It was a sharp contrast to the twinge I felt today when I started to check my door for an Avon catalog and realized: I don't have to do that anymore. The friend that delivered my Avon is wrapping up her business this week. There won't be any more catalogs to check for. No more phone conversations placing orders, or Wednesday evening chats when she makes her delivery. Sure, she lives close by, but what kept us in regular contact is gone. And I miss her already.
There's something about this time of year that reminds me of people that have touched my life. I know there's a Celtic belief that the "spirit world" is closest to our own at Halloween. I'm not sure - maybe it's so. After all, we did find ourselves talking about a member of our class that passed away a couple of years ago. It seems we've all had instances that reminded us of her this past week. I also find myself thinking of my maternal grandparents a lot this time of year as well - no doubt because my granddaddy had a birthday on October 7 and passed away on October 23.
Certainly, we miss those that have passed out of our lives, whether through death or through a change of seasons that separate us from them. Life is change, and people come and go, just as circumstances do. And as I get older, I can see how the people I knew before have influenced how I live and relate to people now. For example, I fully believe I'm a writer because of my maternal grandparents and a great aunt - my grandfather's sister, specifically, who gave me my first bookshelf and, along with my parents and grandparents, made sure it was always fully stocked with plenty of books. They told me stories from their lives, too, and I've always loved for people to tell me their personal stories. I wonder what they'd think if they knew that Splinter gave one of my beta readers nightmares about dark matter ripping their house apart. They'd laugh or head smack one - who knows which? They'd also tell me to make sure my readers know that if they're prone to nightmares, then it might be best not to read any of my books before bedtime.
Other people have influenced me, too. My Avon friend and a couple of other ladies I was friends with at my former job taught me a lot about friendship. I learned to accept people for who they are, and to appreciate the common interests you share. Nobody will agree with you on everything, or share all of your interest, but that's just the point - people are different and friendships are built on celebrating people as unique individuals, both for what you share, and for what you learn from those differences. These are lessons that I'm sure have led me to getting along with my current colleagues better, and in connecting with new friends.
Yes, everybody touches our life in one way or another, and if you look hard enough, I'm sure you'll see how those influences have helped you develop, grow, learn, and connect with others.
That's all for today. I hope you have a great week.