The 5 O’Clock

February 28, 2018

I have a friend who is leaving…again. We went through the same scenario 15 years ago when she moved with her family clear across the country and as luck would have it, it was at one of the worst times in my life. I was going through my own personal crisis and so needed her. Yet – despite the 3,00 miles between us, we still managed to keep up our “5 O’Clock”  – that’s what we called it when we lived a mere 4 blocks apart and called each other everyday on the phone at the witching hour; dinner prep/ homework with our older kids.

Now, she is moving again – but this time, for herself. She is an empty-nester and changing career paths by being back in school and is also caring for an aging mother on the side. I will, of course, miss her more than words can say – mostly because I have always relied on her just “being there” and recently came to the realization that I didn’t appreciate that fact and took it for granted, It recently dawned on me that there were times when she felt completely alone (kids aside) and I was busy and consumed with living my own life and juggling my family, and life had become increasingly complicated with a terminally ill parent ….but you know what I realized? While those are perfectly good reasons – they are not a good enough excuse to leave a friendship unattended – to leave a friend floating out on the big sea of life on a little raft. Of course, I was not her only friend; there were others who could have stepped up to the plate – but I can only accept my part of the responsibility, and I do.

….sadly, truth be told –  the 5 O’Clock has long since passed in our lives….but maybe there is room for the new, early morning call (thank you menopause 🙂 )



Fairweather Friends

June 4, 2016

FRIEND. Everyone seems to have their own interpretation of that word.

It can mean everything pure and true that your heart can hold – or it can mean the vaguest of air kisses – emptiness at its fullest.

What I have learned is that there is a tremendous responsibility to the word “Friend” – a responsibility that a lot of people are completely incapable of, although they are always the ones who pride themselves on being so supportive. Yet they unwittingly disappoint by neglecting to follow through on all of their words….their empty words…words that they believe are wrapping you up in a warm and comforting invisible hug. Truth is, all they are wrapping you up in, is spiritual plastic wrap.

Then there are the people who surprise you. The people who come out from the tiny, hidden corners in your life that you forgot existed; either quietly on their own or in a warm circle  – and with arms wide open they envelope you, they hold you up and face you forward. What a lovely unexpected gift.

Friend. Someone we should all strive to be every day -somehow …even in the smallest way.











Coffee Club

September 12, 2014

Yesterday I met an old friend for a long overdue coffee. It was wonderful. It was like old times and always, all at the same time. We used to meet once a week – every week with a third friend, at this same coffee shop – back when our youngest children were babies. We lovingly coined this day as Coffee Club. It was the day that we hashed and re-hashed and solved both our own motherhood troubles as well as solved all the world’s crisis’ – or at least decided on what we were going to make for dinner that night.

Here we were again, re-kindling our Coffee Club – just the two of us this time.  My friend had left her job a few months ago to help her mother care for her aging father. She was going to move to another town – a 10 hour drive from here. Six weeks in – she realized that this new move was not going to work out for her and her son…at least, not right now. So once again – Coffee Club was in effect to try to shed some light and make an effort to set a path for a new future for her. I asked her what her thoughts were on pursuing a new line of work…she said she wasn’t sure. She wondered if she should go back to something that she already she knew or try something completely different – maybe even go back to school. Then our conversation turned how she just hadn’t been feeling great for the last few months…aches, pains and ailments had crept up and she was having them investigated. I chuckled and reminded her that she was “eyeballing 50” (a term I have used, in relation to myself many times over the decade – half in humor…sadly, half in truth) then laughed out loud and told her not to feel bad; Heck – I’m eyeballing retirement I told her (ok, not really… not quite yet!). We shared a giggle.

As she spoke of her increasing maladies – I showed her the index finger on my right hand, now slightly bent with its often somewhat swollen knuckle (hello arthritis – been waitin’ on you!) and thought about how my ankles applaud me as I make my way down the stairs every morning with their snap, crackle and pops accompanied by the operatic sounds that I often make when rising from a chair.  Then there’s the hip that aches when I dare to stand for an evening in heels at a cocktail party or get really crazy and dance at a wedding.

Like every other woman who is 50 – I don’t sleep…I really, really want to, and I try so hard – but my brain just spins and spirals from 2 to 4 most mornings. In fact, as I lay awake this morning at 2am, I thought myself that it was a good thing we had Coffee Club in the morning – otherwise I am sure I would still be awake by 6…in time to greet the alarm.

Seriously. I would make a good rich person. I don’t want to be filthy rich -as in “I have no idea what to do today” rich. I just want to  be able to pay off my mortgage (you know that big thing that hangs over your head?), help a few friends out, give the local schools and libraries a break…that kind of thing. Not media spotlighting philanthropy – just honest to goodness assistance to a handful of people whose life you could make a difference in. I’d still work – maybe a little less – but I’d still work. Mostly because I like my job and I think I make a difference, but I’d have more time to fulfill some of my deepest dreams and desires and still have some energy to spare.

See? On paper and in black and white – I would make a good rich person….

Now – if only the lottery would co-operate!

In light of my friend – I’m now thinking that some things are better left unsaid. No matter how sad something might make you feel, it isn’t always up to us to “fix” things for others. People are generally in their plight for unknown reasons to us or to them – it’s part of their journey in life to find the reason, not ours. We only need to be concerned about our own lessons – but there’s always room for kindness and compassion.

Drifting at Sea

January 5, 2009

I’m finding it hard to let go of this friendship – this is someone with whom I have shared my deepest fears and my greatest joys…this was my go-to-gal when I needed a laugh to pick my spirits up. We discussed the worst parts of our day and schemed to come up with a better tomorrow.
Now I feel as though I am swimming with my head just above the water. I know I can make it to shore on my own but I feel sad that she won’t be jumping into the lifeboat with me. Sometimes you have to let go a bit – you need to make room for new people I suppose – you need to surround yourself with the people who actually want your energy – not those who drain it.
I’m still paddling!

Letting Go

January 3, 2009

Fork in the Road. Haven’t found myself standing here for quite some time. I was blind-sided and found my Friendship standing on the other path.What do I do now – follow?
It’s funny how when you first meet a friend they are a stranger to you – and like love – your eyes meet from across the room you laugh at the very same things (loudly, usually) and in that instant you become friends.
You share so much of yourself – your thoughts, your fears, your joys, your heart. Then something happens – something unseen. A cold wind blows through – the wind of change….and things are different. The laughter is still there but it doesn’t flow as easily. Either you are suddenly being questioned (the way a soon-to-be ex-lover questions you) or you are being carefully brushed aside and distanced (like falling out of love). You can’t be sure why it’s happening and unlike with a lover – you feel as though you can’t talk about it for fear of making that fatal cut that severs your friendship forever. Let’s face it – lovers are easier to replace than friends. I think it’s because that a lover, while being your friend as well, is also a physical relationship – very tied to the earth. A friend is only tied to your soul. It’s an invisible, untouchable bond between two souls. It is flying high above the earth – tied only to your heart.
So – do I walk along the same bumpy path or do I fly away?