I like nothing more than to be present for the little events in one’s life that don’t get the recognition they deserve. When people think of events that matter in a person’s life, they think of something like a wedding. I would rather be the first phone call (or even text) when they become engaged though than just another guest at a giant wedding. I would rather be there during the anticipation of the phone call on whether or not they accepted your offer than for a housewarming party.

Matt and Melinda were over at our house after they put an offer down on their’s. I remember the anticipation of our phone call like it were yesterday and seeing it happening for someone else made me happy I was a part of it. What makes you a part of someone’s life? Is it being there for the big events: the weddings, graduations and birthdays? (Or does that make you a relative?) Or is being a vital, irreplacable fixture to someone mean being there when no one is taking pictures and everything isn’t smiles and giggles?

Those people who show up for events every half year or so only hear the cliff notes version of our lives; the glossed over part containing, “we’re doing good, working, bought a house, maybe planning to have kids one day.” Those people who know you know the anxiety you felt about putting in your two weeks’ notice, or just how pissed you were when your car broke down or how worked up you got over who won a reality show. And I like to be that person. I love to see humans in their natural state, not as an observer, but as a participant in their lives. A good life means a few people also want to be a part of your’s.

I believe that when all is said and done, all you can do is show up for someone in crisis, which seems so inadequate. But when you do, it can radically change everything. Your there-ness…can be life-giving, because often everyone else is in hiding…your being there says that just for this moment, this one tiny piece of the world is OK, or is at least better. – Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies

2 thoughts on “there-ness

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  1. ann lamott is great. have you read traveling mercies?

    we are glad to have you as part of our life!

    i always hate talking to people about my life, when they aren't there for it everyday. life is life, how can i explain the last 6 months of my life to you in this 20 minute phone conversation… and how can you understand?


  2. i had a college professor who insisted we read all things Anne Lamott. Traveling Mercies and Bird by Bird were my first introductions. I like her dreadlocks.


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