Over two years ago I lost one of my best friends to cancer. I had already lost both my parents and a husband to cancer so I should have been in the groove with the disease, but the loss of my friend had little to do with the big C, it was much more. It was a loss of her and a little of me at the same time.
My friendship with this amazing woman came at the middle of my adult years. I had already experienced many other friendships before her but they were less deep, satisfying or real.
Getting to know and appreciate her was like a new beginning – like the first string of yarn you double to stitch a sweater, so much like the first bite of a green apple when you only favored red apples your whole life.
I pondered why this overwhelming feeling of loss came about and my only moderately good answer was because she truly was a best friend, not a pretend friend who only showed up when times were good, not just a friend when it was convenient, not just there for me when my life was glamorous (It was a very short period of time, but yes I was glamorous!), but rather a woman with real feelings; compassion, honesty, genuineness and grace.
Since that time, I have cherished family more, tolerated complacency in others a little easier, enjoyed ice cream in many different flavors and realized that my own life is as short as a chapter in a slender bound novel.
When I was a child, friendships just didn’t matter like they do now. They were like playdoh: I could always make a new imaginary friend. I had heartache from lost friendships, fractured friendships and incomplete friendships, but I never truly felt a deep and long loss.
To make her life matter more and to take this lesson to heart: I am enjoying a newly emerging friendship with three local women. We are opposites; yet so much alike. When we laugh, there is one hearty roar, a soft giggle, a hiccup like sound and mouth wide-open belly roaring laugh. We span two generations and three cultures. Some of us are light haired, others boast rich auburn hair. Make up is a friend to three, and unknown to the fourth.
Yet our life stories play out like a perfect musical score. We are just women. We have had babies, marriages, divorces, death, different jobs, bad luck, good luck and no luck. We are just women. Women friends.
My objective is to be the best friend possible to them. Someday when I die, they will feel loss; but it won’t tear them down – it will carry them on. They will remember me as in the middle of the beginning of their own lives. What a perfect ending to my own life story.
Gezil (Kristin) Andrews is new to blogging, but not new to writing. She first wrote a poem for her mother at age 12 and is still working hard to get the dangling participles, pronouns and adjectives in all the right places. Welcome.