Saturday, November 24, 2012

To the Home of a Friend........

After a very long but beautiful day, my friend Jay finally arrived in Assisi.

Imagine ME, giving directions to Assisi via train from Leonardo Da Vinci airport in Fiumicino!

When I set out three weeks ago, three weeks that now feel like a lifetime ago in fact, I was scared, uncertain, and overwhelmed with the fact that the directions given to me by my good friends here, actually brought me to my final destination.  I arrived at the exact same spot at the exact right time, into the loving arms of Giselle and Mark Stafford.  So, when it came my turn, I mapped it all out.  Over and over.  Emails.  "Do this Jay" no, "Do that Jay" no, "Ignore everything I've told you so far Jay and do it this way......."  JUST-GET-TO-ASSISI and I'll be at the station.

The appointed time came, the train Jay.  The anxiety poured out of every one of my veins like bad wine.  Quando??  My little lifeline, Helen, begged me to calm down, relax.
"He'll be on the next train.  The train schedules have been mixed up all day" offered this sweet little wonder woman pal of mine.  Breathe, relax.  Breathe, relax.  Feel much like being in labor?  Yeah.
What if he got on a train going in the wrong direction?  Breathe, relax.  "Another train will be along at 5:15.  He'll be on it."

When my kids were young, I held the world title for Worrying Mother.  I made sure that they were equipped with our names, our phone numbers, their address, the name of their doctor, his phone number, the name of who to call if these numbers were busy, the name of our lawyer who kept a copy of our wills.....all within easy spotting should someone find them on the side of a road.  When Sara went off on her first adventure, to London at the tender age of not quite 13, she calmed my nerves by telling me that "there is no way I can get in trouble in an airplane Mom".  The Jody Foster film in which she loses her daughter during a long distance flight, had not come out yet so Sara sweetly put my mind to rest if only for a short time.  Subsequent to that successful away from home escape, she's made lots of trips across the ocean and until she became an adult (okay, until she was married), I sat up all night, glued to the T.V. knowing that should there be a plane crash, the Johnny Carson show would be interrupted for the news.

So, the arrival of one of my other most precious possessions, my alter-ego, friend for life and beyond, Jay Shemwell, signaled an episode of expectation mixed with anticipation.  Jay and I have spent time together in Italy before, we've also spent lots of time together in other wonderful places where we have had fun and made memories by the ton.  But, I've been alone here for the past three weeks, thinking about life, beauty, friends, family and the absolute,rock-bottom beauty of Umbria and most especially, Assisi.....and I can't wait to share it all with someone who has many times over passed the test as the second-most easy to be with friend.

So, the second train arrived, just as Helen, honorary "labor nurse" more push and out popped Jay and the wonder of watching a kid on Christmas morning has begun.
Next week, Joe arrives.  Thankfully, he will come via car with me in it from the airport to Assisi and I can't wait, simply cannot.  He loves Assisi but will love MY Assisi even more.

I'm so happy now.  Delighted in fact, to have Jay here.  It's an honor to share a highlight of one's life and he has honored me in a big way, proving again what he has so well in the past that


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