Posted on | June 25, 2012 | 1 Comment
On Saturday, an old friend from college drove down from North Carolina to visit me. She lives in San Francisco, so we haven’t laid eyes on each other, except via Facebook, since October 13, 2007. How do I remember that date?
Easy… it was my wedding day.
Well, my first wedding day… because let’s face it… I hope that someday there will be another.
Another white dress.
Another walk down another aisle.
Another smile, another wiped away tear, another irrepressible burst of laughter when the minister announces that we are bound together… this time forever.
So her arrival coincided with a burst of memories, a burst of emotions… a burst of something akin to nostalgia but closer to shuddering remembrances. The last time I saw her, I was hopeful and naive.
This time I am not so perfectly pressed. I am mended but the cracks and creases of my heartbreak are still visible in the late evenings and on the weekends when my son is whisked away from my arms. Seeing her there, stepping out of her brother’s car and letting me sweep her up in a massive hug, the likes of which I NEVER give because, if you didn’t know, I hate hugs… made me remember the last time I grinned into her face, cloaked in white, and introduced her to my husband.
The word still conjures his face, his laugh, his smile. The word still brings to mind his anger, his neglect, and his distaste for everything me and everything us. So I was scared to have her come. She is the first, the only one of my old friends to come to see me post-divorce… to spend time in my broken home, with my mended spirit. She would find me at my best, at my worst, at my normal. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to keep up my air of “everything is awesome” that I can pull off so well from outside this home, outside this world of my new normal. I was scared she would find me all too changed, all too different, all too scarred.
But somehow in the midst of having her here, in remembering our college days and the last time we spent together… somehow it only served to bring me hope. She brought me hope. Because when we tell our stories, when we laugh our familiar laughs and smile our familiar smiles… we are still the same two girls who roomed together for two years. We are still the same two girls who huddled together in a beach house bed and mourned the sudden and horrible loss of our friend. We are still the same two girls who laughed until our sides hurt over almost anything. We are still the same two girls.
And after sixteen years of living, to think that deep inside of me I am still the same, even after all the hurt?
That is something precious. That is the best gift.
And I will always remember that she was the friend who came all the way from California to bring it to me, wrapped in a familiar smile and an old, familiar laugh.