I am not a fan of the movie, Michael. It was dark, sad, and depressing. Travolta’s Michael was nothing like the Archangel in my head. But that dance. You remember it. Chain of Fools. Oh man. Every woman remembers that dance.
I got to thinking about the title to that song. Chain of Fools. How our lives are one long chain, and the people in it are the links. Some, like the lyrics say, are weak, others are strong, but whatever they are, they are meant to be a part of the chain that makes up our lives.
Years ago I worked with an adorable towheaded, curly haired girl with blue eyes. She had a cherubic face and translucent skin. She looked like a fragile, porcelain doll.
She was a great nurse, and a great friend. We were doing some pretty serious work at the bedside, all us girls on 4 South. We took care of the sick and the dying. But, we were also young, and my friend, with her cherubic face, had a naughty side, not naughty in a bad way, but in a fun one. She had a beautiful smile and an amazing laugh. I loved her spirit.
We shared many weekend trips together. We went camping once before she got married–awkwardly pitching a tent, throwing in whatever her mom gave us to take, and sitting around laughing, talking, and dreaming while drinking cheap wine.
Cheap wine led to outdoor potties, you know the squatting type. Her most sage advice to this day was, “Don’t ever pee down hill from someone else who is peeing.” Not a good squatter as it was, I thought I would die laughing and land in said pee.
We learned another lesson that night. Don’t leave your pup tent unzipped, because it will fill up with daddy long leg spiders. Arrrgh.
There were three of us on that camping trip, and we all slept in the back of my 74 Orange Vega Hatchback.
When I met Rick, I was smitten by this bad boy who had captured my heart. But, I was a level-headed young woman with dreams and plans, and a bad boy didn’t fit into them. One night she and I closed down a local joint with a bunch of hospital friends. On the way to her apartment (she was a newlywed) I was talking about Rick and she said, “Bonnie, I’ve never seen you happier since I’ve known you than when you were with him, and have never seen you so miserable since you have been apart.”
I sat in my Vega at 2 in the morning with my friend, and thought about the last conversation I’d had with him two weeks before. He was falling in love and I wasn’t ready, and he said he wouldn’t accept anything less and I was to call him if I decided that I would commit to a love relationship.
My friend said, “Come on, call him!”
“But it’s 2 in the morning!”
She and I tiptoed into her apartment so we wouldn’t wake up her hubby, and she took the phone off the hook and handed it to me. I dialed the number and he picked it up on the first ring, and said, “I knew it was you. I’ll meet you at your house.” Click! And even though he had to come in from the city, he still beat me to my house out in the farmlands and from then on…well, our history and our future all borne from the encouragement of a friend.
A couple years ago, this friend and I met up and had a lovely lunch. She’s not changed at all, she is a grandma now (soooo jealous) and we stay in touch via Facebook (seriously one of the greatest inventions of all time). I consider her a pretty strong link in my chain because of how she encouraged me that night.
Those moments happen and we have no idea that they are coming, or the impact and power they will have on the rest of our lives. To her it was a conversation and astute observation — to me it was a beginning. She is a strong link indeed.