Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My Beautiful Friend

She has been with me through it all. The headaches, the heartaches, the good times, the bad times, the times we should have just stayed at home... and the times we did. I love her so much, and after all these years when I see her in person I am instantly filled with all these things I want to say and tell her about and discuss. There just isn't enough time in the day to get it all out and when we do have dedicated time together, we talk non stop. We don't have near enough of those moments anymore; not near enough time to just talk, and sit, and drink coffee, or Dr. Pepper or iced tea; not near enough time to express how we feel about things, how others actions and things that happen in our lives effect us. I don't think we could devote enough time to get it all out. When I do see her in person, the time is limited and yet we almost always find ourselves standing in the driveway talking looong after we have hugged and said goodbye. In the midst of our conversations, we lose track of time and obligation. We tune into each other and it is difficult for the outside world to penetrate our little bubble.

She lives so far away from me; or rather I live far from her...regardless, I wish we were closer. After college and marriage I moved far away. She stayed in the same general area. And even though I have moved back into the same state, I still feel worlds away. I miss the days in college when we lived together and talked all the time. She was my confidant, the one I came to with EVERYTHING. No topic was taboo, nothing of limits - and I trusted her (and still do) with my life. She is the most kind, caring, thoughtful and amazingly strong person I know. Everything I know about doing good and being nice and thoughtful I learned from her - and yet I feel so inadequate in comparison.

Without revealing too much, I'll say she has been through a lot. To say it that way is to grossly understate it. What she has experienced is something that you would never wish on anyone, and for a while after I really didn't know if we still had a friendship. It was not that I didn't want to be her friend, I didn't know how. And for a long time I mourned not only her tragedy, but our relationship as well. We have hung on - thank goodness. And slowly she is healing and emerging from a very, very dark place I am finding myself longing for that sweet friendship with her again. When I got home and looked at the photos I was able to take of her family recently, I came across this one and it stopped me.

If you don't know her personally, you won't see it like I do; but it is there. For the first time, in a very long time, there is a glimmer of happiness in my friend's eyes. She looks so pretty; so beautiful in this picture and I am so overjoyed that sparkle is in her eyes; so excited to see some hope for happiness. I can't wait to print this and carry it with me!

The last time I visited with her we had an all too brief conversation in the driveway about no longer having someone to talk to; to confide in. Why is it that as teenagers and young adults we discuss so much and then when what we call "life" happens, we clam up. Suddenly finances, relationships, everyday stuff seems too personal, too unimportant to our friends and surely too taboo to talk about. Why is that? Why does it suddenly become no one's business? Sometimes I think if we were more open about things they wouldn't be such problems in life; we can help each other through our own experiences - who better than a trusted and lifelong friend is there to help?

Instead we find ourselves seeking out council from total strangers. We surf chat rooms and forums, finding millions of nameless and faceless entities on the world wide web, just waiting to unload their advice and experience. Who knows who we are really talking to? We are scattered all over the place. Is there safety in distance? After all, how often does a simple Texas girl find herself near say, Dayton, Ohio? (luv ya, G!) We post our troubles and triumphs and personal info on blogs and web pages and then gasp in shock and horror when we hear of some twisted person finding their pray through one of these avenues of communication. Why don't we talk to our friends anymore?

I read an article in the paper recently about an ongoing study (inconclusive, but still) that is finding that though we are a more "connected" world, we have fewer close friends on average and less in-person communication with people now more than ever. We are isolating ourselves from the very human contact we work so hard to initiate through gadgets and gizmos of the 21st century. And though I have no idea if the study is accurate, I find myself realizing that I haven't spent more than 5 minutes with one of my best friends in over a month. She lives less than 5 miles from me and I NEVER see her. The friend I was speaking of earlier lives 3 1/2 hours away and I see her more often. My "closest" friends these days are the ones I talk to daily on line. My bbc Moms and a few IM buddies, photography forum regulars - I've never met any of them in real life. I would love to be able just jump in my car and go see them - but is that really, ever going to happen? In some cases, I hope so. But in others I find comfort in the knowledge that I will never meet them - that they will always be my cyber friends. And in a way that is strangely comforting.

I have sort of ventured off topic, but I wanted you all to see my amazing friend and know that I miss her and love her very much. And if I could find a way to make it work, where my family was happy and taken care of at the same time, I would move nearer to her in a heart beat. How cool it would be for our children to grow up together as she and I did, in each other's back yards; lifelong friends.

Miss R, I love ya!


R said...

You sure know how to make a girl cry. I can't see the monitor through the tears. I am a blubbering mess now. I am glad there isn't any one around to see me. I am don't know what I did to recieve the gift of your friendship, but I am blessed to have you in my life. Thank you...I miss you too. Love you!!!


Amber said...

I'm ready to choke up girl. You hit it on the head!
Great post!

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