Thursday, December 10, 2020

That Which Is Real

I do not have a great many friends. I'm really only interested in having friendships that are true relationships. Casual friendships are fine for Facebook- actually, perfect for Facebook. I can check in, see what's going on, take some interest, share a joke, whatever. And that's enough of that for me. I do have friends I've made via blogs whom I feel like I can tell anything. Who I think feel the same about me. Those relationships are a blessing in my life. And there are other people whom I love unconditionally and viscerally and always will, no matter whether I see them very often or not.

But the friends I actually SEE IN PERSON are few and far between. If you count my four children, that makes approximately six. Perhaps I am emotionally selfish. That could well be. I do not know how many dear, close friends one has usually lost by the age of sixty but I'd lost three by then. I mean, by death. I didn't lose them in the real sense of the word. I didn't forget them on the bus or anything like that. They died. And each one was a massive loss. Each one was a most special woman, each in her own way, all very different but all women I loved with all my heart. And somehow, they've never really been replaced in my life. 

But I have my Lis and I have my Liz. Funny, isn't it? Or as we sometimes call them around here, Lis of the East and Liz of the West. Lis of the east is married to Lon and ridiculously enough, Liz of the West was with a man named Lon for quite a long time. 
How many Lons do you know? 

Liz invited me for brunch today and because I love her so and because we haven't seen each other in forever, I took her up on her offer. We wore masks while we in her house for a short time and we ate on her beautiful back porch, quite socially distanced. 
I met Liz back when I started working at a birth center. She was an on-call birth assistant there when I started working in the same capacity. She, too, is an RN. The day we met, I was "in training" and it was the first birth I was called in to there and it happened so quickly that the baby came before Liz got there and there were a few complications but nothing the midwife couldn't handle although I did have to jump in to help. And then Liz arrived and she showed me the things that the birth assistant needed to do after a baby came- the charting, the vitals, the checking, the cleaning, the sterilizing. And she told me that she did a thing that she'd heard the midwife who delivered her first child did which was to say after each delivery, "Thank you, JESUS for another healthy baby!" 
Now Liz is as religious as I am but she had taken on this ritual in sort of a cultural way and at the same time, a sincerely grateful way, and I fell in love with her right then and there in the kitchen of the birth center between the autoclave and the washing machine. 

She was with me when I had Jessie which was in 1989 and we have been through a lot together. Birth celebrations, life celebrations, weddings, and divorce celebrations, too. Golly. That's pretty crazy when I think about it- she was with me when Jessie was born, was there when Jessie got married (and did most of the decorating for hers and Lily's weddings) and now Jessie's a mother herself. So yeah, long time relationship. 

We did some catching up today. Her parents are both still alive and doing relatively well. She got to spend some time with them this summer that was precious for her. And them, too, I'm sure. Her granddaughters are six and eight and we shook our heads- whoa! How is this happening? We talked and ate and laughed and maybe cried a little. We traded books, talked about a future road trip we could take. I admired the renovations she's had done on her darling little 30's bungalow. She has an artist's soul as well as hand, and her house is a jewel and a gem. Besides being an RN and an artist, she's an avid outdoors woman, has worked for Florida Wildlife, has a degree in something I can't remember having to do with growing things, helps map kayaking and hiking trails, throws the best English high teas you can imagine (her mama is English), and has raised two fine sons. 
Plus a lot of other stuff.  

Damn, I wanted to hug her. 

Since I was in town anyway, I went to Costco and to Publix. Of course. Neither one was too bad. And putting things away today when I got home I realized I have a great desire to organize my food cabinets and my spices. Things are entirely too jumbled up and scattered. I spend half my life going through cabinets looking for things I KNOW I have but can't find, then buy some of whatever it is, only to find that yes, I already had it and now I have way too much. 
Believe it or not, I'm looking forward to that. 

And now that August's flannel is here I have got to get started on his name blanket. I have little hope that I'll get either his or Maggie's done before Christmas but I have to make an effort. 

Life in the time of Covid. So much time, it seems, and yet, I seem to use so little of it wisely. Sitting on Liz's porch today, though, was about the best use of my time I could imagine and I'm so glad she asked me and I'm so glad I went. 

I may not have a lot of friends but I sure do have the best ones. 

Love...Ms. Moon



21 comments:

  1. Quality not quantity - that's what counts. Sometimes I hear people in real life or on TV going on and on about their "friends" but when you boil it all down you realise that most of them are not really friends at all - just people they happen to know. It's good that you got to hang out with Liz and chew the fat. With real friends the conversation never really stops and it's easy, not about point scoring.

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    1. Amen. If I can't share my heart with you, what's the point?

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  2. Far, far nicer to have real, true friends.

