Monday, April 16, 2018

Long lost...

I reached out to someone who was a dear friend to me when I was getting my Ph.D..  She had given me her daughter's sonogram in this most loving of cards and I had held onto for all these years.  I thought that it would be a great birthday present for her sixteenth.  Over the past twenty plus years, I have prayed over that small photo and often wondered how my friend was.

I do not remember how or why it is that we are no longer friends.  I do not remember her at all.  I do not remember our friendship.  I remember facts about her ... a few.  She was absolutely a kindred spirit in a literary fashion.  She was also the cool kid on the playground I never dreamed would be my friend.  I think, though I am not sure, she was a master's student whilst I was in the doctoral program. Perhaps I am wrong.  In any case, she holds her doctorate now.

When I got out the card to pray for her and her daughter, I thought to Google her.  The first hit was her profile page at her college with her email right smack at the top of the page.  In bold.  In blue.  Almost pulsating on the page.

I finally worked up the courage to click on the link.
Girding my loins is exhausting these days.

She sent me her address so that I could return the sonogram and said she would like to catch up some time.  As my dear friends know, being my friend is not exactly easy these days.  Celia gifted me with a FaceTime call tonight and I wasted the few precious minutes with her talking about medical stuff.  SIGH.  If not medical woes, then financial ones.  If not that, then my talk is filled with cooking and recipes and ingredients and culinary dreams.  If you are not into cooking, I can be extremely boring.  And, if not cooking, I am most ridiculous about my beloved Fluffernutter. Seven years on I remain amazed at just how attentive and comforting he can be ... when he's not too busy being a RAT BASTARD.

Still, even though I was quite clear that I am not friend material and I cannot remember anything of our friendship, I did give her my phone number (and hint about how much I like texting) and my Facebook identity.  I didn't hold out any hope she'd want to connect once more.

My old friend immediately friended me.  Fear and trepidation followed at her discovering just how weak and weary I have become.  And yet she also warmed the cockles of my heart.

Should she really want to catch up, I offered my B&B.  You see, my old friend is just three hours away from me.  She could visit, perhaps, if she wanted.  Will she?

I think it would be immensely difficult if she chose to visit because I have no memory.  I moved away from Becky and we are dear friends.  Mary and Celia I met "online" and are far away from me (though Celia actually moved closer), but both are dear friends.  All three women are true kindred spirits and amaze me anew each day that we are friends.

I do not remember them.  Mary and I have been friends for year now, but to me I have this sense I just met her.  She's visited three times.  Or is it four?  I only have photos of one visit, so I think of that one.  But then she had just two children.  Now she has six.  That alone speaks of a lengthy friendship, but I remember it not.

I am like a little kid these days.  Tell me a story.  Tell me a story of me.  Tell me a story of us.  Tell me a story so that I can know we are truly friends.  I work really, really, really hard not to ask, but I long to do so with everyone.

My friend Caryl, whom I met in the course of working, recently mentioned that we've been friends for twenty years.  Not quite, it turns out, but close.  NO BLOOMING WAY!  She started to mention a work road trip we took once and I immediately wanted to say, "Tell me that story."  But I didn't.

So, how would it be to reconnect with a long lost friend whom you do not even remember?  I think I would just make things ever too awkward for her.  But ... but ... but I still hope we might could find our way back to being friends.  That would warm the cockles of my lonely heart.

And my cockles could use some warming.

No comments: