My best friend's uncle died Friday morning. When my husband called to tell me when the viewing would be, I pushed aside all our plans. Last night we stood in line to offer condolences to a widow we've never met. But our never meeting didn't mean we hadn't heard her story--how she'd brought her husband home to die, refusing to put him in a nursing home. I knew all about her.
That's how it is being back home in this small town. Everyone knows your story.
And that's okay.
I went into the bank with a deposit last week. The teller looked at my deposit slip and said, "Curt's supposed to be living in Florida." I soon discovered she'd graduated with my husband and he'd done work on her home.
It's a small town.
I used to think I wanted to be anonymous. I wanted to do what I wanted when I wanted without anyone knowing.
After twelve years of living anonymously, I realize how foolish my desires were. I love walking down the street and running into someone who knows me. I love waving at my new neighbor who offered to let us store our lawn mower in her shed. I really enjoy the unexpected pleasure of meeting a long lost friend in front of the local Wal Mart and sharing prayer requests.
But most of all, I love how the people here care about each other. We arrived at the funeral home at 5PM, the time it started. Already cars filled the parking lot and the line filed out the door. I couldn't help but remember the last funeral we attended in 2005 for my brother-in-law. We shook hands and hugged for hours.
And we left this?
I am no longer standing on the sidelines of life. Today I can say I'm living it again. Are you?