I want to tell you about My Friend Gail.
After the wedding was over, I headed straight to the Marina where the Wedding Reception was to be held. I wandered around, taking pictures, checking the place out, praising God for being able to come support my friend, yet feeling lost because I knew nobody but the Bride. I was content to hang by myself, but being around people who mostly knew each other and being the outcast of the group [in more ways than one], I knew I was being watched and that creates a funny feeling in me.
I finally decided to try to find stuff to do to be helpful. Initially I was just wandering around the area, looking for things to pickup, straighten and th elike. I finally went and asked a lady [who ended up being Gail] what I could do to help. She directed me to someone else. This lady couldn't think of anything I could do. I ended up just standing near so that I could be put to work. I helped with arranging tables. Putting ribbon on the cake tiered plate. Arranging bright orange carnations between the cupcakes. Moving stuff from one table to another when they needed that table for the sound system. When all the tasks were done, I went and sat on the wall, out of site, near the edge of the covered pavilion.
It was while I was sitting here that Gail came and joined me. We made small talk. It didn't take three minutes and we were talking about God, and no, I didn't start it. She did. She then introduced me to the Brides Mother. We all chatted for a bit and then we split up.
I stayed where I was and Gail joined me again in a bit. I asked her if she wanted to pick a spot to sit. She agreed. We started visiting again about God while we were waiting for things to get on a roll. In trying to learn about my new friend, I do what I always do. I ask questions.
Where do you live? Are you married? Do you have kids?
I learned she lived in Estes Park. She did the flowers for the wedding, to which when she learned I love working with flowers and have done several weddings myself, she wished I had been helping her. Without realizing it, I asked loaded questions. She was on her second marriage and her husband wants out. She doesn't. She was wearing sunglasses, but couldn't keep the tears back that spilled down her cheeks. I told her I was sorry. Truly sorry. Tears spilled down mine too. We got the strangest looks from people for sitting at a table all by ourselves and crying like fools at a wedding, for crying out loud! I again apologized for asking such general questions that were hitting a tough spot in her life, something that was hurting, something that she may not have wanted to share with me, a total stranger. She said no. I said, yes Gail, I didn't mean to dig into your life to cause pain. She said no. I asked if today [the day of the wedding] was hard for her in light of her circumstances. She said no, it is good for me. It has reminded me of the vow's I made to my husband. I still mean them. I still want them. I still love him. She shared how she has approached this lady, whose friendship and business partnership, though simply just that, has come between her and her husband. In her attempt to try to find a way to mend the relationship and to try to resolve things, she didn't just do this once, she did it twice. Nothing has changed.
Wow! I thought I was nervy. I thought I had courage. I thought I have faced some hard stuff? This chic was not going to go down easy.
We then got in line to eat. Our conversation continued and she now asked me some questions. I answered all of them. She learned my story in an abridged five sentence version. If we had been back at the table, not sandwiched between guys in line, I might have shared more, but I couldn't. Not there.
When we got back to the table and our conversation continued the entire time we sat there, we were never at a loss for something to talk about. She told me more of her story. She let me know that she needed this. She recommended books to me. We became instant friends. I asked if she was on Facebook [because you know how addicted I am to it and absolutely love to connect with every person I meet]. She asked for my phone number. We promised to stay in touch. She then felt it was time for her to go and we hugged and parted ways.
She hadn't been gone 30 minutes when I regretted that I didn't get my picture with her, my friend. I texted her telling her so. The sweet lady who sought me out because I was sitting alone, yet, it was me she needed to talk to. It was me she needed to share her story with.
Why did God have us meet? I don't yet know, but I know this very much, he wanted us to! I pray that I encouraged her, in some small way, even if I can't relate to her struggle in marriage, not having a man of my own, I can relate to pain. I can relate to hurt. I can relate to intense struggles. I can relate to the fight to survive for life. I can relate to God becoming your everything, completely your every living breathing waking existing life motivating substance.