I got together with some of my knitting group last night. A lot of laughs, chatter and fun, and a little bit of knitting was achieved.
Towards the end of the evening we were down to just 4 of us, and recapping recent family visits during the holidays got us to talking about family relationships, which lead to discussing our childhoods. I am very, very lucky in the wonderful childhood I had and the family situation in which I was raised. While it was not perfect, because no one and no family is ever perfect, it could have been much further from perfect than I even want to contemplate.
I have only been in this knitting group for a couple of years, and due to my work schedule I sometimes have been unable to attend for months at a time, so I feel like I'm still getting to know people in general. But as one of the women said last night, I see all these women as women who are confident and outgoing and seem to have it all together. But I don't know what they've been through in their lives and how they got to where they are now. It's so easy to imagine that everyone you meet has a similar history to yours, and humbling to find out how much more some have overcome than you ever imagined having to deal with.
I wrote last year about the book Unbroken and how it made me wonder how I would react to such horrible conditions. Last night made me realize that there are people I know in real life who have lived through conditions that, while not POW camps, may have been just as bad in the way they could break a person down.
I've never had a lot of close women friends, and I don't pretend to think that one conversation last night has bonded these women to me for life, but I feel honored that they were willing to share some of their stories in my presence, and I look forward to getting to know them all better.