Yesterday I met with two old friends for breakfast. One was in my area for a music festival and one lives about an hour away. It was a 3 hour blab-fest. These are women from 40 years ago, my life in the commune, in the cult. I was about 10 back when it all began, and these women were about 19 and 20. Yesterday I got to hear life from their perspective of those early years. Most of it wasn't surprising to me....some of it I knew already. Lots of sex, drugs, manipulation, religious oppression, irresponsibly wielding authority and power, which resulted in years of living under guilt and shame and feeling like we didn't fit in anywhere. (Think Jim Jones People's Temple) Until we each individually, through various circumstances found our ways to our own places of freedom.
The thing that struck me was that I loved all of those people. I thought they were perfect and wonderful and they were the only real family I ever had. The perspective of a child vs. the perspective of an adult...the realization that they really were all very flawed people. Some were VERY flawed. It wasn't what I had at one time thought it was. That is always surprising to me and makes me a little sad and I wonder what else have I based my life's foundation on, who else have I trusted implicitly that wasn't what or who I thought they were.
We talked about how we all have felt like our lives were boring, just typical, but in actuality....our particular experiences and our resilience and how we have found our way to where we now dwell, makes them quite remarkable.
When ever I get to see people from that time in my life, it is like no time has passed. We pick up right where we left off....minus all of the weird stuff. There is a connection that never seems to dim. One of the friends yesterday said, you all are my family. And thats true. The connections made back then, the experiences shared, all that these beautiful women taught me as I grew up surrounded by them, will never leave me. Those lessons were very formative in who I am today. Flaws, mistakes, and all.
I came home from that breakfast visit to celebrate the 25th birthday of my girl. Big brother drove in to be here, Molly came, all were bearing gifts. My girl asked for cheeseburgers and bacon Caesar salad so we barbecued and ate a big dinner together and had cheesecake for dessert. It was so much fun. A good time filled with peace and laughing, no tension....a gift to us all.