after a somewhat awkward absence of contact and passage of time, one of my oldest friends and i recently renewed our long-time friendship. basically it boiled down to, life is too short to let the stupid stuff get in the way. so we have started getting caught up with each other’s lives again, which has been a wonderful feeling.
however, during the time we weren’t in contact my friend (k) lost a very dear friend of hers who lived in holland. she’d go visit him once a year or so, and he’d come visit her here in the states. it was during her last visit a few weeks ago that he unexpectedly fell ill, went into a coma, and ultimately passed away. i feel just awful for her, because she has already had more than her share of loss in her life. i had thought that maybe i would try to visit her at some point in the next few months, and invited her to come to kc for a visit. she said that she’d like to, but was planning a trip to holland next spring for a memorial service for her friend. she casually mentioned that she thought it’d be nice if i could come along, and i agreed but kinda sorta declined, saying that i really couldn’t afford such a trip on short notice like that.
a couple of nights after this online chat, she wanted to know if she could call me. i said, absolutely, because i wanted to know what happened and how she was doing, and maybe make plans to see her. what i got from her phone call was an offer for the trip of a lifetime. her friend’s family has offered to pay for my transportation to and from amsterdam and part of the hotel expenses for me to go with her. they want k to have someone there as moral support (although i won’t go to the actual memorial service, which will involve scattering his ashes). i was like, seriously???! i’ve wanted to go to amsterdam for a number of years, but have had other goals that wouldn’t allow such a trip to happen financially. so for me to have the opportunity to take this trip is truly a blessing.
i understand that the primary purpose of this trip for me to basically ‘hold her hand’, which i am more than happy, and honored, to be able to do. but we also plan on spending a few days just hanging out in the hague and amsterdam, and maybe making a day trip to brussels or paris. this will be like the trip of a lifetime for me, as i have never left the north american continent. so, although most of the dutch speak english fluently, one of my goals over the next few months is to learn a few basic dutch phrases, and to save money like a crazy woman for spending money. however, my most important goal with this trip is to be there for my friend of nearly 25 years, because i know this last trip will be an emotional roller coaster for her. i hope and plan to be the friend that she needs for this particular journey, and beyond.