Yesterday as I sipped on my Starbuck’s coffee and ate my favorite thing to go with it, gracious thoughts about my friend “Ms P” entered into my mind. I met her around 2006. Most people I met that year were going through some crisis of one kind or another. She came to me for advice, or maybe just to talk. Talk she did. She was bright, funny, fun, and always fancy free. She was one of the only people I had ever met who truly had a child like spirit, vulnerable, trusting, and had a wild curiosity about so many things.
She especially loved the spirituality I brought to her life. Ms P had a craving to know everything and anything I could tell her. Telling her was always fun and usually met with wide opened eyes and a jaw that enthusiastically dropped. She was a mix of sensitive spirit and wide eyed optimism wherever she went. I remember her as one of my greatest fans, if ministers could have fans. The only thing I could see that she did not like was being told “no” because the phrase “you can’t do that” was just not in her vocabulary. For her, trying was mandatory if it was something she really wanted. I often wondered why she came to meet with me. Maybe she just needed a friend who would understand her.
Sometimes I thought she was a bit self centered but actually as I look back it was in a good way. I wish I would have looked after my own desires a little more carefully back then. I might have tried more things with a child like optimism. I think one of our greatest faults as people, sometimes, is to not realize all of what we deserve to have. Why do we listen to our inner tapes that repeat “I can’t” more than “I can”? Why do we care so much about what others think of us and leave our dreams sitting on the sideline for fear we wont’ be accepted?
As I look back, maybe Ms P taught me more than I taught her. I can’t explain it, but I think I felt a soft nudge from her as I sipped my Starbuck’s coffee. Words entered into my heart, “You can do this”. I could not help but smile because the memory of hers is such a bright one. We had lost contact for awhile. I suggested something she should not do. That was really not acceptable to Ms P because she went with her heart and no one could tell her otherwise.
I’ve been thinking that maybe a good way to honor a person’s memory is to learn from the goodness they brought to us. I loved her freedom, and her ability to go for what she wanted regardless to what others thought about it. She lived with a great deal of zeal and enthusiasm and it was as contagious as her laugh. She would love that this blog post is about her. There were some very tender vulnerable spots she carried, but mostly she loved being the center of attention. Maybe it was her way to make up for what she thought she lacked. Looking on from the outside one would never feel she lacked anything at all.
We all hide behind one thing or another, but Ms P chose her optimism and child like freedom to hide behind. Now that I take another look at her, it was probably her very best choice.
Loving you from here Ms P,
Pastor Jenine Marie Howry
**Photo credit from Party City. Ms P would love that!