Postus interruptus

Crossing out Plan A and writing Plan B on a blackboard.

 

So the next post I was planning to do was the third and final post on my recent trip to Europe.  I know you can’t wait.

ZZzzzz….

Well, you dodged a bullet.  For the moment.  I’m going to Plan B.

Do you remember the little kids song…  “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver, but the other’s gold.”?

This past weekend I did an emergency trip to Cincinnati for one of those golden  friends.

A dear old friend of over thirty years who has become estranged over the last couple of years for reasons unknown to me, lost her mother to Alzheimer’s.  Her mom was like a 2nd mom to me for many years.

In this African-American family, I was the 4th, pale-skinned sister.  Miss Waldine made sure that I belonged.  She called me (and countless others) her “precious child”.  And I believed her.

There was no way I wasn’t going to be there for my estranged, yet ever golden friend to honor her amazing, loving mother.

Sound weird?  I thought it would be.

It wasn’t.

Turns out, when there’s a death in the family, the stupid things that separate you from life friends go out the window…

For those of you without a great grasp of U.S. geography, Cincinnati is about 470 miles (757km) and an 8 hour drive from Atlanta.  Google Maps says it’s 7 hours, but Google maps doesn’t know about the rain in the mountains just north  of Knoxville or the stand still traffic around Renfrow Valley.

Ugh.

So I spent 16 total hours driving up there on Friday and back on Saturday. I  only spent 17 hours in Cincinnati.

Crazy.  Yup – AGMA crazy.

But maybe not just AGMA crazy.  Maybe it’s just what lifetime friends do for other lifetime friends.  Irregardless if they have been pissy and weird with us.

It’s all about the love.  It’s always been all about the love.

When I got up there on Friday, my estranged friend seemed to have forgotten or at least put aside what she felt was the great divide between us.  I’m still not sure what it as all about. But there was no trace of it on Friday.

When I showed up at her house on Friday evening, she treated me like a sister.  Like we have always been.  Like it should always be.

On Friday there were hugs and tears and reunions and laughter.

I got caught up on her family.   This was quite revelatory since I’ve talked to her maybe 60 minutes total in the last 4 years.  During those 4 dry years, I’d ask about her husband and kids and grandkids and the rest of the family, and got the “They’re all fine.” answer.

Guess what?  They weren’t all fine.  And some of them still aren’t fine.  It all came spilling out.

I wasn’t going to bring up the last 4 years if she didn’t.  And she didn’t.

The family visitation Saturday morning was yet another chance to see other family members I hadn’t seen in years.  He son, her sister, her niece who’s like a daughter….  Kids who were itty bitty the last time I saw them now towered over me.

Honestly, where does the time go?

I said my goodbyes to her before the memorial service started because it wouldn’t be over when I needed to leave to head back home.  As we hugged each other tightly for nearly two minutes, the tears started to flow.  Both of us.  I made her promise that we wouldn’t lose touch again.  I told her I loved Miss Waldine.  I told her I loved her.

One of these days, I’ll ask her about the long, dry spell.  One of these days.

But not anytime soon.

“…one is silver, but the other’s gold.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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24 thoughts on “Postus interruptus

  1. You got it right in that one sentence, “it’s just what lifetime friends do for other lifetime friends.” No matter what may have caused a parting of the ways, tragedy always brings friends back to each other. I would do the same for my childhood friend, even though I haven’t seen or spoken with her in years. There was never any argument or anything, we just live in different cities and have different lives which keep us busy. Despite the time and distance, I know in my heart that if either of us called for help or emotional support from the other, we would each be there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! I hadn’t seen Ms. Waldine in years, but I still held her close in my heart.

      Alzheimer’s is so cruel – I lost my step-mother to it in 2001. But I “lost” her years before she physically passed away. I know this sounds weird, but I was actually happy when she was free from disease that robbed her of her intellect and memories and had crippled her body. I felt sad & happy at the same time at her passing. I think my friend felt the same way.

      Anyway, thanks again for your comment and kind thoughts!

      Like

  2. I’ve been through one of those experiences AGMA and it’s lovely when you come out the other side like that.
    Big life events certainly put things into proper perspective. I have an old dear friend with whom I have shared many ups and downs, we have in our history some “dead years,” but like he says we are “the brothers who chose to be brothers.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • She’s a good friend, but she tends to be moody. But then so do I. Ha!

      You are so right though – death tends to reshuffle our deck of priorities. And the longer we live – yeah – the closer we get to the bottom of the deck – boo. So we do need to make everyday count and not put off until an uncertain tomorrow what we can start today! There’s still time to check stuff off of the bucket list!

      Thanks so much for your wonderful wisdom!

      Like

  3. You are a wonderful person. Do not argue. I’ve just experienced the other side – when death pushes a apart the family, when friends do not show support. My husband’s (Irish twin) sister died unexpectedly last week. She was only 61. She was not sick…she just didn’t wake up. Her only daughter’s bridal shower was to be over the weekend. Her daughter is so distraught, she is pushing people away. No one is good enough to comfort her but her (now deceased) mother. No one can do anything right and the anger and shouting was not helpful for the many who were grieving – at the visitation, at the funeral service. And then..friends. Only 5 of all of my & my husband’s friends showed up to the visitation. Yes, 20 “friends” living in the same town and 5 showed up. Three for just 10 minutes at the very end of the visitation. His other siblings had so many people around them. (Irish – lots of siblings) His sister-in-law had to invite us to join her family/friends to eat after, because otherwise it would have just been the 2 of us going somewhere. The fact you drove from Atlanta to Cincinnati (where I live)…. that is just making me cry. You are a wonderful friend.

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    • Oh Pat… What you described just makes me sad… 😦 I’m so very sorry for your sudden loss and for, what sounds like, a terribly traumatic funeral. All the way around. I hope that, between the grieving for your SIL and the feelings around your friends who weren’t supportive, you can start to heal from the pain.

      My trip to Cincinnati also involved a dash of guilt. My friend’s sister, who I knew quite well – she was always at the family gatherings as well, and was basically not only my friend’s sister, but her BFF – passed away about 6 years ago from pancreatic cancer. She was in her late 50’s maybe. I was in massage school in Atlanta at the time and felt I couldn’t take the time to go up for the funeral. That was so dumb of me – she was like family as well. I have always felt guilty about not going to her funeral and being there for my friend. I didn’t feel like such a great friend…

      So when her father passed, I couldn’t go to the funeral (I can’t remember why), but I drove up to spend the night with her and be there for her, and then drove back the next day. I was glad that when her mom passed, I could go to the funeral!

      Sending healing blessings you way…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Obviously I know nothing of anyone involved, but it occurred to me when you said that many of your friend’s family members weren’t so OK that maybe the past 4 years have been tough ones for her and her distant behavior towards you was more about that than about anything directly to do with you. That happened to me once–I thought someone was pushing me away, and it turned out she was just overwhelmed by what was happening in her life and was coping by putting up walls.

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    • Astitute observation! I think it was a combination of the two – she was dealing with a whole lot and she was not a fan of AGMA anymore. Probably more heavily weighed towards dealing with a whole lot.

      In part, I don’t think she wanted to talk to me because she didn’t really want to share some of the stuff that was going on. Every time I asked her about her husband, she would say “he’s fine.” When I went up there, I found out that he had bought his own home and moved out a couple of years ago! What?? And a third friend (we were like the 3 Musketeers at work for like 20 years!) never said a word to me about it although I know that she probably had to know. Very strange…

      But I think I’m going to focus on going forward and not ask too many questions about the past… 😉

      Like

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