Friday, March 2, 2012

sometimes it happens...

I lost a good friend today.
A really, really good friend.

In the back of my mind, I knew it was coming. I felt the change. The change was almost imperceptible, but it was there…hovering, stealth like over me. That sensation that something is about to happen. And although I expected it…it still made me sad.

I’ve had this friend for over 10 years. We traveled many places together, seen many things, had many experiences and share loads of secrets. We’ve been together through some great times and many a tear has been spilled on them. We’ve had a relatively long and wonderful relationship…but today, unfortunately, that relationship came to an end.

We were ripped apart, there's no better way to describe it. That sound of heartbreak, of tearing. I can still hear it in my ears, it’s something akin to the sound of metal on metal of a car crash, or glass breaking. Your mind, without visual, just automatically knows what it is.

The day started like any other day except that the sun was brightly shining, an oddity here on the north coast mid winter. It’s usually cold, and snowy, and gray. This time of year is full of hues of gray. It’s about this time of year up north that we all start dreaming of sun, and beaches and warmth. This entire winter season has been extremely mild. No snow, a little cold and today; lots of sun.

My master bedroom is up on the third floor of my home. There is a row of cottage windows facing east that at first dawn lets me know what the weather is like outside without ever having to reach for my phone to pull up Weatherbug for the forecast. There are three skylights that also grant me the knowledge before ever swinging my legs out of bed what kind of outerwear I will need for the day. I like the light that streams in and have never bought draperies to cover these windows, or film to dim the light cascading in through the rooftop. It makes it difficult to sleep in or take daytime naps with all the light in my room, but it’s quite nice. There have been times that I’ve thrown a makeshift blockade to the suns rays when my daughter used to sneak upstairs and crawl into bed with me. I’d wake to see her cherubic face on the pillow with the beams of light dancing on her cheekbones. I’d roll out of bed and either make a barrier of pillows on her side to block the sun or throw a sheet over the windows to douse the rays.

But this morning it was just me stretching in the suns rays. I was scheduled to work this afternoon but Boo was off from school as the teachers had some meeting to attend and I knew already before even rising that I was going to take the day off. We needed a little mom/daughter girlie time and today was the perfect day to do so.

I got up, showered and called work. Although I am and wanted to be completely honest, I found myself spewing a fib. It wasn’t what I had planned but there I was…smack dab in the middle of it.

“Hi Maureen? It’s Nancy. I’m scheduled to be there at 11 but I’m not going to be able to make it today….” I trailed off, wincing...waiting for lashback.

“OH!...Is everything okay?” she exclaimed.

“It is, yes. I’m fine. But…” and then I stumbled a bit, mentally. The devil on the one shoulder, the angel on the other. I almost caved and was going to say that I would be a little late and go in to work anyway…and then I thought, No…I’m really not needed. I’ve been practicing that little two letter word; NO. It’s a hard one to say. For me at least, but I’m making progress. My mouth forms the word, I just need to push the air out through my teeth in order for it to be audible. I reasoned that they would probably cut my shift short anyway so I mustered up and continued…”Boo isn’t feeling well. I’m going to stay home with her today.” I cringed at the sound of my fib, biting my finger.

“OK…I’ll tell June. I hope she feels better.” No fight. No reprimand. On one hand I was relieved and on the other, worried.

Tell June…yeah,  I thought.
I bet you will.

Maureen has become the new tattle tale of our store. We have a new manager and she has been sucking up to her with no holdbacks. You can almost feel the breeze from the suction when she walks behind our new leader. If you park somewhere in the yellow lines, not the white ones…Maureen will call June. If you take 22 minutes for a break instead of 15, she’ll call June. If the sales people make 8 calls instead of the required 10, she’ll tell June. She brought chocolates and champagne in for an employee who decided to retire after 10 years with the company and then retreated to the office with June to bad mouth her after she’d left. Nice lady…but not trustworthy. Fact is at the company Christmas party gift exchange she’s the one who will choose the gift YOU chose just because someone else wants it. It’s quite odd. And quite pathetic.

So to NOT come in to work with her today didn’t quite make me feel badly. Acquaintances, we are. Workmates, we are. Friends, we are not.

Friends are trusted individuals.
Friends are people you rely on.
Friends are people that you know will always be there for you. No matter what.

