My phone rang at 4:53pm today. I ran to grab it, and broke into a huge smile. It was my Bud.
Where do I begin? Bud and I met in Syracuse. He was a client turned colleague at the food pantry and health clinic where I was a year long volunteer. Dependable, funny, and a piece of work, Bud was always there, sweeping the floor, or serving sandwiches.
Bud’s life had a story to tell, and he would willingly tell it to most people. Admittedly, he was not like most people I had come across in my life. There were hardships, there were not so proud moments, but there was also humbleness, gratitude, and love.
As the year went on with both struggles and joys, I got to know Bud well. Making sandwiches for 4 hours a day, gives you a bit of time to chat! Bud is a good man who tries hard. Even though I might not agree with him on things, or have lived a life similar to his, we are friends. We worked well together and trust each other.
Every few weeks, I get a call from Bud. When he was still living in Syracuse, he’d often call me from our friend Sis’ home, and the phone would get passed around, talking just like we were all together in the ‘Cuse. Since then, Bud has moved to a warmer climate and Sis fell ill, passing away in the Spring.
Bud’s calls always meant a lot to me, but now they mean even more. They remind me how precious time is, and that no matter the distance, home is where the heart is, even if that means spread across the country, with pieces of your heart residing in the heart of your friends. These calls remind me how important it is to transcend boundaries, physical and emotional, and to love all the guests that come into our lives.
It’s amazing. I remember thinking in the course of that year how much the sisters, the pantry, the medical clinic had given to Bud. Some income here or there, medical care, a place to work with a purpose, friendships, and lots of love. But that is not to say that Bud didn’t give of himself either. He’d drive the sisters or the clients around wherever they needed to go, he’d joke and lift someone’s spirits, he’d willingly fill in a shift if someone couldn’t make it. Three years later, this man makes my day when I hear his high pitched “Hi Kate!”
The point- I’m humbled and filled with gratitude that that year of service still has an active impact on my life. The memories, the friendships, the challenges to my way of thinking, are all glorious gifts.
So friends, say yes to those who come into your life, especially when they push you and make you grow, because those are some of the best friends to have!
Disclaimer- Name changed for “Bud’s” secrecy!