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.