Several years ago I had an elderly friend tell me as we were kneading bread (yes she was teaching me how to bake bread because in her words, “All men should know how to bake a loaf of bread just in case…” I am embarrassed to admit I have not cooked bread since and don’t think I would even know how to start—please, don’t tell her that) that we think our hearts are full with love because of all the people in our lives already. Yet, as we meet new people our hearts just expand and we find that our hearts have room to include them too.
This week was a REALLY busy week for Lady Hiva and I. It seems that for some reason we have several people from different aspects of our past life are in the DC area or passing through. I have also been helping a new friend (we met via another friend) that is working on a project and needs contacts in different countries around the world—we have been surprised to find out all of friends we have in common and did not even know it. I started to recall reading Malcom Gladwell’s TIPPING POINT and realized that I must be a Connector.
In Gladwell’s book there are three types of people when it comes to the business world and interacting with people. One of those he calls a Connector. They meet people from all different social, cultural and economical strata, stay in touch with them and connect with each other. The reason that I thought about this week is when I was working on the project with my “new friend” and we were able to connect her with people from Russia to Zimbabwe and everything else between. Also, as we met with different groups of friends I became a bit nostalgic about how special these people are to us and how they became part of our lives.
Each person in my life has a special story, many stories, that connected me to them. I have learned something from each of them that has helped me become a better person. Some come unexpected and others it is just a natural thing, but they are part of me.
We ate dinner with a couple who are serving their 6th mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints together. He and I worked together on some special projects when I was working at Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
We went to the Smithsonian and out to eat at an authentic Chinese restaurant with another good friend and her son. I remember sitting for hours in class with her and later in the library as we worked on papers together. (Although she told Lady that I was mean to her the first time that we met…that makes me feel bad, I don’t ever remember being mean. Lady tells me I scare people all the time, YIKES)
We cheered from afar as my niece, Pompom chose to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have nick names for all my sister’s kids that correspond with a story that I had with them and Pompom’s name derived from when she was little her hair stuck out frizzy all over her head like a cheerleader’s Pompom. We are so PROUD of her!
We hung out with a friend that was visiting from NYC. She and all her sisters have become part of our family, almost literally at times as they stayed with us during their college years. The first time I met her was in a college classroom, math I think, and she was 17 years old. Man, have things changed since then.
Finally, we were able to have dinner with some friends that I went to school with at BYU-H and we stood with for HOURS on New Years Eve at TIMES SQUARE to see the ball drop. Something we all are proud we did, but don’t think we will EVER do again.
As I thought how much each of these people mean to us, I could think of hundreds of other people that came into our lives at different times and have made a huge difference too. And it is always the little things that happen during the day that remind me of someone; our story together comes back.
It makes me thankful for all those shoulders to cry on when we have tears, those willing to laugh at our jokes, tell us when we need to be corrected, and buoy us up during dark times. My bread making friend had it right. Our hearts and love really DOES expand to let some amazing people into our lives.