Thursday, October 23, 2008

Good Girlfriends

I'm missing Marianne so much. Yesterday, I cried for about 10 minutes when the reality of never getting email from her again hit me. I know in my heart she's gone, but my head is having a hard time accepting it. And yet, I'm very fortunate. I have several very good female friends. I know other ladies who are not that lucky.

I would have never had the opportunity to meet Charmaine or get to know her if she wasn't my sister-in-law. We met under horrible circumstances. My mother-in-law had just had a massive heart attack and she came out from west TX to drive to Mississippi with us. We had hoped to get there in time for Ma's surgery, but she didn't survive long enough to get to surgery. We knew she was gone before we left. Hard circumstances to meet family for the first time. Charmaine is 5 foot nothing and a little fire cracker of determination, grit, energy and fun. She's one of those people you want fighting for you in your corner. I could talk to her and I enjoyed her. I wanted her to stay forever. Thankfully, she did move to the central part of TX, so I do see her much more often, but still not nearly enough. She's mellowed over the last 30 or so years, but not so much as to take away all the fun! She's a person I truly respect and find inspiring. I do wish she wasn't quite such a home body though so we could see each other more often.

I met my friend Catherine when my son and her youngest son were in kindergarten together. Well, we had actually briefly met before, but we didn't become friends until then. The boys are 28/27 now, so that's about 20 years ago, I guess. She was one of those people I was just drawn to like a moth to a flame. I've been lucky enough to meet a few people in my life that I felt an instant connection with, but she was the first (and one of the few) who let me into her life. She knows everything about me and where the bodies are buried. The boys are still friends too. Her son got married this month and my son drove from CA to CO to be there. I was so happy that he was able to. I'm sure that they'll still be friends in 20 more years too. Did I mention that she moved out of state? She was the first to leave me in such a way. It took me years to get over her not being in TX. Thank you Lord for phones! I can't call Catherine a best friend, because to me she's literally a sister. For many years, she was closer to me than my flesh and blood sister. We even look a little a like.

I met Marianne next at the quilt guild and we both worked at the quilt shop together too. I treasure our times together and the memories we made. We didn't become super close until after Beth moved to TN.

Beth is another friend I made at the quilt shop and another person I was instantly drawn to. Thankfully, she let me into her life also. I've tried to remember how long we've known each other, but for the life of me, I can't remember. We talked about it fairly recently. I think Beth figured it out and told me, but it's one of those things I didn't retain. I miss her being here on a daily basis. She was my touchstone. She kept me level and honest with myself. She's really good at knowing what direction we're headed in too. I, on the other hand, am directionally challenged. We do use the phone and we visit as often as possible, every one or two years, but it's definitely not the same. I miss just spending a day sewing or scrapbooking with her. I miss just sitting and talking. I just miss her.

I miss all of these ladies. Even Charmaine who is in the same state as I am and is only a couple of hours away.

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