I’ve had ‘friends’ in the past with whom I thought were friends but turned out weren’t really my friends. Friends that betrayed me. Friends that have betrayed my trust. I’ve had friends in the past that we just lost touch and we no longer connect. I’ve had friends with whom I have reconnected and feels like we picked up right where we left off. There are those that build you up and those that drag you down. Sometimes some of the people with whom we are friends with run its course and they just disappear.

I was cleaning out my file cabinet the other day. It’s become quite a mess. I’ve been throwing items in there without a filing system in place of stuff that I want to keep but just don’t quite know where to put it. When taking everything out I found a birthday card from a friend.

I use the word friend, because that’s what I thought she was. I loved this woman. When I met her I thought I’d found a sister. Our girls were classmates and that’s how we first made contact. Our girls were friends and then we became friends. Close friends. And then one day…she just wasn’t anymore.

I never did know, don’t understand  and never got an explanation of what happened. Boo and I went south for Easter break and when I returned, she would no longer return phone calls. Funny thing, I had brought her back a souvenir. She loved drinking wine and there were T-shirts playing off the Life is Good line that said “life sucks”. This particular shirt sported an empty wine bottle tipped on its side and read “out of wine. "Life sucks” under it. I found it particularly humorous. I thought she would too. So I bought it to wear on her new regimen on her treadmill. I brought it back, left it on her porch and waited for the ‘Thank You’ phone call.

It never came.
I ran into her husband at the music store where our kids took piano lessons.

“Did your wife get her present I left her?”

“Well, I’m not sure. What did you leave?”

“Oh…I brought her a T-shirt from Florida. I thought it was funny and made me think of her! I left it on the back porch...”

“I’ll have to ask her. I really don’t know…”

Two weeks passed and I hadn’t heard a peep. So I called. “I left you a present. I thought it was funny. I hope I didn’t offend you with the humor and if I did…please accept my apology.”
Another two weeks later and still no word.

That was almost a year ago.

This past summer I was invited to a Bocce Ball party. She and her family were there. I left within a half hour because her obvious avoidance of me reduced me to tears. What the hell happened? It was awkward. It felt horrible. So I claimed a headache to the hostess and left.

So coming across this card with her written sentiment, “ I didn’t need anymore friends. You were simply the piece of chocolate cake, that fabulous bottle of 1996 Bordeaux, that pretty shiny bauble I wanted in the worst way. Whether or not I needed you, you always made things more colorful, more fun, more hilarious, more beautiful. You have made me believe that there is always room for ‘one more’…because maybe that ‘one’ will make all the difference.”

She signed it with a “OH, I love you so!”

2 years later she never spoke to me again. Go figure.
So yeah…I have had (unfortunately) a little experience with losing close friends.Good friends. Friends that you thought would be around forever but then they aren’t.

Losing my friend today brought back that immediate shock of when I lost that friend a year ago. One minute they were close and the next it was time to throw them away. And throw this friend away I did. I’ve learned  that there would be no need to drag this on. There would be no going back, no repair work that could be done.

So on this seemingly normal day where I showered like usual, I dressed like usual and waited for my daughter to get ready herself…just like usual, I lost another close friend.

Gathering up Boo's discarded potential outfits I felt it before I heard the sound.
Yes…you guessed it. The entire inner seam of my favorite jeans just gave way. Ripped away to be completely honest. Air rushed in and I started to laugh. Laughing so hard tears trailed down my cheeks. My daughter swung around to find out what the heck was going on with her mom...

"You okay?...!!! she asked.
"Oh yeah. But loooook." I pointed.
"Oh my. Those are your favorite! That's too funny..totes!"

Totes m'goats...fer sure.

I had repaired  the back pockets a several times already. There were multiple thin spots and frays along the inside seams. Many of the belt loops had pulled loose over the years. The bottom hems were fringed from wear. These Levi’s were a perfect fit when I bought them, so I bought 4 pairs. All but one had bit the dust, revealing too much skin from too many tears. These were the last remaining pair…and I loved them.

And now they are gone. Some relationships come to a screeching end and some fade like sunsets.
The difference is…my jeans can be replaced.

Good thing I was at home when it happened AND wearing undies.