Friday, June 12, 2009

the very best of friends (vol.1)

Friendship hey. Shew, I could write a book. In my life thus far, even as a wife and mother (both of which are really just another type of friend), I think I can honestly say that friendship is the thing that's taught me the most (about others and myself), inspired me, challenged me, made me think and reassess and examine and analyse and goddamn just live.

I have an amazing array of friends - big ones and small ones, happy ones and sad ones, red ones and yellow ones (ok no wait, this is starting to sound like a Dr Sueuss book ...), but basically a pick 'n mix of astounding people, all of whom deserve a monster post all of their own.

But this is about just two of them. For now.

They were friends before I met them. We met through a boy, then the boyfriend of one, later the boyfriend of the other. Their friendship survived this brief love triangle, and my friendship strengthened with both of them.

The ex-girlfriend set off on her own path, travelled the world, had adventures and a little girl who she ended up raising on her own. This child was the first in our circle of friends, they lived around the corner from us for years, and we shared with our friend the immense challenges and sacrifices of raising a child as a single-parent. She's a Libran, and a strong one; ballsy and tough, creative and compassionate, fiercely independent, naturally gregarious.

Her Mum was diagnosed with all kinds of terrible cancer about 2 years ago, and their family's been living with all the awful sadness and emotional highs and lows related to that. My friend's Mum died last week, and she and her heart-broken daughter left this morning to go home and bury her.

My other friend ended up marrying that guy. For better or for worse. The latter it seems. The stupid shmo (I say shmo, but obviously I mean fucktard) upped and left when their son was 8 weeks old, plunging my friend into a (still ongoing) nightmare of divorce, custody battle, life realignment and all the horrible stuff about single parenting. She's also a Libran, and another strong one (have you ever met a Libran who wasn't?). She's insightful and thoughtful, hugely generous, immensely creative and wakes up every single morning of her life with renewed vigor and zeal.

None of us, least of all her, thought she'd be a single-parent too one day, but as I see these friend's paths falling more into parallel, I see them regarding each other anew. They've known each other for well on 20 years, and yet their friendship is still adapting, still growing, still aligning.

And it hasn't ended there. The second friend's Dad finally succumbed to his cancer too last week, just days before the first friend's loss.

So these two women - buddies from Varsity, drinking buddies, feed-you-ice-cream-and-cry-on-my-shoulder buddies, hare-brained schemes and crazy missions buddies, shared outfits and shared boyfriend buddies - grow up to be single parent, nurse a parent, console a parent buddies, friends for life with more in common than they ever thought they'd have.

And here I stand, honoured to call them both friend, to give them a big fucking round of applause for the grace and humour with which they've faced life's challenges and to say I'm sorry friends, for the pain you're both feeling now.


recipes for the life said...

Wonderful post!Great ode to friends.

♥ Chaitra

B said...

Love it! Your two friend sound like very special people.

spudballoo said...

Wonderful post....what a great friend you are to them. I've been musing something similar, i have a number of friends who I've known for 20 years now who are going through some appalling times.

Every time I look at photos of them when we first went to college, and think of all the silly jolly fun and giggles we shared, it makes me want to lie down and weep. Because the awful stuff that life is throwing at them now is so far, far removed from those silly, carefree college girls.

I raise a toast to friendship, and spit in the eye of life's RUBBISHNESS at times.


An Open Heart said...

Oh, let me get a tissue....your beautiful post about friends really hit me. I have a glorious array of friends as well, some old, some new, some in crisis, others not. And, often times, I am struck by the lessons I learn about life, disappointment, joy, heartache, happiness and just living. Thank you for this great post.

Just Jules said...

oh bravo!