Monday, February 26, 2007

Friends arrive strangely....

I had a friend once. We'll call her CountryNurse. We went to college together and were the best of friends. I knew all of her secrets, and she knew mine. She passed away quite suddenly three years ago. This year, 2007, on October 31st, it will be four years. Her husband told me a few days after her funeral because he didn't know how to get in touch with me. Since CountryNurse's passing I vowed I would never let anyone in that close again. I have Hubby, I told myself in my grief, so I didn't and wouldn't need anyone else.

Over these past few years I have worked quite hard to keep people at a distance. I made sure to only listen to them and never share any of my problems. I relied on myself, my priest, my priest's wife, hubby, and my sisters to help get me through as much as I could possibly share with them. However, there are some things you cannot share with family; they are things you can only share with friends.

Slowly, as I grew older and found a path through all that time of grieving -- and there were a lot of people and pets to grieve for at that time -- slowly I began to realize just how much my sisters could be my friends. I learned that, even though I kept other people at a distance, I was always searching for one or two women I could just let myself go with and be a girl and have one of those relationships as close as possible to what me and CountryNurse used to share. I guess I was in denial I needed another woman to talk to, a woman who wouldn't freak out if I mentioned something a little off-color perhaps or when I lost my temper because Hubby was being such a boy, or understood when I said, "I feel fat today."

Well, one has slipped in on me, possibly two. One I know for sure. Oddly enough she is trying to become a nurse. She is filled with laughter and smiles and she has a wonderful heart. We'll call her Sniffles (because she reminds me of the cute little mouse on cartoons of not-too-long ago).

Technically I am old enough to be her mother. Yet she makes me laugh and it isn't hard at all to say, "Today I feel fat" or "This is a chocolate day" or even "Tea?" Her life isn't perfect and she doesn't expect it to be, but she hopes it will get better than all of the stress she is currently under from holding down a job and going to school full time. She sees a path she would like to take and is working towards it, and just living life as best she can as problems arise and adventures present themselves. She is indeed a hopeful creature.

Lately I've been telling myself it is because Sniffles is so hopeful that I am turning more toward hope than I have in the past few years. The truth is, life is finally settling into some strange sort of groove I can follow, even with all of the bumps and twists and turns. I have Hubby to go on the journey with, and I have And I have family. Family that wants me to come and visit and is elated when they discover some changes they have made in their home would make it easier for me to visit.

And there are telephone calls! Calls from sisters! Calls from Hubby! Calls from friends! Voices excited or just voices checking in - it really doesn't matter, because even this is some form of the journey of the groove.

I'm not going to say I'm happy, because I'm not really sure what happiness is any more, but I can say I am...content. Content in that good sort of way where the storms feel as if they can be weathered and there is love helping to hold us in the right groove. I am content being the person I am while working toward the place I want to be. I am content, at last, to have friends again.

No comments: