It’s been a very strange week. I was on a tear it up writing binger for most of November that came to a screeching halt a week ago today. A brief trip to the sun, where sunscreen and keyboards don’t mix, made for a lull. Time with my boys and Smart Guy, demanded full attention long full days left me too tired to write at night. Then, a fantastic reunion with an old and very special friend left me skipping out on my writing as well. My goal for NaNoWriMo was not just to make the 50,000 goal, but to write each day in November. I didn’t accomplish that, but in the end… it is all good. I’m doing just what I should be.
This is for all the Old Friends… and the new ones, that will someday be old friends.
It’s hard to describe how much I’ve missed you. After a few years apart, it was so wonderful to see you again this past weekend—reconnecting with someone who’s been like a sister. You’ve known me for as long as I’ve known me. You were the first person I called when my dad was killed in 1973. I called to say that I couldn’t bring the Kool Aid for the class party, but you knew that I was broken inside and you said all the right things to my ten-year old self. I remember holding the receiver from the wall phone in my den, and feeling grateful that I knew you were standing in your house— through the woods— and you got it.
You were there through the years, elementary, junior high and high school, helping me figure out what was normal and what wasn’t… and which things we couldn’t change anyway. You were my first friend when we moved to Massachusetts and have remained a friend for forty years. That giant leap of time is scary, except when I think of what it means in hours and years of friendship. When I think of so many of my life’s decisions, the events and hallmarks: going off to college, getting engaged (you and I were roommates then), comings and goings in our families, the birth of each of my children… you are there with me. What a special thing that is. Priceless.
As in all relationships there were times when we drifted, or fractured. Like sisters who are close, there were also moments when we weren’t; but true to the friendships that last, we always found the apologies needed and regained the sweet spot. The challenges always lead us back to a good place.
Over the past few years we lost touch, for a brief time and that time was untenable, painful. I missed you through each thing that happened, through each event that I couldn’t share with you. Things felt incomplete; not sharing them with you was empty spot in my life. I missed hearing about you, and your life. Your family has long been mine, and mine has always known you.
What a sweet day when we figured out how to reconnect and move past the gap. Seeing you again it was as if there had been no lapse, no time away. Conversations begin anew, easily and free from the struggle of figuring out what to say. I am so grateful that we have found our groove again… slipped right back into the lovingly worn tracks.
There are few people who can tell my children what their mother was like when she was learning to drive—thankfully. There are not many people left, who have so many memories and examples to share with my kids about who their mother was through the years, how she came to this moment… as their mother. That is the magic of the years that connect us.
It’s what friendship is about… the ebb and flow, the sweet years and the ones that challenge you. It’s the lunches where you laugh at the same stupid jokes and share what you need to share. Checking out shoes together, shopping, and listening when hearts are hurting— hugging when hearts are full and brimming with the good stuff. Friendship is tested by time, and challenged by life. It’s the truly good friendships that survive and flourish with both.
I am so grateful to have this in my life.
Love, You friend
This note goes to a special friend who I’ve recently reconnected with, after a few sad years apart. However, I am so lucky to have many good friends in my life. There are those that are newer and a few who have been around for a long time. Lunches and shoes and all the good stuff that I share with friends who are here and now, make my days brim with good. It’s a special thing in life, if you can say that. I don’t take it for granted, and I’m grateful for each of you.
Do you have friendships that have spanned a most of your life? What does that friend know about you that the others don’t? Come on; share a secret. What makes for a good friendship for you? Leave a comment; start a conversation.