This is me now.
In a few weeks I will see one of the dearest friends I have ever had, but not seen in almost 30 years. My heart is full, near to bursting, with the anticipation of seeing her. Over the years I have recalled time and again her awesome laughter followed up by her yelling my name as if she couldn't believe I had said or done something a bit off color. But she laughed a big laugh regardless.
I think, in life, we all have that someone we will always remember. No matter what. It's that someone who made you feel special and accepted you as you are and was never embarrassed to be seen with you. To read this you would never know we really didn't spend a lot of time together.
It was at work mostly. So odd to look back and know I had only been to her house once. She even had a best friend (it wasn't me) at the time, and yet I cannot remember her name, but i can see her face just as clear as my friend's. Although I do remember the name of who her "bestie" married after I had moved away and left my friend behind stupidly following a man who had entered my life and I clung to for some reason if only to have my first born son. I remember my friend "running off" to get married during the work week. It was just like her; a no frills kinda girl. Although she wore the most expensive kid leather shoes a mother could buy for her daughter. And she wouldn't marry her fiance' until she could figure out how she wanted her name to be... with or without the hyphen - LOL! I can see her gorgeous engagement ring he had picked out just for her. The stone first, of course. I would have cared less what MY name would have been at that moment looking at that ring! But, that was her style. It was those kinds of things that mattered to her the most. And how I envied her. She had a man who adored her and waited for her to make up her mind. I should have taken a clue to that one... but, then again, it was just that kind of step in life that puts me where I am now. I, too, have a man who adores me. sigh.
So, we are making plans. Emailing back and forth trying to find the right accommodations for this, a momentous occasion. It is for me, at least. Over the years I have filled my shelves and walls with the cards she would make and never forget to send; framed and always where they would catch my eye. Giving me the moment I might have needed just then, remembering my friend and that most awesome of laughter's that can never be replaced. What peace it has brought me through the years filled with rough patches. I never needed to call her during those rough patches. All I had to do was remember...
And now, finally, the time is so near that I'm pure giddy having to wait to see her. I had been really upset this week because the rest of my family (you know - parents, siblings, and other sorts of relatives, etc) are all going on a 7 day cruise; something we can't quite afford. It was eating me up! I'm surprised my husband would even come home from work. It took a few days before I could come to terms with it. Not even my own mother would utter a word as to what or why we weren't going with them or even give me hope that we could. She is not an instigator. She knew I had to work this out on my own. (Would you believe I'm 53yo?) Their port of call is the same town my friend lives in and it finally dawned on me that just maybe this was the time.
A ship is referred to as "she." All I could see before me was that this was a vacation of a lifetime. To be with my entire family; my father growing older and before all the kids are grown and gone. It is only now that I realize my friend, "She" is, has been, and always will be A Lifetime.