Last Wednesday (the 31st), I went over to Deb and Alan's house to hang out, have dinner, get hugs, etc. I haven't been seeing much of them for a long time now, though Debbie and I have made an effort to see each other maybe once a month, even if it's just to chat for an hour or so. She's one of the people I trust and love most in the world, and it's been a gigantic help to me to have her support when life is being so hard on me right now. Just knowing that she's there for me, that she loves me and wants to help in any way she can, means more than I can explain.
I've been going through some old journal entries (and comments on those journal entries) from 2003 and 2005, and I'm a bit puzzled by the extent of the broohaha that happened back then regarding her attitude toward me. She said some uninformed things in 2003, and she had trouble letting go of her very serious concerns about my decisions about my health, but by 2005 she was quite respectfully giving her own opinion (when asked) about the state of mental health treatment in our current health system, giving no judgment of what I'd been doing. It all looked pretty benign. I guess I just wasn't in a good palce, and any little thing could upset me a lot.
At any rate, I'm glad that we've worked things out -- I would definitely make her a much larger part of my life if that weren't made difficult by some complicated circumstances.
Just hanging out in their kitchen while Debbie and Alan prepared dinner, chatting with them, catching up, sitting in my same chair at their kitchen table that I've always sat in for the past nearly 20 years when I'm there for meals, remembering years and years of good times … it was amazing. And just being there in that familiar kitchen full of memories seemed to seriously jumpstart my appetite. I found myself tremendously hungry by the time dinner was ready, and I even asked for some of Alan's famous sourdough bread to go with my meal. Upon eating a slice with butter and recalling how truly incredible his bread is, I even asked if I could take any home with me, and he gave me half a loaf out of the freezer. It was gone in less than 3 days. Every delicious bite was like getting a warm hug from Alan, because food made with love just feels different than food that isn't. At Deb and Alan's house, I get a lot of food made with a lot of love.
Sitting there with them last week, I had so many wonderful memories. For some reason, one of my strongest and happiest ones is of sitting in "my" chair at the table while a crowd of other women who all knew each other, but whom I mostly didn't know, were peeling apples in preparation for making several apple pies for a large party. They were paring these apples and dropping the green lengths of skin into a bowl in the center of the table, and I just started picking skin strips out of the bowl and eating them. The ski of apples is the best part! There was just this feeling of community, caring, and comradeship that suffused the moment, and that's a good example of how I feel in Deb and Alan's kitchen.
So Debbie and I have made an agreement that we are going to make the time to see each other regularly -- preferably once a week. No more of this "Let's do this again soon" or "Email me and I'll look at my calendar" or any of that rubbish. We're going to find a time that works, and we're going to make it happen.
Debbie in my life (and Alan, as well, though he is much quieter and therefore less of an influence) makes my life immeasurably better. She makes the hard times easier; she makes me laugh more often; she asks excellently unexpected and thought-provoking questions; she inspires me to think more clearly and more deeply about my own behavior and opinions (as well as those of other people); it often results in excellent homemade food; and she just plain makes me happy.
So I've got Debbie again, and it makes things good.
Okay. I'm so exhausted that I'm mostly asleep even now as I finish this entry. I'm going to go to bed. G'night, all.