I thought a lot about what to write today. To be honest, I’m not in the mood to write much at all. Yesterday was a horribly sad day, and I thought about not writing about it at all. Death and COVid are not happy topics and we hear about both subjects a lot these days. I know you probably don’t want to hear about it anymore, but it’s my blog so I’ll write what I want to…
Yesterday, my husband lost a good friend to COVid. Craig was only thirty-eight years old with lots of living left to do. As a health care worker, I’ve lost too many patients to count since 2020. I have trouble remembering some of their faces now, and that’s hard for me to admit. There are patients I saw almost every day, that I joked with and teased, and I can barely remember them. That, to me, is the saddest part. I’m becoming conditioned to loss, and I don’t think I like it.
When you’re little, forever seems like well, forever. It feels like life is endless. Friendships are never-ending. There is no real goodbye, just see you later. Now, I’m forty and I’ve said goodbye to more people than I ever wanted to. It doesn’t mean that all of the memories are gone, but slowly day by day they’re fading and forever just isn’t forever anymore. I miss being a kid, making a new friend, and feeling like we would always have each other. Friendships naturally come and go in some cases, but in others friendships are torn apart by forces outside of us.
I’ve had the same best friend since I was in high school. I met her when I was at the lowest of the low as far as confidence goes. My old set of girlfriends had unexpectedly dumped me, deciding I wasn’t ‘cool’ enough or something like that. Girls can be nasty creatures to each other, and I won’t lie and say I haven’t been mean to other girls too. Teenage girls are bundles of insecurities and all they want to do is take that insecurity out on someone else. I wasn’t a bully, but I could gossip with the worst of them.
When I met Jen, I finally met someone who didn’t judge me. We made each other laugh and could cry on each other’s shoulders. We had each other’s backs. There is nothing in this world like having a good girlfriend who you know will kick ass for you if need be. She will defend you against any ‘mean girls’ and hate anyone that you hate just because you feel that way. She doesn’t need a reason for it. If you hate them, she does too. There is nothing better for a teenage girl’s confidence than to have a friend like this. Unfortunately, friends such as these don’t come along every day. I was lucky to meet Jen, and I’m lucky to still have her today.
How do you explain lifelong friendships? What makes someone stay around longer than others? I have no idea. My husband got a long-time friend ripped out of his life unfairly yesterday and I don’t know if I can make sense of it. Other friendships just quietly drift into oblivion. A month passes and you realize you haven’t talked to them, then a year, and so on…soon it becomes embarrassing to just pick up and call the person who you once talked to almost every day. How does this happen? I don’t know. Real friendships take effort and work, just like marriages.
I think girl friendships are fascinating, because there’s this natural need of females to compete with one another. I’m not sure whether society puts that on us or we put that on ourselves, but I know that’s how a lot of relationships turn out. To find someone completely supportive is a phenomenon.
This is why I put the friendship between Ronnie and Sam in my novel. I wanted my main character to have her own Jen, her own ride-or-die who would fight for her until the end, whenever that may be. Strong people are held up by strong friends. I couldn’t push myself if I didn’t have people saying I can when that voice in my head is telling me I can’t. I hope that everyone who reads this has someone who supports them without question, and loves them unconditionally. Soul mates aren’t just your husbands, they can be your friends too.
“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.” Jon Katz
Love you all,