From Manitou Springs, CO 09/03/20 by Leigh LaRue
I’m starting to catch on that there really is a bigger plan in place than our own little petty ones. When preparing for my van life I was eager and anxious to get my build-out done within a few days, as I knew that’s all it really would have taken with a ‘professional’. But, I didn’t hire a professional. I hired my friend who generously offered up her help to me at the expense of her own responsibilities. I was so grateful, because I had discovered I really couldn’t count on anyone else for one reason or another. The very capable handyman at the extended stay hotel I was in temporarily had to drop out after day one because his house caught fire. Another guy at the hotel who’s heart was in the right place but who was really not up for the job was drinking more than he was helping, so after much pretend work I had to let him go. My brother who was a professional carpenter for decades just ‘didn’t feel like’ helping me, and my nephew who I was hoping could help had just started a new job.
Being the perfectionist that my friend is, she gave my project countless hours of thought and planning and precise cutting and building. She put herself in my shoes and imagined what it would be like living with what she would build for me. She wanted it perfect, knowing that my van would be my home for months or years to come. Some days she would only have the time or energy to measure and possibly make a few cuts. She’s 64 with a slight heart condition, working in a hot garage in August…in Texas.
Though I appreciated her I was also taking it very personally that universe seemed to be testing me, yet again. I was finding it challenging to keep a sense of humor about it all. I thought ‘Par for the course’, ‘just another day in Leigh land.’ I would drive to her house almost daily for six weeks, everyday with big hopes that we would make amazing progress. But, in reality, most days we inched along. I had to learn to be thankful for any progress at all. To my surprise, however, as we were finally starting to wrap things up and finish the last details, I found myself feeling gratitude for the time I had been able to spend with her, hearing her stories, getting to know her better, and bonding with her. I had known her for less than a year, and we had met because we lived in the same neighborhood and found that we were going through some similar issues. We hadn’t had a lot of quality time up to that point. So even through my semi-hardened heart I felt true gratitude.
It’s hard to trust the universe when you’ve had a seemingly unfair amount of, let’s just say it…crap in your life, but the risk just might be worth the reward if you’re eventually able to get there. And, just like someone reminded me of earlier, absolutely nothing is wasted and the more you’ve had to contend with the greater your cosmic compensation. An example of trusting the divine plan is that about a week into my friend helping me, she got a call out of the blue from her lifelong best friend offering her a paid trip to her place in Reno, NV for a week just because she missed her and wanted to see her. I knew at that time that my friend was being rewarded for helping me. And, little did any of us know, a month later my friend would have a stroke. What a beautiful blessing for two forever friends to get to spend quality time together before something like this went down.
Yes, life happens, and sometimes we pay for not taking better care of ourselves. But, if you add up the blessings for all involved you can see that there is a bigger, more benevolent plan in place than we are usually aware of in the moment. My friend and I got to bond and also learned to find peace in a sometimes dreaded and stressful undertaking. This wouldn’t have happened had we whipped out the job in a few days and if the other people in my life had been able or willing to help me. She got to spend a very much needed relaxing week with her childhood pal, and her friend in turn got cherished last memories with her.
By ‘last’ I don’t necessarily mean ‘last’, but we have no idea if or how long it’s going to take my friend to recover. We’re all holding her in the highest light possible and trusting and believing that she will come through with flying colors, no matter how long it might ultimately take. On that note, faith and trust is what all of this is about. Trusting that no matter how any situation may seem at the time that we have a choice to believe that it’s all going to hell in a hand basket or there is a gift to be had if we stay positive and hopeful. It really does make a difference.