Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good golly, Miss Mollie

Ten years ago, she said, "If I'm celebrating my birthday with you again next year, I'm just going to kill myself." We laughed and laughed, but we wondered. From what emotional place did that joke come? A place of trust certainly and long, long friendship but also a place of restlessness and uncertainty about the directions our lives had taken at that point, divergent and disconnected both within and beyond our control. We were in our thirties, a difficult decade for any women worth knowing. The "angst-y years" where we watched our youth ship sail for the sunset as we stood on the shore crying and stamping our feet for it to come back.

Today. We've settled into our forties with humor, patience and purpose of heart. No more dilly dallying about what we want and not being afraid to ask for it, no more silly spats, no more hurt feelings. Lots of caretaking, lots of laughs, lots of shorthand, lots of emotional reliance on one another as we realize we're each other's past and future, even though we're not always each other's present.

The first time we met was the first time I ever tasted chocolate mousse. How could that NOT go splendidly forward? We had a 12 hour meet and greet, staying up until 5am talking and laughing as only kids can. I'm not sure she remembers it as well as I do, but that would be natural since she was my first and only friend at that point and I was just one of many for her. But her generosity of friendship and loyalty gave me the hope I needed to keep going through a very difficult transition in my life.

We share so many memories I consider worth recounting. Opening that overflowing drawer of memories would be tedious to all but about 10 people on Earth. We've never lived farther than a long car ride until the last six years and that's been a difficult adjustment for me and probably her, too. Tonight though, we get together with the other "gigglers" as my mom dubbed us almost thirty years ago, and we'll reminisce and laugh hysterically and pull obscure stuff out of that drawer at random. Never a script, it's always improvisational when we get together.

I'm lucky to have found another sister in the randomness and whims of life's journey. These deep and abiding relationships outside of marriage and family that are worth slogging it out for, well, they don't have a name; "friendship" doesn't pack enough oomph to describe it. More family than real family philosophically, because it's been her choice to be tied to me. It takes a lot of work to keep relationships going, whatever their definition, and she is a workhorse where friends are concerned. I'm just one of many friends who can claim thirty plus years with her.

Happy Birthday, Mol. I truly can't imagine chocolate mousse without you.

1 comment:

  1. Julie,
    What a beautiful tribute! I'm so glad that you wrote that, and that you have been there for my sister for all these years. Thank you....