I bake the ugliest pita breads, and we are never able to open them up so that they become neat pockets to put yummy stuff inside. But my breads are tasty, nevertheless. Fresh out of the oven and with lots of Mediterranean condiments to go along with them I have to say it is a first-class meal. That is what we ate tonight. One of my favorite people in the world stopped by for a surprise visit. Her name in Amparo and she is from Equador. Although she just turned 50 she is, hands down, the most beautiful woman I know. Without going into too much details I can say that she has gone through ugly betrayals and a lot of pain, and she has raised 7 kids pretty much on her own, and that is without hardly any money. And now she is almost done with her education and she is seeing the light at the end of her tunnel and her kids are mostly out of the house and they are all as beautiful as her and as smart as her and they will do well in life, I know it. I look at Amparo and I think: If she could do what she did and still look so beautiful and still be so gracious and generous, then I surely can handle a couple of hurdles myself. I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself if I can’t afford a new pair of cool boots for the winter, if you know what I mean. Life has bigger issues than boots.
Amparo brought with her a young woman from the Philippines that is living with her now. Her name is Luella. Luella came to Norway to work and then almost died one day because her kidney failed. Now she is going to the hospital every day to have machines clean her blood since the kidney is not able to do it, and she is waiting for somebody to donate a new kidney for her. “If I had not come to Norway to work, I probably would have died,” she said. “I could not have afforded this treatment in my country.”
We talked about what is important in life. We were full from the pitas and the lentil soup and the olive pesto and all the other stuff. We were three women from three different countries and we all agreed on one thing: It is wrong when business and activities take our time away, and when all the activities and business replace fellowship and true relationships. Luella said: “My parents used to tell me that it is better to be poor and be close to our family and friends, than to be rich and have no relationships.” I think Luella’s parents were on to something.
Later I went for a run and it was dark, rainy and cold. I looked at the clouds speeding above my head and the silhouettes of the trees on the fields. In a distance I heard the ocean, and I did not meet a soul. “I want true relationships more than riches, and deep fellowship more than surface acquaintances that only tell me what I want to hear and only let me know that their lives are perfect,” I thought. “I think I need to admit that some days when I go running, it sucks and I think I am going to die and there are even days when I stop and walk.”
I came home and read a book for Kristin that is about owls that make right out of wrong and that mend what is broken and that speak only truth.
It has been a day that has taught me something. Taught me to live.