I met a good friend who was in town for Thanksgiving. She moved out of state several years ago, and we had seen each other briefly a couple times but kept missing each other for a longer conversation.
We met at a pizza place at 5:30 and left at 10:30, an hour and a half after the place closed.
To say we enjoyed catching up with each other is an understatement.
We shared, we laughed, we discussed, and we were content. We helped recharge each other. I think each of us thinks she got the best end of the deal. That’s how good friendships work at times. And we even talked about that – how good friendships work, how we learn about healthy friendships throughout our lives as we experience the unhealthy aspects of friendships, how important authentic conversations and accountability are, and so much more. We shared memories, plans, and dreams.
And we shut down the restaurant.
We asked several times if we needed to leave. Our server was gracious and checked on us often until it was time for her to leave. We settled our bill and tipped well, and she asked someone else to check on us from time to time. The cleaning crew began to work around us, and we again mentioned we could leave, but they said they’d be there for a while and didn’t mind us hanging out. The kitchen crew began joking around with each other as they cleaned, and it was fun to see their youthful energy and goofiness.
When we finally left, the workers were almost done, but they seemed to be enjoying some down time together. We apologized again and generously thanked them. Then we left them to finalize everything so they could go home.
My friend and I left feeling a bit lighter that night. We later exchanged a few texts about how much we enjoyed (and needed) the time together. As I drove away, I thought about the lights being turned off at the restaurant while I felt as if the light within me was a bit brighter.
Friends can do that for and with us. We can be a bit brighter longer because of their smiles, encouragement, and challenges. When friends are authentic and willing to do life well together, everyone wins in some way. We become stronger and a bit more resilient. We recharge.
It was Thanksgiving weekend, and I gave thanks for a sweet friend and kind employees at a small town pizza place.