Mike and I just returned from a road trip of a 1,000 miles round trip from Gulf Shores to Florida helping a veteran friend and his family relocate. Since he wasn’t able to drive, both of us drove in separate cars with his family and his stuff. We are tired but happy.
We just left them returning from the beach community where they are resettled to our home where we are preparing a small Easter celebration dinner. I walked on the beach with his wife; we talked with his nearby new neighbor and Mike and he went shopping for a few supplies at Walmarts. We felt good and they looked very happy when we left them. Their location is just across from the beach near a wonderful little coffee shop and a trolley nearby to get around. We had bought a small desk for their son which I found through a facebook sale site. Mike fixed it up with small wheels to make it mobile and we rummaged through our home for extras we could supply.
That is what friends do for one another. He is my husband’s best friend from the Military. I have had maybe one good friend in my life who would do the same for me as Michael did for him and his family: drive a long distance to pick them up and help them on their journey. What did the trip teach me? I initially was very much a skeptic about driving a long distance. We stayed overnight in a very cheap hotel in Pensacola which allowed pets, so we could bring our pug. The room was sketchy as were the characters but it was affordable and one of the few which allowed pets. My anxiety increased as I fell asleep remembering my first days surviving my solo trip to Florida over a decade ago on my own.
In the end, as my husband and I purchased a small tray of cupcakes this morning for their son’s fifteenth birthday and we picked up a nice tray of deli meats, it was the right decision. As his wife and I walked along the beach this morning confiding our anxieties about the trip, and her new delight in the location near the VA Hospital which he will be able to visit by trolley and bus…I knew it was the right decision. I also knew that I was sad that I lost the one friend who would have driven the distance for me. I let her go because of some differences which were major or so it seemed. But then I had the new found realization that although his wife and I were very different people that didn’t mean that she would ever forget the kindness we extended.
We might not have shared a similar life experience but we shared a time of need and supplied the help. We enjoyed our Easter and know of another family who are happy with their day.