blessings, coping, courage, death, grief, healing, life

Old friends…

My closest lifelong friend is coming for a visit in a couple of weeks. Life and distance have been such that she and I have gone long periods of time without seeing each other, or even talking, but each time we had a chance to reconnect I always had the sense that we picked up the conversation mid-sentence, never missing a beat. With children the same ages and husbands who were self employed, the big issues in our lives were always in sync. We could relate. Everyone ought to have a friend like that. More than anyone else she knows the ‘real’ me, is what it has always seemed like to me. Or I feel like I’m the real me when I’m with her. When we are together I feel like we are a couple of 15 year old grandmothers boasting about our grandchildren. It’s so silly and fun.

But when you say that you are ‘old’ friends, with a friendship that spans your entire six decades of life, then you’ve shared lots of milestones, We both have been blessed with great kids who themselves have great kids, but now we share the milestone of widowhood. She is two years behind me in facing life alone, and this is the first time we’ll be together since she lost her husband. I should have words of wisdom for her shouldn’t I? Except I don’t. There is no manual to cover this life lesson, no Widowhood For Dummies book to rely on. Several people have commented about how ‘brave’ I have been, but all I’ve done is get up every morning and get through another day. I feel like a fraud when I’m called brave. But what did hit me, almost from the moment of my husband’s death, was to remember all the blessings I’ve enjoyed all my life, all the prayers that have been answered. No matter how sad I felt at that moment, all those blessings were still in place. I used to wonder how it was that I’ve been so lucky in my life, I still wonder about that.

I actually sat down here to write a shopping list. My pantry looks like Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. My friend might not appreciate a gourmet meal of celery with peanut butter, and even if she did she is out of luck because I finished the celery yesterday. I’d better get back to it…widebutterfly