I’m supposed to be reconciling seven months of bank statements tonight (got a little behind when my bank “improved” its Web site and my statements started showing up too blurry to read, but that’s a whole ‘nother post).
But when I turned on the computer, I found something way better – an e-mail from one of my dear friends from high school. Last time Lynn and I saw each other was the day of my dad’s funeral, 11 years ago Dec. 26.We had e-mailed a few times since then, and talked on the phone once or twice, but I lost all of my contacts in the great computer upgrade a few years ago. (Ain’t technology great?)
This year Lynn’s mom died, but my job prevented me from driving up for the funeral, and I had asked my mom to get her current address so I could offer my condolences. She had changed her e-mail address since last time I tried to connect wirelessly, so I had neglected our relationship. And then Mom didn’t get around to procuring the new mailing address, and I kept forgetting to remind her.
Isn’t it too bad that we take such precious things for granted, sometimes until it’s too late?
I’m happy to say that it wasn’t too late this time to reconnect with my dear friend.
Sunday night I signed on and discovered a brief note from Lynn. It said she was just checking to see if the e-mail address she had for me was still good. I replied, giving a brief update and telling her she could fill in some of the gaps by reading my blog. I ended with the exhortation to update me on her life.
And, boy, did she.
I thought my life was filled with drama. Besides her mother’s health problems, her husband had a humongous health scare last year, a tornado blew away most of her workplace, and “then we had 2 ice storms, a record snowfall and 2 hundred-year floods – all in one winter!”
She talked about suffering and hope and cliches that now mean something to her after the past two years of trauma and drama.
When we were teenagers, our biggest problems were acne, part-time jobs and does-he-like-me?
Now it’s decades later, and those “problems” are a lifetime away, having made way for real and true suffering.
When your friends are friends only during the happy times, they’re not true friends. A true friend knows she can share all the scary, gut-wrenching stuff of her real-life drama and you’ll stick around. A lifelong friend is someone who knows all your nicknames, and you know hers. And it feels good.
I haven’t been called Sue-Bee in years.
I love you, Lynnie Red Small.