Monday, March 28, 2016

#SOL16: Friendship

Today I phoned Patty.

Our friendship stretches all the way back to when we were 5 years old. I haven't spoken with her in at least two years. We're like that. I live here on the east coast and she lives in Michigan. Time will go by and then one of us picks up the phone and calls the other and we talk for hours as if the space of time that happened in between calls was something we could easily bridge given our shared history.

This time I picked up the phone.  Today is her birthday.

Patty and I at 17. 
I have been dreading calling her as she knew nothing about Rob's illness and death and somehow I felt that having to say he had died out loud to her would make Rob's death feel even more real. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to talk.

I also worried that something bad might have happened to her, her husband or son during these last two years. Before Rob's diagnosis and death, I didn't think catastrophic things happened so quickly. Now, I know they do and can happen to good, good people.

This morning it just felt right to call her and so I did. I didn't reach her so I left a message wishing her a happy birthday and about 30 minutes later she returned a call to me and we talked for the next hour. I told her about Rob and all that had happened in the last few months. I was relieved to know that she and her family are doing well.

I see now that there's a reason we have remained such good friends. It has little to do with time and far more to do with shared intimacies. There are things we know about one another--things we have confided to each other--things that have happened when we were children and teenagers and these confidences we have kept allow us to understand love in fundamental and yet profound ways. After speaking with her, crying about Rob, laughing with her about Rob--stories she remembers--I felt better.

I love her.  Sometimes it is that simple.

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