It's so important.
Yesterday we had friends down from the country to visit us here in the city. It was the first time they were to see our new stomping grounds, to see me in my power chair, and to get a glimpse into our new lifestyle. We're 'tea' friends. I've known Belinda for a very, very long time. I've known Susan for a long time. We meet in places like Starbucks for tea. We chat, we laugh, we share time with each other. I met both Belinda and Susan through work, I'm not sure how they met but I know they've known each other for a terrifically long time as well.
We got ourselves a table at a coffee shop that has tables that wrap around the escalators going up and down. From that vantage point you can see people everywhere. It's wonderful for people watching and a perfect place to relax and enjoy tea, coffee and treats. So we did.
And we laughed.
We told stories. Shared memories. Talked about kids and grand kids. At date squares. Drank tea. And laughed.
It's nice to have friendships that pull you out of the flow of time. Friendships that make you stop, give you perspective. We can all get so caught up in the seriousness of living, the burden of making a living and the stress of making a life, that we forget, simply, to laugh. Yeah life is hard. Yeah living is tough. But, isn't it kind of funny too.
When we first arrived, I sat in my wheelchair and held the table as they went off to get the drinks and treats. If I was noticed at all, I was noticed as a disabled guy at a table alone. Minutes later surrounded by friends, conversation and laughter, I was one of the people at a table that others looked at and thought 'Aren't they having fun.'
I'm not sure how they felt as they drove home but both Joe and I felt a good kind of tired. Being tired from laughing feels way different than being tired from worry. And you know what, I slept like a baby last night.
Except of course, I pee'd in the toilet.