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the real me – part 4 “just perfect”

June 5, 2010

When I was in 4th or 5th grade (here we go again) I became pen-pals with a young girl from Colorado.  Remember pen-pals?  Writing a letter to a complete stranger?  Telling her your darkest secrets like “I hate my brother!“?  And then anxiously waiting 2 months for the stranger to respond? 

Those were the days.  No instant gratification – about the time you forgot your pen-pal exsisted, magically a letter showed up in the mail.   It was the best.  My pen-pal Sheva Carr (or Shwa – we were practicing cursive & I never really knew what her name was) was my favorite imaginary friend.  I could tell her about my horses and she would draw a picture of what she imagined they looked like – she never got it right but she was an amazing artist. 

We wrote each other for years.  During that time her family moved to Canada and she started signing off with a French statement of some sort – again, I didn’t know her name, let alone what in the world she was trying to tell me at the end of those letters – I was impressed.  International friend!  I was cool.

Then the letter came – “We are going on vacation and will be coming through Kansas!! My dad said we can stop to meet you!”  YAY!!! (oh crap!)  There is no way this imaginary friend would like me.  Would like Kansas.  Would like my idiot brother (the older one – the younger one was always cute and funny).  Would like my pesky sister.  But I graciously wrote back and agreed. 

A few weeks later they came – I was 14 at the time & working at the mall (lying about my age btw).  My mom called me at work to tell me they were at our house.  I stayed at work.  I totally STOOD THEM UP!!!  I was so nervous that she would think I was a loser.  Even my older jerk of a brother met her and said she was cool.  The next day they came back to our pathetic little Kansas farm and I met her.  It was weird.  It was 14-year-old-awkward.  It was sweet.  Her entire family was great – including her pesky little brother.  They loved Kansas!  They loved our farm and everyone visited for hours!  Except for Sheva/Shwa and me.  We talked some but that was, sadly, the last time we spoke.

Flash forward 26 years (holy cow! I’m old.).  I have “met” some bloggy friends via e-mail.  I have sent texts about my races with a couple. I have attempted to meet some.  Everytime I begin to get to know one of these ‘imaginary friends’, I think of Sheva/Shwa (i’m sure it’s sheva).  What if they don’t like me?  What if they hate Kansas? (the state – not the school – heck, I hate the school)  What if I’m too slow/fast/ugly/stupid/smart/amazing/boring???? (these are all highly doubtful possibilities)  

Well, you know what I found out?  Everyone is pretty amazing. 

So, here’s what happened when I met my first ‘real life’ bloggy friend.  She was PERFECT! 

Love her!

This is Jill – some of you may know her as Jill the blogger HERE – I lovingly refer to her as Jilly.  It fits her perfect. 

We met in downtown Denver – just like a blind-date we played it safe.  Pick a spot? check.  Name a time? check.  Have somewhere to be after? check.  Be amazed that it goes off without a hitch?? check!

We tried for three days to hook-up and I kept allowing little glimmers of Sheva/Shwa to come back – maybe she doesn’t really want to meet me.  But it all worked out. 

I turned around in the doorway of Hard Rock Cafe – Denver & there she was.  We talked about everything.  Kids. Running. Husbands. Boyfriends (her daughter’s – not mine).  Traveling. Boston. Gardening. Teaching. and on and on and on.  It was hard to say goodbye but we had places to go – people to see. 

I love her.  Jill is a beautiful person.  She talks with such ease about her ambitions and ideas.   She is focused and put up with my (& my family’s) constant interrupting.  If she was annoyed she kept it to herself (good girl Jill).  She saw the beauty in my children.  She saw the beauty in difficult life circumstances.  I felt her see me.  I could have talked with her for hours/days/weeks.  Hopefully we will have time soon.  Hopefully Jill and I will share a room in August and she will watch me cross the line of a 1/2 marathon in under 2 hours. 

It was ‘just perfect’.  It is amazing to me that we were placed in each other’s path to enjoy our time as we did.

Now…if I could just find this gal:

Bolder Boulder May 2010

BETH – Where are you!?!?!?  How did I miss that you??

Run on Friends! (and if you know Sheva/Shwa – tell her I think of her often)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2010 5:09 pm

    I am your Sheva/Shwa, only I would shoot you if you stood me up. I am sorry we didn’t get to meet and how you missed me in that get up is beyond me…but hopefully we can make it happen in August. Great post. I so remember those pen pals. Keeping them at a geographic distance and sharing secrets was easy, but woah if they wanted to actually meet you. Kind of horrifying…

    • SS runs permalink
      June 5, 2010 6:58 pm

      So maybe you are my Shwa! You were keeping me at a distance for fear I’d want to ‘lei’ ya! 🙂

  2. SS runs permalink
    June 5, 2010 6:57 pm

    So maybe you are my Shwa! You were keeping me at a distance for fear I’d want to ‘lei’ ya! 🙂

  3. June 6, 2010 7:37 pm

    Well, I don’t even know what to say, you totally touched me in every way with your very kind words. I know I shared how disappointed I was in Boston about the way things turned out, in more ways than one; you listened and understood and actually cared. It meant the world to me and I am so blessed to have you in my life!! We are going to be pen pals forever and ever, promise!! And we’ll get that mystery lady to appear at our weekend get-away – she owes me and I’ll make sure she pays in August ;). Love ya, too, girl!!! 🙂

    • SS runs permalink
      June 7, 2010 2:48 pm

      Can’t wait for August! We will dig deeper into the depths of Boston and answer the question “can she do it??” 🙂

  4. June 20, 2010 4:02 pm

    you’re little girl looks so much like you in this picture! luck girl!

    • SS Mother Runner permalink
      June 21, 2010 11:59 am

      thanks. that’s a compliment to me since i see her as the most beautiful girl in the world. 🙂

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