I remember going into to my mothers room. I had heard her cry from the landing in our home and I snuck upstairs as quietly as I could, rather as any ten year old Harriet the spy esq girl could. Our hallway was painted a light blue and the sun shone on the walls, through the stain glass making shadows. It honestly felt shadowy that morning.
My mother had not come down stairs, had not lit the christmas tree. She was not up yet! I went into her room and she and my father were still in bed. The shades were pulled up and the illuminous rays shone into the room, the statue of Mary was beaming on my fathers dresser. In the middle of the night my mother had gotten a call that one of her dearest childhood friends had been hit by a car whilst walking by the lake. It was snowing and the car lost control and had hit her and in an instant killed her, she was 42 years old. My father spoke for my mom and she lay with her forearm over her face. Many years later she told me that she felt as if someone was erasing parts of her life she held dear but had not planned on visiting for awhile. She resented the fact that parts of her life were being squeegyed away from her collective memory.
Lately, It seems I value my childhood friends more than the ones I have today. Most of them are still in my life in some form but we have become busy, moved to different cities, and married husbands that one or another of us do not care for. We also have moved up or below in socioeconomic scale to where we were when we started. But I miss them, and I still love them as I did when I was 12 even 20 now at 46 years I cherish them more and they are in foundation and form still the girls that I shared secrets and silliness with so many years ago.
For the most part we are all strong and outspoken. For the latter part one resents the other for not being ambitious enough, myself in recent years has embraced the one who has held out and choosen a life of non ambition. Crewing on the San Francisco Bay in the morning in a skull, whilst the rest of the Bay is stuck in traffic. I imagine her gliding through the waters underneath the bridge looking up and pondering what that might feel like, a traffic jam on the way to work. The other is rising to the top like cream, powerful strides and lots of gestures have made her a strong advocate to have on her corporate team. I miss her the most, at onetime she would wear these atrocious straw hats as fashion and drive her yellow and black bumblebee duster to our lastest escapades. That is the friend I miss the one who was much more serene and sure less combative. Than the middle aged gal's sucess has forced her to become.
The other one of the four, is teaching kids in her basement illegally. The kids are children of uber liberal New Yorkers who find it so amazing that this U of M grad would give up a life to teach their children( Mind you she is 46 and they speak to her like she is 12) She is a creative force and one of twelve children, of course she would be teaching kids in her lovely brownstone. A mother of Two, she figured if she could not have more than she would just borrow others for awhile.
We have not had a lot of challenges the four of us. We have had only one cancer scar and a new one on the horizon. We talk not as often but we try to keep connected. Of the four I myself have left the glamor and monies and settled on a life in Northern Michigan to be real as I say, for in Corporate America I was a bitch. Plain and simple unkind and rude at best. It was my defense against the realization that this grown up work force world was not for me.
Recently, my thoughts have been about the erasing parts of life.
I find more fondness for the boys I attended Catholic Grade School and High school with because they remind me of sweetness and joy. Memories of having one of them stand at your locker in complete vunerability while you got your books so they could walk you to class. The men that they have become today, they are the ones who hold the door open, stand up when a woman walks in the room. They are men. When I see them now they hug me madly and we laugh at some of the crazy things we did. One of them has ALS, and he came back from New York to visit our grade school. He told a story about disecting sharks and how I made a neckalace out of eyes for him in class. Me, I had forgotten that story but Sully he remembered. These are the erasing parts that I want to stop. Sully has ALS and will not last much longer. I want to stop the squeegy and erase only the parts that I choose.
When I visit my father I found out that his two childhood well only living childhood friends come to visit once a week. And he tells me how they laugh and laugh. He remembers this part of his life the best and to my surprise it gives him the most joy. There is a returning theme in my mind and heart as of late.
The not wasting time, the joy in finding my childhood friends who after all these years still know me. The stories they can tell or I myself can tell of the adventures we took. All for a good lark. It has occured to me that life has taken on a seriousness to it's tapestry. Its the thoughtless behavoir of strangers that sets me off, not the kindness. I guess I always expect kindness. Its an expectation I must rid myself of quickly so I am not bitter by day's end.
There is something lost in today when people are so involved with the things and their lives that they forget who they are inside and move so fast they miss the lines and shadows that are created for them in this world. I am looking forward to seeing my old gals soon, one might be gone another might be resentful but we will always remember those silly things we did and how daring or cool we felt than not knowing that this big world is a squeegy that will erase these memories yet I have found that its only if we allow our hearts to close that the squeegy starts cleaning.