“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold. A circle is long it has no end, that’s how long I want to be your friend.”
This song was on my mind as I reflected on how to put into words the graduation party. I remembered singing it but I didn’t remember where. Apparently (according to a Google search) it was from my tenure in Girl Scouts. I vaguely remember the circle song and hand-squeezing…but only vaguely.
The party was a true representation of the past 10 years. My incredible Mother and a Cousin came to church to decorate and spared no time or expense in the preparation of the décor and edibles. We had quite a spread and I realized again what wisdom comes with age, in terms of hosting these events.
I was busy decorating another room at church for the “baby shower” and they created absolute magic when I returned to check in on them. I will add the pictures later…but I wanted to create the atmosphere verbally first.
It was decked out in red and white (school colors of course) and thankfully quite convenient for a December graduation. My husband would say his school colors are Crimson and Cream…but suffice to say…it worked!
I was able to visit with my aunt and uncle for the first few moments as they arrived with my parents to prep the last of the food…just before guests arrived. My ‘oldest’ friend was also there early to help ‘host’ and greet. She stood in the foyer with me as we greeted in the friends and family.
…then they began to come.
Paul and his family came first. They had spent the morning together ‘site-seeing’ and visiting. We did the obligatory pictures with every member of family and then I headed back to the front.
It was a culmination of those moments in your life when you run into someone you haven’t seen in 6 months to many years…and then…there they are! Children have grown, jobs have changed, moves have occurred, and yet the sense that time has been standing still between visits, hangs in the air. It reminded me of that old game show where you hear the voice of someone from your past and you have to guess who they are and the next thing you know…you are standing in front of someone from years gone by.
Hugs were exchanged in multitude and my cheeks were aching from genuine smiles and laughter. I kept many of them too long in the foyer as we greeted each one prior to their entry into the party down the hall.
The reflections came…I remembered meeting each person (when, where and how) and I thought about what they brought (and continue to bring) to our lives during this part of our journey.
God has been so good to Paul and me with our ‘family’ of friends and with incredibly supportive genetic family as well!
I don’t remember my heart being so full of joy and love in quite some time. I joke about how I’m basically not an outgoing and social kind of person. Greeting is NOT one of my spiritual gifts. I can be pleasant and kind and loving…but standing at a door greeting people has never been my ‘thing’. So this was outside my comfort zone and done out of pure necessity.
Don’t tell anyone this…but I had fun. Perhaps it was because I knew each one of these people on some level. Perhaps it was because of the celebration itself and how full of pride my heart was for my beloved. Whatever the case, the greeting wasn't nearly as hard as I expected.
After what seemed an hour (though probably more likely a half an hour) I made my way to the back to visit some more and play my ‘hostess role’. We visited and laughed and I got to spend some more time with many of the guests.
We then had Paul open the gifts and cards and more laughter erupted as he opened his new ‘hobby’ gift from me and some of our best friends. They gave him golf clubs and several accessories for practicing and I got him “Golfing for Dummies”. I figured that’s exactly what he’d want as the ‘engineer’ in my husband comes out frequently in his quest to understand things fully.
Side note: When he started ‘dieting’ some time ago he bought and READ the “Dieting for Dummies” book so I knew he’d put this ‘potential hobby’ book to good use. I have read many of the “God for Dummies” and “No-Brainer's Guide to Christianity” books and they are both informative and entertaining.
It was an absolutely beautiful, wonderful, much anticipated celebration.
As we sit on the edge of this journey’s turning point, basking in the afterglow of the celebration and in the restful arms of God, we dangle our feet in anticipation (and with such certainty) of God’s rise from the place of rest and leading into the next leg of our journey!
Have an expectant Monday!