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  3. I haven’t felt like i’ve used this covid-time in any real meaningful way, either. Why haven’t i learned a new language? Some days are just..........forgettable. Like i’m waiting for something to happen. One foot in front of the other.
    How wonderful to spend time with a true friend! That’s what life is all about.
    Debbie

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    1. Yes. I keep feeling like something is going to happen too. And that then life will really begin. But that's not the way it goes, is it? Life is what's happening right now.

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  4. I'm with you on when it comes to very few friends. Having moved a great deal growing up (i.e. seven elementary, two jr highs, and finally, one HS), long term friendships just weren't in the cards. Other than DH, my adult children/their spouses, I have only one other person who I count as a true friend. As YP says, quality, not quantity. I'm glad you have Liz and Lis.

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    1. And I think that sounds completely sensible.

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  5. I also have few close friends, but they are so precious to me. I would literally do anything for them as I know they would for me. It’s so good knowing someone has your back. Fewer now that I’ve lost two this year, both to early onset dementia so I’ve been in the process of loosing them for years. Doesn’t make it hurt any less. What a fucked up year. Much love.
    Xoxo
    Barbara

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    1. What a fucked up year indeed. And I am so sorry that you lost two friends this year. How very sad.

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  6. I have few friends either but the ones I do have are very good friends. The friends I have I love deeply and there is only so much room in my life it feels like. I like my time alone and I like time with friends but I need space for me. Then there are my online friendships which my husband doesn't understand but that's his problem. I know when I've been overwhelmed I could reach out to you and you listening which meant so much to me and which I appreciated. Men think they have to fix things but there are a great many things which cannot be fixed and I think women understand that better than men. Sometimes sharing problems is the only fix there is and it helps.
    I'm glad you got to visit with your friend. It is a boon for the soul.

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    1. "Sometimes sharing is the only fix there is..."
      Too true.
      I've had a few times in my life where something happened that I did not feel I could share and the burden was too heavy. I hate that.
      And seeing Liz was wonderful!

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  7. I sometimes worry that I'm letting all my friendships slide now that I live overseas. I spent more time communicating in blogland than I do communicating with any of my old friends, even digitally. I'm glad you got to see Liz of the West!

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    1. Well...life is like that. Some friends you absolutely have to see in order to keep up with, to maintain a relationship with. Others, just their voice, their words are enough.

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  8. I think it's hard if not impossible to maintain a lot of close friendships. I've had a couple of friendships that I thought were close until I realized I wasn't important to them regardless of the words they said to me and when I stopped making the effort I never heard from them again. making friends was hard for me from about puberty on because my parents never approved of the people I wanted to be friends with, actually they didn't know the kids but disapproved of where they lived or what their dad did for a living. consequently there wasn't a single person I kept up with after high school. and my habit of blurting out the truth or telling people what I really think made it hard to maintain friendships later in life. I used to warn people that I can be hard to take sometimes. I think I've mellowed out some now. All my social interaction these days in person is with the social group some of us neighbors formed before covid. we don't get together anymore but we do visit when we encounter each other on the street. and then, like you, there's the bloggers I've come to consider friends. but long term...a few. a few that have stuck with me and for them I am grateful.

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    1. Some people are just really good at making friends. And not just casual ones, either. And I admire that but I'm not one of them. And one of the things I really have learned as I've gotten older is that it's okay. And yes, I am SO grateful for my true friends. SO grateful.

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  9. My best friend for over 50 years (high school pal) has too many conditions that put her at risk if she gets COVID so we haven't seen each other for months. We mostly text or sometimes chat on the phone.
    My sister and my daughter are best to talk to on the phone and we can go on and on for quite a while.
    I am a friendly person who doesn't see many people right now and I don't have many close friends either.

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    1. I hope that you get to see your best friend soon without risk to her or to you.
      I can feel your friendliness in your comments. Thank you.

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  10. this post hit home for me, I'm having a weepy day for some reason. I don't have many *heart* friends, as I refer to them.....pieces of my heart- less than a handful, actually. They keep me grounded and make me feel loved and safe and sustain me through thick and thin. Many *easy* and lighter friends that I can connect with (I am by nature a friendly- if not totally outgoing person).......but it's the heart friends like your Lis and Liz.......that support our inner souls and keep us together. and I put you in my *heart* friend category as well...thank you, though we shall likely never meet. It's the energy that counts.....and the love that flows from it
    Susan M

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    1. Thank you, Susan. I appreciate that so very much. And you are exactly right about heart-friends. That is the perfect name for those whom we love down to the very soul.

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  11. I used to read a blog by an English woman who was really funny (sadly she no longer writes), but one of her posts had me scratching my head. About how she'd invited "just 70 of her closest friends to her 50th birthday parts! "Just 70"? I must be really antisocial then!

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