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Thursday, November 11, 2010

No Fix: Just a Sandwich

A couple of days ago a sandwich made a really big impression on me and I just felt like writing about it so here goes...

I was having a really busy work day in the emergency management aspect of my life. I was out checking emergency sites and dropped in to have a quick coffee with a friend. Her life was as chaotic as mine if not more at the time but for totally different reasons. We both started talking as soon as I walked in the door but we are both multi-taskers so just kept talking while getting the coffee poured. Then my friend opened the fridge and handed me an already made sandwich wrapped in saran wrap and ready to go- and had a second one in there for herself- because no one likes to eat alone. She just passed one to me and told me she knew how much I was running around and figured I likely wouldn't have had a chance to eat and might not get one for a bit so "here you go" type thing. We ate and drank and talked. I wasn't there long before work and phone calls were piling up for both of us and I left.

The next morning I was thinking about that sandwich actually when I got an email from her saying "thanks for listening" and thanks for knowing that she didn't need anything "fixed" just needed to be listened too. It seemed ironic to me that she was thanking me for that day when in fact what I had been thinking was that in the middle of the all the things she was juggling and doing that morning she had stopped to make me a sandwich to take care of my basic needs. She didn't offer to make one when I arrived because I undoubtedly would have said "oh don't bother" and in fact she knew what I needed when I hadn't even thought of it. That's just what she is like. I told her that I didn't think anyone ever needs "fixing". We all just want to be listened too. Maybe because one person's fix will rarely work for another person anyway. We all have different realities. It dawned on me that although none of us need a fix- sometimes a sandwich, or a random act of kindness, or a good listening ear can make a big impression.

It also occurs to me that true friendship is that real sense of sharing when we can both walk away from a visit thinking the other one has done something marvelous for us without realizing we have given as much as we have taken.

I am lucky to have a lot of friends like that in my life and for that I am truly grateful. I also realize that my friends are very different and I get (and probably give) different things from each of them. I am also grateful that the universe seems to realize which friend I need at exactly what time!

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