I'm on my second glass of homemade cinnamon mead. I can already feel my fingertips and lips getting slightly numb, the telltale sign that a buzz is in the making. So I'm going to stop here.
The words on the wine glass read, "Colorado Mountain Winefest 2004," which is where I first discovered mead. But swirling the mead in the glass and slowly sipping it dredges up some painful memories; memories I've never been able to shake.
My wife and I attended the Winefest with some close friends of ours, Steve and Kathy. Steve was my best friend, and I later went on to start a business with him. Shortly thereafter, everything went terribly south. Our business (though reasonably profitable) was an utter disaster to our friendship. We used to talk about everything, but now we can't stand the sight of each other.
But God has been merciful, and things have worked out -- although I must admit it was difficult to perceive mercy when I was in the midst of turmoil and pain. I take another sip of the mead. There is a sour note to it, but it is mostly sweet -- as life has proven to be.
After parting ways with Steve, I was too depressed and discouraged to look for a job, and I was ready for break from the field I had been working in. So I holed up in a small office and started a copywriting practice. While it wasn't a perfect fit, it was refreshing to create something of my own from the ground up.
Eventually, my mood lightened as I forced myself to focus on the day-to-day challenges of my business. Ultimately, this venture proved to be a nice segway into being hired at a small, but promising, computer company in Denver.
Slowly life seemed to turn around. There have been new opportunities, new friendships, new memories. These can never eradicate memories of the bad experiences in the past, but they do soften the blow and help me to see the past more objectively -- it wasn't all bad. After all, if it weren't for the past, I prwouldn't be here right now. Somehow, as hard as it is to actually say it, I know in my heart the past was somehow worth it.
I'm buying a house for my wife, a dream I'd all but forgotten about. My kids are healthy and happy and growing up well. We're not without problems, but we're not without love and commitment either.
I swallow down the final sip of the mead -- the sour and the sweet. It is good. I hope Steve's life is mostly sweet too.