Life is a Tapestry...

So, it happened again.
Can't say exactly how many times this has happened over the years (I lost count as I don't have enough fingers & toes).
But it happened today & again last night.  Therefore it must be blogged.

Today, THE bag got a nod at the grocery store ( I know it wasn't directed at me cause I was ball-cap & favorite worn jeans scrubby and THIS happens all the time).  Sounds silly.  Sounds worldly.  But really its neither, and it's a completely amazing experience, every time.
The nodder & I now have a connection.

Last night, the bag was noticed as well.  Hosted mutual with the YW at my house.  THE bag had been modestly minding its own business, crumpled on the floor in the corner of the room.  As all were departing, one of the YW leaders turned & asked who's the bag was.  I knew it was coming, I could feel it.  She squealed in delight when she learned it was mine, and from her corner of the room produced a similar, relative to my very own.  She then asked if I'd served a mission in Guatemala or something.  That may seem odd, but it isn't.  From there we had a bond.  She & I understand it and one another a little better now.

So, THE bag---what's THE big deal?  I've owned this bag since the summer of 1998.  Beyond that I do not know actually how old it is.  Possibly not much more than a couple years before it came to me.  It's an authentic Guatemalan Tapestry-Crocheted Shoulder Bag.  Now, how I came across it is a groovy story. And no, I did not serve a mission in Guatemala....no relatives visited there on vacation...nothing ordinary about it.

A high school friend had dated this guy for a long time, as in since BEFORE she and I even knew one another.  We, she & I, were spending more time together and I got to meet him after he returned from his 2 year LDS church mission to Guatemala.  Nice guy, quiet funny.  Ya know the type?  Slips hysterical things right into conversation without any notice.  THEN moments later the laughter explodes like a bomb...comical sabotage I like to call it.  Complete ambush artist.  

So our group all hung out quite a bit that summer and had a blast.  Photos from above Hills West, jumping on the trampoline under the most lovely amethyst-blue skies at dusk.  One night we were all over at his parents' place, and he was telling us about his mission, experiences, sharing photos & what have you.  Kinda like show & tell from 1st grade, but totally rad.  During show & tell, he dug out these fabulous shoulder bags.  The artistry is incomparable.  The crisp patterns & handiwork was unbelievable.  Call me sentimental or weird or both, but I was entranced by it all.  Think about it.  Some Lamanite descendants (relatively speaking) made them.  By hand.  They held them.  Then he held them.  And then I had the privilege of holding them.
It. was. awesome.  
Close your eyes, and put yourself there.  Can you understand how electrifying it would have been?  Well, trust me, it was.  

Now, I don't know if it was the drool or the look on my face, but he offered one to me.  K.  A month of two before, he'd never even met me or probably heard of me.  Totally blew me away.  One of the most generous acts I've experienced.  So...fast forward through the years.  No matter the trends, nor the additional hardware or HUMUNGOUS logos or enormous price tags that fashion says should be carried around on our shoulder or arm or wrist, this bag is THE bag in my life.  I've switched out bags here & there, but I ALWAYS come back to this bag.  I honestly don't have all the right words to put together for you which adequately represents this strange connection with THE bag.  What's even better is EVERY day that I carry it around with me, those moments happen.  There's a nod here.  There's a compliment there.  There are questions everywhere.  It's so neat.  

Since the summer of 1998, this guy moved away to Colorado.  Out of sight out of mind, right?  Even though he was gone, the impression had been made through his kind gesture.  So, wherever I went, THE bag went---and we've been through sooooo much.  It went to Washington D.C. with me when Seth had his cancer scare.  It's been with me all over Washington, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, California, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, & Oklahoma.  It's even been to Tijuana.
Good times & bad.  Through it all, in a sense, a piece of him went with me too.  Often I've looked at THE bag and wondered about him and where his life had taken him.  And often, especially during the rough times when the world would have me think I was completely alone, I'd see the bag from across the room I'd remember kindness.  I'd remember that I wasn't alone.  I'd remember the worth of my soul was great, as other people have thought so enough at every point in my life.  That reminder has repeatedly made it easier for me to re-consider myself of worth & not give up.  I guess that's the sappy part of me that believes everything happens for a reason, and everything connects on purpose.  God's purpose.

I hadn't heard anything about him.  No hide, nor hair.  Nothing.
Then, lo & behold, 2 months ago I joined a little-known TC Digital Photography club and who should be one of its officers?  Darin.
(Yes, I've mentioned him before, as in the very same Supreme Viceroy of the Lighting Universe.)  He & his sweet little family moved back a couple years ago, and all the pieces of our small worlds have made so much sense.  

(Not that you asked, but buckle up for an example: turns out his brother married a gal I've known most of her life, who just happens to be the younger sister of some guys my husband & I went to school with.  They all happen to be the children of my "dental mama."  She's the whole reason I went into the dental field YEARS ago.  And she's always kinda been that second mom to me in a way.  Soooo cool!  Also, one of his very good friends was a good friend of mine during the age of High School & church youth dances.  Plus he & his wife also own a local shop that I fell in love with even before I knew it was theirs!  Turns out also that we live within the same Stake, one ward apart!  Crazy how life works.  You just never know.  So be nice to others in your neighborhood.  Don't flip the bird, don't yell at others' kids, and don't drive erratically down your road, it may turn out you're TOTALLY connected to these people around you in one way or another, lol.)

And guess what?  He hasn't changed a bit.  Just as kind, and into comical sabotage as ever.  Good to know some things never change!  
Thanks, Darin.
You've always been there even though you didn't know it.
Our lives are tapestries (or tapestry-crocheted shoulder bags, either works for this).  People come in & out of life constantly.  Don't write 'em off, even if they've been gone a while.  Even if their contribution seems small at first, its always great in the end.  God has a plan for you & for them.  And He will use these amazing people as instruments to bring about His purposes, even when they're not right there by your side....they're still there.  Their impact is still with you.  The connection is there.  So, that being the case, be the best you.  For you are also an instrument, and we should always want to be in the best shape to best serve God's purposes when He needs to call upon us for others.
Even small miracles are MAJOR MIRACLES!


Garden of Egan said...

I love that story!!!!! OK, for weirdness....I waited for a missionary who served in Guatemala. I waited for 18 months. Then I didn't wait anymore. Cause I married someone else.
He gave me a bag like that while he was on his mission.
Then I didn't keep it, cause I didn't wait.
I love your bag! It's awesome.
I really loved your story and you are right.
You never know how your life will be intertwined with someone else.

Jenn said...

Darin just sent me here. And you are right he is the master of comical sabotage! Small world, its definitely a twisted web here in Pasco! But it makes it feel more like "home", even thought its not where I grew up.

Cherie said...

I love your bag, I love your story, I love you - ha ha.
You are deep girl! I would have never been able to write a post like that about a bag. That is how I know this bag is the bomb.com and so special to you.
I am glad it got you through the rough times and helped you to keep faith in kindness and people too.
What a bag, what a Darin, what a story!! Loved it@!

Summer Lawson said...

Cute post!! :) haha and you are so right about god giving us bad things to appreciate the good! I just cant wait till my cute missionary comes home so I can finally have some good! haha
And yay! I am so excited about your house...I cant wait to read about it! and even better....I cant wait to come visit it :) when josh gets home, we are DEFINITELY planning a trip up!

ericksons said...

That is a crazy awesome story. Love the bag, where can I get one?

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