On Sunday I met an old friend that I haven't seen for years and it was perfectly comfortable. We both love books and art, and observing people. That is plenty for passing an afternoon together companionably. Also we ate lunch (eating is always good) and shopped a bit in New Hope, PA. In Farley's Bookshop, I found "Quotable Notables" notecards and quotes on stickers, from great writers.
I just pulled that package out and here is a sample from the Jane Austen stickers: "Friendship is the finest balm for the pangs of despised love." Well, actually, that has a lot to do with reconnecting with old friends and making more time to get out with the girls. But that would be one of those things I'd rather "not touch because they are too near."
In the nearly ten years since we'd seen each other, V. and I have both lost our dads. Our moms cope with it differently; hers seems to be the more greatly impacted. Also V. only has one brother and he lives in England, so she feels more of the responsibility for her mom. Even when she has issues with her health, when my mom needs help it gets spread out over several siblings. V. bought a new house. I had a second child, moved at least twice, and am now divorced.
Our identities shift with some of these changes. I remember when I had my first baby, being wheeled through the back corridors of Christiana Hospital in Delaware, trying to grasp the fact that literally overnight I had become the mother of a child. It was too big to absorb quickly; only the familiar curve of the tiny bottom that had been under my hand for several weeks convinced me that I had anything to do with the appearance of this new person.
Now I am a divorced mom. Every now and then, I pause and wait for that to hit me like a brick wall. Divorce would be pretty high up on the list of things I always thought I wouldn't survive. But, nope, as Bob Dylan is singing these days, "it's all good." Working through a couple years of counseling seems to have paid off. I know how I got here, why I made my choices and I am doing just fine.
As a woman, my country is the whole world. -- Virginia Woolf