Last week I had lunch with Gary and his wife, Cherisse. What is really interesting is that I went to college with Cherisse. I actually knew here before Gary did. Cherisse was roommates with another Lisa I’m friends with. This Lisa is really the one person from my college days who has been a fairly regular participant in my life ever since. Others have come and gone, drifted in and drifted back out.
When we were at lunch last week, Cherisse and I shared an interesting story from our history. It was not a particularly fun experience at the time, but now with time and perspective, it’s something we were able to laugh at. In fact, we laughed a lot.
The Reader’s Digest version of the story is that this was the year after I left the school, but Lisa and I had kept in touch. I lived about 2 hours away, but was coming down to the school to pick up Lisa and bring her back to my house to spend a weekend with my parents and me. When I drove down, I ended up bumping into my ex girlfriend. Long story short, that unexpected encounter led to a long-awaited conversation. You know…the stuff exes talk about after the emotional dust has settled. That conversation lasted hours, and beyond midnight. Meanwhile, Lisa sat patiently in her dorm room waiting for my arrival. This was LONG before the days of cell phones or even pagers. So there was no way to know if I was on my way, if I was off in a ditch, or having an emotional pow wow with an ex girlfriend.
Yeah, it was a pretty jerky move on my part. I admit it.
I ended up bunking that night in the dorm room of a former roommate on campus. From there, I called Lisa and gave her a pretty lame explanation of the evening. At that point, she handed over the phone to Cherisse. Let me summarize the conversation by saying this. I didn’t talk, and she didn’t breathe for probably 5 minutes as she tore me up. It felt like an hour, but I think it was about 5 minutes. She ripped me. She never said anything she would or should regret. She just blasted me. I deserved it, and I knew it. Sometimes you just have to take it.
Time went by, and fences were mended. I even attended their wedding a few years later. I had only seen Cherrise a few times in the past 20 years or so. I was definitely holding on to the shame of that foolish night, but Cherisse, to her credit, was long over it. When we recounted that event, it was like talking about a scene from a movie. It’s funny how time has a way of adding perspective to things. It really is like looking at different people, though it was really our own lives.
Now I’m a regular part of Cherisse’s life, her family’s life, and their business. I am in their home fairly regularly. We talked about how the Lord often times circles our lives back to those we may have had difficult times with in the past. I’m thankful that when it happens, people are able to let go of those old things. I am definitely not the same guy I was when I was 21. Yeah, I weigh more, have thinner and grayer hair, but I’m also a man with a lot more life experience who has learned many life lessons along the way. I’ve shared some with you here on Crossing Paths, and I’m sure more will come in time.
Man, if I knew then what I know now. Ahhhh, it’s OK. I’m just happy to be who and where I am today. Can’t wait for tomorrow!