shown to me while here in Kentucky, that I didn’t even get close to touching upon in this post. I intend to let that fill me up so that same care can be expressed to others in my life, whether they are close family and friends or those I barely know. And although I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, I do purpose to have that be evident in my life this year.
I could go on forever, but I will just say one last thing…
If THAT’S not the greatest start ever to a New Year, I don’t know WHAT is.