I popped in to say goodbye to Bob before I headed in to town. I was dressed in white. “You look like a street sweeper”, he said.
His comment didn’t bother me, but I had planned to tell him how much I love, respect and admire him, and my intended words didn’t seem right in that moment. I hugged him goodbye and left.
Authorities have been warning us about a possible flash flood ever since the fire last year. We’ve had a serious drought, so we haven’t experienced that yet. However, last night we had all of a half inch of rain, and that generated a flash flood that closed the highway. Bob called to warn me not to try to make it back until it was cleared. We didn’t know how long that might take.
I was delayed by three hours. When I walked in the door, Bob greeted me by telling me I looked angelic in white. He later explained that the flood made him wonder – “what if I never saw her again, and those were the last words I ever spoke to her?”
His street sweeper words weren’t mean – but they weren’t sweet, either. We explored why he had said what he did. I told him what I had planned to say that I didn’t.
More and more, Bob and I let each other in on how our words affect each other. I like hearing that I look like an angel in white. But I love the easy way we explore our motivations, foibles, issues, clunkers, and so on. That’s the freshest bread in town, and we bond when we break that bread together.