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Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

December 14, 2009

This has been the most incredible few months.  I’ve recently reconnected with high school friends and discovered a sense of belonging, roots, and memories that are pushing querying, blind and tentative fingers up into the air, seeking to be reborn, awakened.  But this one was extra special.

Oh miraculous time!  Someone sought me out and I was found – it is like some neo-familial warmth, a comfort that begins in my belly, rises to my heart where it constricts and expands – causing my throat to ache and my eyes to cry.  Rubber-banded back, I feel like that 15 year old they knew me as, but not so needy, nor so raw.  Not near as ugly now, if only in my own estimation, and accomplished too.  Proud at last of self.

"LOOK AT ME NOW" is what that younger me would demand, but this seasoned one, this one they do not know asks instead, "Show me who you’ve become so we can both rejoice, lament, and begin our friendship where we left off." 

For I know there’s enough time for my story, appropriate bits are interjected betwixt the lines of hers, or saved for a later meal of this sisterhood soul-food we get to consume.  I am hungry to hear of each occasion, listening closely for those inflections that reveal and reintroduce my new, old friend to me.  I hold these revelations inside, saving and savoring.  They will be assimilated into my dreams as I sleep; plans are made as they digest deep within my psyche.

Jennifer and Mike


Hours pass.  We become lost in our discovery, divulgence; in the sweetness of reconnecting.  My entire being is refocused, my heart, mind, purpose are obsessed and fully given to the novelty of she, presented to me.  My best friend from so long ago has found me.  I find myself flushed, uncharactaristically loud and shrieky as I am enveloped within a two and a half hour long telephone convo, landline to cell phone.  My clumsy words cannot convey my meanings adequately as I try to listen, contribute, attend.  My phone-ear aches wondrously – it has been so long since I have talked like this!

In the present, how much richer will our friendship be?  Oh immensely more so!  With tools like wisdom and experience to support us, we’ll be battling against the past wounds and insecurities relived, remembered; both silently and right out loud between us bff’s.  It will be strange and wonderful, won’t it?  As we natter endlessly of the time to this point.  Easy in familiarity that transcends time, distance, space, the voids, we can proclaim “Oh, I love you!” and promise never to allow such a breach to occur again.

Which brings us to what I once told my newer friend, we’ll call her Mary, when she was lamenting the challenging times she was embroiled in. 

“Oh Mary”, I said, after a particularly deep and rather desolate conversation, “you and I will just drive off into the sunset with my brown spotted, gnarly hands on the steering wheel and my grey fuzzy head barely showing above the dashboard of our little electric hot rod.

You’ll have your bare (and very wrinkly) toes stretched up, over, and dangling out the open window (for you’ll be very limber in your ancientness) while you sip on green tea lemonade…

And, by the way, after visiting the beachside resort (which is where we were going) we’ll be heading up to Minnesoooota to visit the kids (who are now in their 60’s) and see the newest addition, the great-granddaughter who is round, with curly black locks and little raisin eyes pushed into the soft baby-dough of her face.  She looks like her great gramma and smells delicious like fresh-baked bread or sweet cinnamon rolls… we may have to cannibalize her fat neck and get that sugar.

(The other grand-naughties act like we carry a vague odor of old socks, cough drops or moth balls – anyway, something indistinct they can’t identify, and avoid our hugs with their strong, springy arms pushing us not-so-subtly away, while the younger ones gaze wonderingly at us, asking why we don’t get “new skin” as ours hangs jauntily off of our frames defying the effects of new-fangled face creams and Botox.)”

Of course Mary says “I refuse to wrinkle, sag and smell funny.  I refuse!” but one can only do so much against gravity and those faint, aged scents.  It’s like part of our inheritance as humans, and as I head steadily toward my reward (or punishment!) I become increasingly aware of how sad it is that as a culture we’ve forgotten the way to honor our exceptional-length-of-service warriors, our youth survivors. 

Funny how that happens when we all inherently know that unless death intervenes sooner, we too will soon enough be swimming in that vulnerable state of age…

Of course Mary is not Jath, our journey will be different – but the sentiment is the same.  We will totter along, sprightly teeny ancient women.  Our ears and noses too large for our heads.

(Or perhaps it is just that they become more prominent as our hair becomes less so… it is transformed, I’ve heard, into the finest strands of white feathers in preparation for the wings we will don at heaven’s pearly gates). 

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 14, 2009 8:30 am

    A few months, a year, or sooner, you will sit amazed at what 2009 has presented in terms of challenges and triumphs. God Bless your friend, and God, thank you, because my friend, Jennifer, has found another much needed “hug” this year.

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