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Campfire Conversations


We enjoyed the first campfire of the season with friends last night. What a perfect evening – it was great to be outside again, even if the three glasses of wine led me to a few too many munchies.

I love my friends. I don’t know how it happens, but it seems as though a high percentage of conversations digress to bodily functions at some point in the evening. I know some may see that as obscene or at least very crass, but it’s really one of the things I like about my friends. It’s not that I want to sit around and talk about farts or the merit of being able to poo in public restrooms, but it’s good to share space with people who feel that at ease with one another. It’s like family that you choose. Does that make sense?

Conversation didn’t digress quite that far last night, but a quick mention of removing unwanted hair in the nether regions brought us close enough. The thing about this banter is that it usually morphs into discussions that ponder life’s bigger questions. Those topics aren’t often broached with acquaintances either. So, if it takes a little talk about diarrhea to go deep, then so be it.

Last night as we sat around the fire, we danced around destiny… do you believe in it? The topic arose as a result of what is the proper thing to say to the bereaved.

There are certain times when words are simply inadequate, but people fill the dead space with all kinds of dim-witted comments. I used to keep a list of all the stupid things that people said to me after our twins died. You’d be amazed and horrified. I came away from that experience with a lot, but one of the things I learned is less is more. “I’m sorry,” is about as good as it gets and then shut your pie hole.

Don’t tell me it was meant to be that babies die or 13-year-old boys for that matter. I just can’t reconcile that in a place where I want to believe in a God.

I can, however, arrive at a space where I accept that human beings experience some really bad stuff throughout the course of our time on earth, and perhaps the point or the destiny in all of it is the relationships that develop along the way. While I would never want to experience the loss I felt when our twins died, I know I’m a better person as a result. I think that was my miracle, but it certainly wasn’t the one I prayed for.

I’ll never pretend to have all the answers. Most of the time, I simply muddle through trying to pick up tidbits to help me with the next thing that comes my way. The camaraderie around the campfire reminded me that I’m not alone in this journey and people are what make it what it is.

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2 Responses

  1. Just today I was at the ballgame with friends and sharing how I can’t shave under my arms with my shoulder injury! Not sure how it came up in conversation.

    I always struggle with words for comfort, either when someone has lost a loved one, or some is seriously ill. One thing that I personally liked when my dad died was to have people share their favorite stories/memories of him.

  2. I went to the service today, and as difficult as it was to be there for a 13-year-old boy, I was glad I went. Most of it was a time to share memories. Life is hard.

    On a lighter note, I’m glad I’m not the only one who has friends who talk about body schtuff.

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