Three friends went to dinner last evening after not seeing each other for a few months. They fell easily into conversation, drove the waiter nuts (probably) because they were so caught up in discussion of their lives they forgot to look at the menu causing him to return several times to inquire if they were ready to order. Even after their wine glasses and plates were emptied and cleared away they lingered over mugs of ice water until they were the only patrons left and the music was turned off; as is always the case when they meet.
It’s been over 22 years since the three friends were brought together by their youngest children at early intervention therapies. They have two children each, the first borns typical in development and the second borns with developmental challenges of varying degrees. They have seen each other through the many emotions of parenting both special needs and typical children, sharing each one’s triumphs and setbacks. When one of the children succumbed to her disorder at the tender age of 16 they walked hand in hand through the darkness of grief and keep the child’s memory alive still. Although they come from three very different backgrounds, and would never have met if not for their children, they feel a kinship which supersedes dissimilarity. Emotions can be a powerful bonding agent, and is a large part of what keeps these three together.
When we feel an emotional connection with someone, it doesn’t matter what the details of their individual situations are. The details give us something to discuss; differing viewpoints to consider as we all try to figure out this crazy life we are given. It’s all part of being human and if we find others who can be our companions on the road it’s beautiful.