My friend Mary called me a couple of nights ago. I knew when I saw her name on the phone that it was not going to be an easy phone call. She has had her share of troubles in the near past. What they are or were are not important to trying to paint a picture of this beautiful lady and her journey.
When I picked up the phone, she told me that her husband had just died.
I just sat there, sad, numb, scared, lost. It was 10:30 at night my time and 1:30 a.m. where she was. I just wanted to cry because my friend has gone through hell in the last few years.
But there she was, baring her pain to me. I was honored that she felt safe enough to say it to me.
We met at a meeting a few years ago. When we met it was a cold night in South Carolina and we were both from California. She had had her struggles already at that time. Mine were yet to come. We stood outside that meeting we met at for a couple of hours being illuminated by the light of our headlights. Both old timers, either then or before. We made a connection that night that has been there ever since. She lives 3000 miles away. We have only seen each other a couple of times in the last 5 years, yet she knows as much about my life, in particular my “love” life as any friend except maybe the painter, the fanatic and the nomad, who all live in the same place I do.
It was not supposed to be the way it was. My friends husband was not supposed to die. They had just reconciled and she didnt deserve this.
What we said to each other is private. She knows I care about her and if I could have, I would have gone to her right then.
My oldest friend in life is my dear, dear friend Renee. We go back 40 years. We went to high school together. She remembers what I wore the first time we met. I used to go to her house and party with her and her parents. Yes her parents.
If there is a woman in my life who I regret never telling her how much I cared about her, it is her.
Renee told me in an email that she has some serious, serious health issues. What they are is not important to this discussion, but they are so important that I said what I said in the last paragraph openly and proudly. Renee has had it as difficult as anyone I know in many, many ways. But she plugs away in life and continues to hold out hope.
You see people who are raised like Renee and I were, are supposed to be watching the “Voice of the Idol Dancing in the Stars” and waiting for it all to end like many of those who we grew up with.
But she has said a few things to me in the recent past that clearly show the pain of the journey’s we have been on, yet holding out hope it will be better for her kids. To me that is a hero.
Though not given all the tools that many take for granted, Renee keeps saying that there is hope. Damn, there have been times in my life where I wanted her to tell me that we were both screwed, because then I could have continued down that path of oblivious hell that I was on. But in her own way, and trust me, her way is her way as only she could do it, she has continued to create a life that I admire and respect.
I have to get up the courage to call her. I am afraid to, because I dont want her to tell me any more “bad,” news.
I love my friends Renee and Mary.
It is better to seek forgiveness than it is permission. 123