Saturday, July 5, 2008

Lessons from a sock drawer

My wife has had both of her knees replaced one six years ago and the second three years ago. In preparation for the first replacement she turned to the internet to gather as much information as possible. She found a web site she calls the knee board.

The board was not only a place to find much needed information but she discovered two unexpected blessings.

First she found that sharing her experience was a comfort to those who were days from knee replacement and had many more questions than answers.

Second she found many new friends, a relationship built on a common experience more often than not runs its course as the need for comfort or information diminishes. But in her case one friendship has stood the test of time.

She has kept in touch with Eddie and his family for six years. Email, instant messages phone calls and cards have moved the relationship from a common experience based on a common need to a friendship.

Over the year’s getting together popped up in conversation from time to time. Eddie and his family live in the Midwest we live in Atlanta. So they would promise to get together neither believing it would happen.

Well you guessed it Eddie called and said they were on the way. A short four day visit had been planned. They are far from strangers on one hand but on the other had we had not met in person.

I figured if I could tolerate family getting along with Eddie and his wife Lorna would be a piece of cake. After all we would be on our best behavior. I am happy to report all went very well.

We picked them up at the airport and for three days Beckey and I did our best to show them Atlanta as only a life time resident can. In the short time we had together we had the opportunity to share our life stories. They learned about us and we learned about them.

Having had long distance information sharing for six years we discovered we had the job and kid thing settled, so we moved to sharing thoughts and concerns that good friends feel comfortable sharing.

For example Eddie told me about his sock drawer. You need to know that Eddie has OCD obsessive compulsive disorder. No he is nothing like Monk on TV. He just has a need to have new socks in a drawer that he never uses.

I have reflected on their visit and I found Eddie taught me a thing or two when it comes to maintaining a sock drawer. Understand that Beckey washes and dries my socks and puts them in the clothes hamper for me to match up. They may stay in the hamper a couple of weeks before I get around to matching them up. It drives Beckey crazy I think it would push Eddie off the deep end.

Things I have learned from Eddie’s sock drawer:

1. I need to do better with my sock drawer.

2. Being a bit compulsive is a wonderful gift.

3. Looking to the past can provide a clear picture of the future.

4. Little things often forgotten can be priceless if the need arises.

5. There is nothing wrong with being prepared. The boy scouts live by this motto.

6. I have gone to the sock drawer to find the cupboard bare. My friend Eddie has never had this problem.

I discovered many things over our time together none more important than this - I found a new friend and if I need a pair of socks I know who to call.