There are many valuable things in life that just can’t be bought. You can list all the things that are important to you and they will all evoke some emotion that can’t be purchased. Yesterday, while on an adventure with Doris, my forever friend, getting her to a yoga class, I had one of those moments.
We were in the back woods of Tennessee on a barely two-lane road and after seeing the numbered mailbox pulled up a steep gravel driveway to what we thought was our destination. After parking, I went up to the door of what obviously had to be the wrong address. A grizzled gray-bearded man opened the door and quickly my assumptions that this was the wrong address were confirmed. Until then, it was all pretty normal.
Doris stood near the car with a whathavewegottenourselvesintothistime look on her face and I was trying not to panic because I had to get back down that driveway which was a sheer drop on one side and treed on the other. No way on earth was I backing down it. On a good day I can’t back down my wide paved driveway in a straight line never mind a long, tiring day down a narrow, step driveway. They only thing to do was turn around in the small space and go back down. With helpful directions from Doris, it was done with little fanfare.
Waiting for Doris to get into the car, I turned and saw the man still on his deck watching us. Rolling down the window, I told him, “Three years in the Marine Corps were not wasted.” After a quiet moment, he replied, “When?”
It was said so quietly and with such import that within I stilled and told him Vietnam. Once again, he said, “When?” I told him and he told me when he had been in the Marines.
For that one quiet moment, we were brothers and there was pride that we shared in having served. For that short moment, a blip on a lifetime of moments, we were comrades. Doris and I met in the Marine Corps and along with our friend, Darlene, have persevered all that life has thrown at us and it has been a heavy load. But when heavy loads are shared with comrades, they become lighter and less important. Comraderie makes life easier and more worthwhile. Treasure the moments.