As I sit here at my pc, fresh off the phone with my bestest and closest friend, I weep. These are not tears of sadness, or remorse. Not droplets of anger or regret. These are the purest kind of tears, joyous weeping. It happens far from often, but when it does, oh, the love that pours out of your heart cannot be contained within four walls, four states, no, not even four football fields. It is this insurmountable, unabashed joy that comes as a gift in the form of ecstasy, relief and release. You are full, in your heart and soul, of the peace that comes from being loved. Wholly, truly, and for real-you are loved by God, you are loved by Jesus, and if you are one of the luckiest girls alive-you are loved by your tribe, the circle in which you surround yourself.
I am blessed with an incredible group of friends, time tested, die hard, youpissmeoffbutiloveyouanyway amigos-oh, by the way, I piss them off, not the other way around. There is Dot, my beautiful friend with an amazing gift for generosity of the spirit. She does not trust just any one and our friendship was formed in a church we dearly loved, and later trauma bonded over. She is the friend who brings bags and bags of food at Christmas-home made delicacies from her kitchen…….and with that, because she knows how poor you are and also knows you hike, thick socks, handwarmers, a warm and cozy sweater, because she worries you might not be warm enough.
Tracy is my sidekick, partner in crime if you will. She has a kick ass sense of humor and her heart beats for justice, love and mercy. She is the friend you call when all you can do is cry, and she will cry with you and tell you a story involving one of her antics and you will belly laugh until you are crying once again, but laughing-crying. I call her Hollywood because she knows more people than my husband, and that is a shit ton of people. I tease her because she is so humble. Her popularity never goes to her head, and she has compassion for my plight-my depression, anxiety, my recovery from alcoholism. She apologizes if we haven’t been in touch, but she need not-the time we spend together means the world to me, and I know you are there.
Shari is my newest compadre. We have been associates for years, and she is also my hair stylist. Back when I first moved here, she did my hair-even for my Victorian wedding. The do was so spectacular-lots and lots of braids, swept up to form the most elegant display. I remember my mother, who stayed at the Lantern Lodge with dad the weekend of my first wedding-I went to her hotel room directly after, excited and bouncy and feeling regal.
“Is THAT how you’re going to wear your hair? I don’t like it,” which upset me for about one millisecond because my mother never liked the way I wore my hair. Either my hair was in my face or if it was up it should be down……you know mothers and daughters.
Anyway, God has answered my prayer for a bestie that gets me because she is me-you know, the friend you share so much in common with that the theme to the Twilight Zone starts playing in her head. Shari and I agree on almost every thing, and we each have a mean streak that makes us laugh at ourselves. Maybe not a mean streak, more like a temper. We are both red heads and recovering doormats, and I am blessed beyond measure that we have found each other again.
And lastly, but far from least is my next door neighbor and gal pal extraordinaire Donna. I met her when they moved in next to us some 26 years ago. We have been friends ever since, and she is the friend that knows everything, the good, the bad and the downright criminal-but loves you anyway. This kind of friend is a rarity………she has been by me through rough times in my marriage, taking care of and then losing my father, alcoholism, relapses and family drama. She is the friend that talks to your husband when you have downed a half bottle of vodka and you are frightened out of your mind. Fall is our favorite season, and we both love old things, angels and gardening. We are die hard conservatives who talk politics for hours, and once in a while she will actually make me leave my abode when she knows I self isolate and haven’t been out of the house since the Clinton administration. I love her like a sister, and she is the friend that made me weep those tears of joy today. She has been overseas for a few weeks, and with the tragedy in Barcelona, I have been on pins and needles. I sighed in huge relief when she drove up her ridiculously treacherous driveway yesterday, because she is safe and needed at home.
This is my love letter to you, Dot, Tracy, Donna and Shari. My life is so much richer with you in it, and for that, oh for that I am overjoyed.